In this task I learnt that conducting research is as iterative as any other type of project. The philosophy of ‘fail early, fail often’ guided and reassured me through my research journey. I found my first topic idea developed into something better and more important to research after discussions with my tutor. My first survey also failed, while my second survey was received much better. From this I learnt that simplicity can be lost when there’s too many questions with too many completion rules. I also learnt that some questions, generally the ones requiring more detail, are not suitable for written responses and instead should be used in interviews.
From the evolution of my project and as a consequence of engaging in other people’s projects, I learnt of the value that interviews can bring in addition to that of the survey. Though I did not have time to conduct any myself, after being an interview respondent in another project I know the depth of my findings would be much richer if I had.
This research project also helped me to subvert my own expectations about research trends. Before I began this process I struggled to identify with many of the people who would soon become my respondents. I could not have predicted the results to be as strongly skewed in the way that they were as my current situation does not align in that direction. Thus, this project helped me shed my preconceived expectations which will prove to be a valuable skill in future research undertakings.
Another key component of the research process is the concept of gaining ‘insights’ when analysing the research data and pulling everything together. These insights helped me to formulate the basis of my opinion article so that it had weight and brought value to readers. In the future I will design my surveys and interviews to be optimised for gaining clear, key insights that truthfully represent the survey responses as an end result.
To surmise, the process of research I undertook for my BCM212 project taught me key aspects of research that I would not truly understand just from reading about them in a textbook. I learnt how to be adaptive and perceptive, as well as how to dig deeper for clarity and richness in future research pursuits.