Data collection

At the beginning of writing a methodology part of my mini-thesis which is called «Blogging as a platform to improve writing skills», I had no idea how to write this part and collect the data. However, after the effective meeting with my Instructor I started to think of the research design, sampling, and methods of data collection. Thus, I decided to use qualitative “interview-based study” to address the research question which is “What are the Kazakhstani secondary school teachers’ perceptions on the usage of educational blogs in their teaching, especially to improve learners’ writing skills?”.

As this is “interview-based study”, a semi-structured interview was used to collect data. As Flick (2013) describes, the semi-structured interview design gives participants time to express their view and allows the researcher to use follow-up questions to develop the participants responses.

After developing an interview protocol, I asked two of my group mates, who were studied at Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education and three of my colleagues at Nazarbayev Intellectual school in Uralsk to take part in my study. First two participants do not use educational blogs in their teaching and learning, however they shared their own practice of using blogs for learning and sharing. But three others who work at NIS Uralsk have experience of using educational blogs in teaching, especially to improve writing skills.

While interviewing the participants I noticed the differences between the just writing and conducting research. One of the differences is that interview gives in-depth analysis and description of the topic. I could find some interesting ideas that were not assumed by me. Interview really gives more opinions and perceptions. I also think that participants’ openness and wish to participate in the study affect to the interview results. For example, one of my interviewee’s responses were so short that I could not find any unusual or interesting answer from the conversation. So one of the lessons I made from the research collection part is that participants should be effectively selected and motivated.

Reference:

Flick, U. (2013). The SAGE handbook of qualitative data analysis. London: SAGE Publications Ltd. doi: 10.4135/9781446282243

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5 thoughts on “Data collection

  1. Gulzina,

    I found your research topic very relevant and interesting. What forces you to choose such topic for small scale research?

    As an instructor of in-service training courses I also practice blog posting. But, unfortunately, I have noticed that teachers are still reluctant and resistant to apply blogs in their practice. The lack of IT skills, overwhelmed workload, reservations about blog efficiency in teaching and learning, lack of knowledge and practice in organizing, structuring and posting a blog lead to low interest toward blogs.

    I wonder, what do your respondents think about educational blog. Are they aware about the original goal and benefits of blog posting?

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    1. Aigerim,

      I have chosen this topic, because I am a fan of educational blogs. Also the way we are doing the assignments for this Thesis writing course motivated me to conduct the mini research on this topic. When I started asking my colleagues who is using blogs in their classrooms, I have found only three of my colleagues were actively using. What I have also found from their responses about the use of blogs in education is that their attitude and opinions changed after they were trained to use blogs. So, first, they need to be trained.

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  2. Gulzina,

    Yours: I asked two of my group mates, who were studied at Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education
    Revision: …..who were STUDYING……

    Yours: First two participants do not use educational blogs in their teaching and learning, however they shared their own practice of using blogs for learning and sharing.
    Revision: THE first two participants do not use educational blogs in their teaching and learning; however, ……
    Notice the SEMICOLON ABOVE. A semicolon divides two independent clauses!

    Yours: I could find some interesting ideas that were not assumed by me.
    Revision: Do you mean–I was able to discover some some ideas that I had not thought about?

    You give a clear overview of interview process and the problems involved. It does take a lot of preparation, and your participants do have to be motivated or you don’t get the information you need. It’s good that you got some additional practice in data collection for your full thesis.

    Don’t forget the “hanging indent” for your references.

    5 out of 5
    Ann in Astana

    Like

  3. Dear Gulzina,

    I can say that you have chosen a very interesting question for research. I would be really interested in the findings. From my own experience of using blog platform for improving students’ writing, I can say that the main challenge was lack of constructive feedback. Because most of the students wanted to get a profound feedback from teachers, while teachers were very busy in providing it.
    As for your experience in conducting an interview. You mentioned that some of the answers were too short. I encountered the same problem. What do you think should be done to avoid this?

    Like

    1. Dear Miramgul,

      Thank you for sharing your experience of using blogs. There were two reasons why my respondents were not open with me. First, I did not inform one of my colleague about the interview beforehand. Second, my interviewee was in “bad” mood and wanted to finish quickly. After these two situations, I started to think of ways of avoiding this. So I started to “motivate” my colleagues. So before I appointed time for interview, I set a meeting to discuss with them some of my ideas/issues. Meeting was in the school canteen))
      I also informed my research topic and the importance of giving me as more information as possible.

      Like

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