- What is my general worldview in terms of what I think can be known, why that is the case, and how we can best understand the world?
This is a question that many of us dread as in a job interview when the individual is asked to answer the statemen “Tell me about yourself” – I digress. The question focuses on ‘what can be known’. In relation to qualitative research, this has been the focus when applied to “ontological and epistemological character of subjects and subjectivities” (Doucet & Nauthner, 2008, p. 399). In the context of qualitative research, the focus of the researcher is how they can fully understand and know what the individual(s) are communicating in their responses to the subject of inquiry. I think that the researcher must become knowledgeable about methods of creating the right set of questions to ask and the proper methods of coding the resultant responses. Based on previous courses, I can see where it will take a lot of hands-on practice as the textbooks can only provide guidance. At this early stage in conducting qualitative research, I find that it takes some effort to develop new ways of reviewing the responses of the participants to understand some of the deeper contexts and meanings of their responses.
- What is research to me? What is its purpose? Do I prefer numbers or narratives or both?
Research is the process of finding and studying the peer reviewed research journals and studies of other scholars that focus on the critical and specific aspects of a particular subject or issue. These research resources provide a focused approach into the specifics of the issue at hand. The peer reviewed research provides a basis for my approach in conducting my own studies. As I contemplate the focus of my studies, I find that the previous research studies provide a guide and understanding of the approaches I can and should take in my research endeavors. In my job my main focus is on quantitative analysis, which I refer to as rack-and-stack of the measurement data (numbers). I have done this for years, in my role as a Quality Engineer. Those who are my work associates, we speak this same language daily. This switch in direction into qualitative research is like learning a new language. It requires a different approach to data collection and analysis. I hope to overcome the challenge to be able to properly and fluently code the qualitative research results so as to provide definitive and accurate results based on my research studies.
- What is your main focus in terms of what you are planning for future research? Are you higher ed, K-12, corporate, or other? Are you looking to switch your focus to a new setting?
The focus of my research now and into the future is on the use of technologies in both instruction and on the job in industry. The broad category is corporate, but the focus is on industry and production environments. In my recent work experiences, over the past several decades, I have worked with individuals of mixed generations and mixed skill levels. In addition to these issue, the nature of the work being performed has become much more technical. My interest is to find ways to use technology to improve work productivity and product quality without increasing the cognitive load on the individual. Digital resources when properly designed can be a great resource to workers that will enable them to complete their tasks with out overburdening them with highly technical demands. Using computers to handle the technical details and providing the worker with the proper guidance will significantly decrease the cognitive load resulting in consistent quality of work outcomes.
Doucet, A., & Mauthner, N., (2008). What can be known and how? Narrated subjects and the Listening Guide. Qualitative Research (8)3, 399-409.