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  1. 1. Research Methods
  2. 2. Some limitations <ul><li>No research that is legally questionable or emotionally harmful </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Asking about illegal activities which may place the data at risk of subpoena </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Studies that place research subjects at risk of a breach of confidentiality, or risk their reputation/financial standing/employability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Studies that place research subjects at risk due to psychologically sensitive subject matter </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Some limitations with human subjects <ul><li>Pseudonyms </li></ul><ul><li>No vulnerable populations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Under 18 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prisoners </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pregnant women </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mentally disabled individuals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Economically or educationally disadvantaged individuals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Individuals who are unable to give informed consent </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Informed Consent <ul><li>Description of the procedure </li></ul><ul><li>Time required </li></ul><ul><li>Audio or video taping </li></ul><ul><li>Anticipated risks </li></ul><ul><li>Confidentiality </li></ul><ul><li>Contact person for questions/problems </li></ul><ul><li>Statement of consent to participate </li></ul><ul><li>Space for their signature and yours </li></ul>
  5. 5. Sample statement of consent to participate <ul><li>You can ask questions about the research. You can read this form and agree to take part right now, or take the form home with you to study before you decide. By signing this letter, you are affirming that you are 18 years of age or older, that you have read the procedure described above, and that you are voluntarily agreeing to participate. Your signature also indicates that you are giving me permission to report your responses anonymously in the final manuscript to be submitted to my faculty supervisor as part of my course work. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Other rules of thumb <ul><li>Be polite </li></ul><ul><li>Ask nicely; don’t assume that they will participate </li></ul><ul><li>Use common sense </li></ul>
  7. 7. Types of Research <ul><li>Textual analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Observations </li></ul><ul><li>Experiments </li></ul><ul><li>Surveys </li></ul>
  8. 8. Textual analysis <ul><li>What will you study? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Examples:text messages, class essays, commercials, speeches, literary works, articles in a newspaper or magazine, scholarly articles </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How will you analyze it? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Quantitative (numbers) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Qualitative (descriptive) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rhetorical analysis (how they persuade their audience) </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Many Eyes <ul><li>IBM 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Free </li></ul><ul><li>Convenient </li></ul><ul><li>Visualizes large data sets, unstructured text </li></ul>
  10. 10. Visualization Types <ul><li>Bubble Chart </li></ul><ul><li>Word Cloud </li></ul>Phrase Net Word Tree
  11. 11. Bubble Chart <ul><li>“ H a ve so many items that your bar chart is baffling? Do the values vary so much that one bar pushes to the top of the screen while another virtually disappears? Try our bubble chart, which displays values as circles of different sizes.” </li></ul><ul><li>Useful for large sets of data. </li></ul><ul><li>To use, insert Excel cells with one column of text and one column of numbers. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Word Cloud <ul><li>“ A toy for generating ‘word clouds’ from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. ” </li></ul><ul><li>Useful for quick frequency analysis. </li></ul><ul><li>Use “l a yout ” and “c o lor ” to change the appearance of your visual. </li></ul><ul><li>Tag clouds perform the same function as word clouds, but when you hover over the words it gives you the word count and context for its uses. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Word Tree <ul><li>“ S e e a branching view of how a word or phrase is used in a text. Navigate the text by zooming and clicking. ” </li></ul><ul><li>Acts like a concordance. </li></ul><ul><li>Click on a word in the image to zoom. </li></ul><ul><li>Shift+Click to switch to a particular word. </li></ul>
  14. 14. How to use it <ul><li>Create an account by going to: </li></ul><ul><li> http://www-958.ibm.com/software/data/cognos/manyeyes/ </li></ul><ul><li>(you can also just Google: “ma ny eyes ” ) </li></ul><ul><li>Click on “up load a data set. ” </li></ul><ul><li>Copy and paste your data (text or Excel columns) into the box provided and click “cr eate. ” </li></ul><ul><li>On the next screen, click “vi sualize. ” </li></ul><ul><li>Choose a visualization type. (Hint: each visualization has a “le arn more ” button underneath that will give you a more detailed explanation of how to use it and when its use would be most appropriate.) </li></ul><ul><li>Use the editing tools to customize your visual. </li></ul><ul><li>Click “pu blish. ” </li></ul><ul><li>To save a copy, click “fu ll image ” at the bottom of the page, and then print, or save the image to your computer. </li></ul><ul><li>Click on “sh are this ” to email a link, share on Facebook or Twitter, or embed the image on a blog or website. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Interviews <ul><li>How many people will you interview? </li></ul><ul><li>How will you choose them? Randomly, or based on certain characteristics? </li></ul><ul><li>Record your interview using a laptop, recording device on your phone, or tape recorder. </li></ul><ul><li>Transcribe the interviews. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Interviews <ul><li>Types of questions to ask </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Background, if relevant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>General to specific </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Related to your research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More detailed versions of your survey </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Listen, and ask follow-up questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t be afraid to ask, “Could you describe that in a little more detail? Could you elaborate on that? Why did you feel that way?” </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Observations <ul><li>Observe for a total of at least 1 hour </li></ul><ul><li>Ask permission, if needed (for instance, when observing a class) </li></ul><ul><li>Better if you observe more than once </li></ul><ul><li>Better if you record and transcribe </li></ul><ul><li>Take notes while observing; keep your research question in mind </li></ul><ul><li>Type up your notes immediately after (so you don’t forget details) </li></ul>
  18. 18. Experiment <ul><li>Try to control for variables. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Environment, age, gender, time of day, topic familiarity, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have participants fill out a form to document this information, or take note of it yourself. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Have a control group. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Two groups of people; two experiments on same group. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Make sure you’re adding something to the conversation: keep your sources in mind when designing your experiment. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Surveys <ul><li>Survey Monkey </li></ul><ul><li>Sample survey </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Description of study </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Informed consent; multiple choice with “I agree” and “I disagree.” </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Types of Questions <ul><li>Multiple choice </li></ul><ul><li>Comment box </li></ul><ul><li>Matrix of choices </li></ul><ul><li>Numerical text boxes </li></ul><ul><li>Image </li></ul><ul><li>Limit of 10 questions </li></ul>
  21. 21. Types of questions to ask <ul><li>Identifying information (if it’s important) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gender </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Age </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Education Level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where they are from </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Types of questions to ask <ul><li>Feelings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strongly disagree, disagree, no opinion, agree, strongly agree </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Frequency/amount </li></ul><ul><ul><li>0-30 minutes, 30 minutes-1 hour (etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>0-3, 3-5, 5-7, 7-10, more than 10 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Description </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Options, check all that apply </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Numerical free response </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Comment/essay free response box </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Approval <ul><li>Research must be approved before you conduct it. </li></ul><ul><li>Include completed research plan sheet, copies of emails, surveys, interview questions, and informed consent. </li></ul>