In todays lecture we discussed methods of working with your experiment participants.
You use participants to test theories. You will create an assumption about something and then find out if the theory is correct in reference to the results of the experiment. They will either inform or contrast your assumption, and you can adjust your findings accordingly. The standard is to have at least 32 participants minimum in most studies, but as this is a student project we do not have to follow this.
You should also not be asking what the participants like or dislike about the work. You should just be asking for their own opinion, so they do not feel obliged to say anything positive or negative. This is done to understand others’ own experiences without providing them with any bias, which you will be about your own work. You must also be an objective observer, make sure that all participants are aware that constructive criticism is accepted and won’t be taken into offence. To do all of this you must only ask questions which are neutral. Everyone taking part must be aware that there is no wrong or right answers. You must also order questions in a way which will not affect the participants next answers.
After the questionnaire section of my screenings, I will try to get a focus group meeting, to just get a general idea of most peoples movie viewing habits, in reference to soundtracks. I will make these semi-structured, with prompts used to start conversations and then observe and record what is said. Focus groups are usually used in market research to get peoples opinions of products or media.
In this lecture Simone went over elements of good critical writing. To have a cohesive document your essay must have clarity and precision, being very clear about what is trying to be conveyed. It must have accurate and precise information to inform and back up your theories, no estimates or guesses. All information must be relevant, nothing should go off topic too far that it is indecipherable from the original point in question. It must also have great breadth to the points, this is a dissertation now, not an essay, no half assing any points. And of course there must be a depth of different logical information which all relates back to the point at hand. This will all of course improve over time, as most things do with practice. All academic writing should be supported and informed by appropriate literature, reference the hell out of it. Conversely to this, you should not put citations in the abstract. Also similarly to this, it must be noted that personal and anecdotal evidence is not supported in critical writing. In critical writing you must also always put the focus on the object and not the researcher. Case studies are deep and purposeful analyses of a topic, and should be underpinned by theory indefinitely. Case studies should not just be a review of a topic.
This applies to the positivist research paradigm.
Using this method it is essential that you start from the existing theories. Scientific methods require a hypothesis; you cannot conduct research without one. Exploration is inductive (Qualitative) not deductive (Quantitative). Independent variable is the cause and dependent variable is the effect.
Measures respondent opinions, attitudes or preferences using a series of carefully designed questions. Your questions should seek answers that are numerical eg. Pick a category, rank the following, indicate your answer on a scale etc. You may select a questionnaire if you want to collect data that can be generalised to a wider population.
Measure participant cognitive response to stimuli you present them with. Measure participant ability under certain circumstances.
Level 1 coding – Large amounts of raw data are focused and labelled
Level 2 coding – Re-examines level 1 codes and further focuses the data
Level 3 coding – Previous coding is studied to develop highly refined themes
Level 4 – Theories can emerge from saturated categories and themes.
Elicitation – John Crosser
Use case studies everyday. With reflective writing.
A key characteristic of qualitative research is immersion. In this case the researcher must remain distant. The researcher ought to be immersed or involved in the study in some way.
Back up all your work. Always remember your project aim and objectives to be sure that everything can be related back.
Qualitative researchers are interested in themes. You don’t know what themes you will encounter beforehand.
Sweeping statements that need evidence to back them up.
Concept development document.
Your journey of development. Talk in the document about all of the original ideas that you had, or the narrowing down of your idea. Third person passive. Before you try to write always make sure you know what it is you are trying to say. After you refine your ideas you will have an idea of content and structure. Thinking of your timeline chronologically will help you recall your journey better, as you can see the order and influence of each thing you did. At each stage in the chronological milestone, you should discuss each point in a hierarchy, with the most important parts first. Create a timeline of your project subject from the first stages till now, for example, start at Jack Foley to modern films and everything important in between.
In Simone’s lecture today we were talking about the research proposal. The research proposal highlights the content of the honours project and the dissertation. It is written in an academic style and must be roughly 2000 words. It should be informed by at least 8 peer reviewed resources and include a future reading list. The structure you should follow when writing the research proposal is:
Abstract 200-300 Non-included word count
Contextual review – can be part of introduction
Expected outcomes and conclusions
References Non-included word count
Bibliography Non-included word count
The introduction is a general overview of the research topic to capture the reader’s interest. Avoid specialist terminology at this point; write for someone not in the field.
The contextual review is where you establish the conceptual, theoretical and practical context of your proposed research. Identify related social, artistic theories etc. This should also provide rationale for your proposed research. It should provide your critical argument demonstrating the value of your proposed research. Your literature review should also provide the basis for your critical framework, and to identify appropriate criteria you will use later on.
Methodology is where you begin to highlight the methods that you will use to collect and generate data, both quantitative and qualitative. Data must be analysed to be understood and presented as evidence. We must use this evidence to support our claims and project goals. Describe your methodology. What methods you will use. How you will select participants etc.
In Kenny’s class today we were discussing some more clerical work that we need to do this semester before hand ins. We were shown both the module surveys and also the course surveys that were sent to us. We discussed the importance of finishing these so that the uni can have a more accurate idea of what the people on these courses actually think of them. This includes a survey for each module where we can rate our experience so far as well as any positive or negative aspects of them. There is also an over-arcing survey that discusses the same thing of the experience so far but for the whole CSP course, also leaving space to comment on the good and bad parts of it.
After that we discussed the concept development document and also the pre-production portfolio. I will discuss these both in more detail in their own blog posts.
In todays lecture we learned all about the ethics of our projects. There are certain criteria our project proposals must pass in the ethics department before we can carry out our project. We will either be told: 1=approved, 2=approved with conditions or 3=not approved.
There are certain things we were told that, as honours students, we couldn’t do on our project. For example, we are not allowed to work with anyone under 18, animals or people who are vulnerable. Fortunately for my project I don’t think it would be necessary. So I think my ethics form will be approved easily.