It appears that we had two articles to read for our next class. They were pretty short, which is a good thing in my opinion. I do enjoy reading long research articles as much as the next person… (-_-) but sometimes straight to the point approach is the way to go. I should also note their easy-to-read natures, especially after the dense ones which we were assigned to read last week.
The first article, titled Qualitative Research Question Examples, served as a review for creating proper research questions. I still seem to be going back and forth on my own research question but I believe I’m getting pretty close to what I need before I start the actual proposal. It’s funny how it is stated in the article that the question might start at a very general point and eventually end at a much more specific one as it develops over time. That is exactly what happened with mine. Then again, it’s probably just common sense. The earliest version of my question, if I recall (I did not write it down), was “How does language proficiency effect the self-identity of learners?”. Looking back, that was a very vague question to conduct research for. My current version is “How does awareness of low language proficiency (conscious incompetence in second language) effect learner autonomy in academic settings, especially in terms of developing strategies to meet academic standards?”. The point was making the research question more specific to a particular case but I might’ve actually made it a bit… too specific? I don’t know. Depending on the research, I may have to tweak it a little further in order to make it fit. We shall see.
The second article, titled Phenomenology Research Overview (or at least one of the pages), introduced a new research method. Although I had heard phenomenology before, I was not quite familiar with it overall. The article describes it as “a qualitative research method that is used to describe how human beings experience a certain phenomenon”. The emphasis here is on the point of view of the participants; ignoring social or cultural norms, traditions, or any other preconceived assumptions in service of properly analyzing “perceptions, perspectives, understandings, and feelings of those people who have actually experienced or lived the phenomenon or situation of interest”. The article also mentions the “four aspects of a lived experience” that phenomenology method aims to observe, which includes “lived spaced, lived body, lived time, and lived human relations”. I was originally planning on going with the case study; the method that emphasizes “exploration and description of a phenomenon”. However, seeing how the phenomenology shifts that emphasis to the individual, it might be a better idea to go with that instead. It could allow the research (in theory) to possess an intimate layer.
As far as its strengths go, the article states that the phenomenology method is regarded by its focus “on the wholeness of the experience, rather than its individual parts” and mediation as “a means to have the voices of the participants heard which may prompt action or at least challenge pre-conceived notions and complacency”. Also, in comparison to other methods, it is stated that “it does not test a hypothesis, nor is there an expectation that the results predictive or reproducible”. One particular downside of the method is apparently its subjective nature which “may lead to difficulty in establishing reliability and validity”. I believe that I’ve heard that issue before with some other research methods we’ve looked at. It might just be a general issue with qualitative research methods. Although it sounds like a better fit for my own research question, it is still somewhat difficult to choose between the two methods. I might have a more solid decision after the presentation, and the lesson that follows it, in our upcoming class.
Overall, I did enjoy reading the articles —short and sweet.
(Additional details are missing) Retrieved from: https://cirt.gcu.edu/research/developmentresources/research_ready/phenomenology/phen_overview
Rucker, M. (2016) Qualitative Research Question Examples. Retrieved from: https://unstick.me/qualitative-research-question-examples/