April Focus: Collecting Data from Participants

Categories: Data Collection, Other, Research, Research Design, Research Methods, Research Skills


In the first quarter of 2021 we explored design steps, starting with a January focus on Finding the Question. We learned more about the design stage in February by focusing on Choosing Methodology and MethodsThe March focus was on Designing an Ethical Study, and we will continue to think about ethical practices.

In the second quarter our focus will move from the design stage to the data collection stage. Our focus for April is on Collecting Data from & with Participants, in May we will look at Finding Data in Documents or Datasets, and in June we’ll look at Using Digital & Virtual Methods. The May 25 webinar will cover intersections across these topics since we will discuss online research with participants and/or existing data.

map of topics
Let’s think about conducting research!

Collecting Data from & with Participants

We will define our April focus broadly to include any qualitative or quantitative methods that involve questioning, prompting, or working with participants to collect or generate data. We will look at the immediate, participatory ways that researchers engage with participants as well as the big-scale ways that researchers use surveys to gain participants’ views on the research problem.

We’ll learn from our Mentor in Residence and guest contributors!

You will find original posts, open-access articles and videos, researcher interviews and more on MethodSpace this month. The unfolding series will be available through this link.

Use MSPACE20, for a 20% discount

Dr. Zina O’Leary, author of numerous SAGE books including the new Doing Your Research Project, will be a Mentor in Residence for April. Zina explains:

Dr. Zina O’Leary

One of my passions in the ‘method space’ (see what I did there) is helping individuals, corporations and governments tackle applied research in ways that are designed to make things happen.  And this is no easy feat. We, academics that is, are highly adept at the conduct of research, even the conduct of applied research. But the skills that it takes to get recommendations to be taken up by those we are trying to serve are not generally a part of our research training. This has meant the reams and reams of good research is left sitting on shelves with little ability to have impact. 

In a bid to remedy this, I am currently developing a number of courses that look at setting the research endeavor (always rigorous and credible) within messy politically charged environments in ways that can lead to the betterment of people, places and policy. The integration of rigorous research skills and powerful advocacy skills has the ability to take applied research to a new level of impact and influence.   

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