H809: Activity 6.2: Effects of audience on research (1 hour)
In the light of Activity 6.1, look again at the research question you chose for TMA01.
- What kinds of audience were you assuming for the research findings?
- How might this research question, and/or the methods you chose, be different for different audiences?
Do first year undergraduate Earth Science students at Keele University exhibit a discrepancy between their actual and perceived core technological literacy skills?
SQ1: What are the students' perceptions of their levels of expertise in word processing, spreadsheets and presentation packages?
SQ2: How do students perform in analysis of their skills in word processing, spreadsheets and presentation packages?
SQ3: Is there a discrepancy between perceived and actual core technological literacy skills?
SQ4: What are students' opinions on their use of word processing, spreadsheets and presentation packages?
I wrote about this fairly extensively in the TMA as I was assuming the audience to be lecturers from the Faculty of Natural Sciences. I commented that it affected the research methodology greatly as 'good science' is regarded as that from quantitative research and so I chose three out of the four sub-questions with the aim of analysing them quantitatively. I also wanted some more in depth analysis to inform later work so I slid in a fourth, qualitative, sub-question!
There are other, qualitative ways in which the central research question could be investigated. For example the same question aimed for presentation to the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences would be better received with the depth and detail provided with qualitative analysis. Qualitative analysis can also create openness when the respondents are encouraged to expand on their responses which may open up new topic areas that the researcher had not previously considered.