This week, I have learnt how to start “Action research”. The most interesting activity is to start a cognitive trial, which uses Plan, Do, Observe and Review as a quick test of my research questions I designed last week. I need to test a purposively chosen sample (at least one) of my likely participant/respondents. As I have mentioned in the first week that I am not in the position of undertaking a research study, in this activity, I took a face-to-face meeting with a user as an opportunity to try cognitive trial.
“In Action research you are explicitly placed as a participant observer, whose views are as much in consideration as those of your trial subject(s). A cognitive trial should always be conducted as an action research cycle: plan, do, observe, review.” (From Unite 2, week 3).
I have planned the observation and explained it to the user whom I had a meeting with. Unfortunately, in the meeting it’s mainly to respond the user’s feedback of their experience of using a learning technology so far, it’s not recorded. As I need to provide further information for the user in terms of their comments and our recommendations, the observation commentary will be included in the meeting minutes and guide for the next meeting. An analysis of my findings of the user’s experience so far will be added into our user case stage report.
The second activity is to read an article about the ethical challenges of researching in Facebook and to consider the problems of authenticity and validity relating to my planned research study. It’s useful to learn the AERA (2011) Guidelines and BERA Ethical Guidelines (2011). One particular point about “Confidentiality” in researching an open context is stated by AERA (2011, 12.02.c, p.150) as below. I would argue too that the participants have the right to be informed about the research observation, and their open personal information shouldn’t be identified in the research report.
Confidentiality is not required with respect to observations in public places, activities conducted in public, or other settings where no rules of privacy are provided by law or custom. Similarly, confidentiality is not required in the case of information from publicly available records.
Useful reading resources:
- Arnold, L. (2015). Action research for higher education practitioners: A practical guide.
- Dr Rob Farrow listed the ethical issues of ‘Guerrilla’ research (Ethics, Openness & the Future of Education, 2014)
- The ownership of intellectual property;
- The lack of institutional guidance;
- The institutional recognition of professional /scholarly activity;
- The risk of losing connection with the original context that produced the data;
- The lack of clarity about whether consent can be assumed for public data;
- The ethics of big/open data.
- Farrow, R. (2016). A Framework for the Ethics of Open Education. Open Praxis, 8(2), pp.93-109.
- Desimone, L.M. & le Floch, K.C. (2004). Are We Asking the Right Questions? Using Cognitive Interviews to Improve Surveys in Education Research. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. 26(1). pp.1-22.