Data collection process…

As a part of my mini research on online learning I was required to create a small scale survey or interview to administer to potential respondents; conduct the interview or survey and share about the process with you through posting a blog.

So, as we know the advancement of technology, the Internet revolution and development of management systems have contributed to exponential growth of online learning in the higher education environment. However,people have not entirely accepted online learning as the solid alternative of in-class education. They still debate and argue  about the effectiveness of online education. Moreover, there abound misconceptions, misunderstandings and misinterpretations that may prevent students from experiencing this mode of learning.

In my small scale study I am researching online learning  myths or misunderstandings that may prevent GSE students from accepting this type of learning experience. To explore, analyze, interpret and understand how has online learning been misinterpreted and how does this affect GSE students qualitative research design has been chosen. One-to-one semi-structured interview with open-ended questions was applied. Each interview lasted for about 30 minutes and was audio-recorded. The sampling procedure has been used in the study is convenience and purposeful sampling. It means all participants  kindly agreed to take part in the research and students from four programs of GSE participated in data collection: Foundation, Bachelor, Masters and PhD. I selected students from different programs so that findings could demonstrate perceptions of online education specific for students of certain age, background and life experience.

Even I organized probing interview with two of my group mates to be sure that I created the questions properly and the respondents signed the interview consent forms and were informed about the purpose and focus of the study,  I have faced some challenges  during the interview process. The first is that some respondents deviated from the questions, responded too general and I had to address more specific questions or repeat the question several times to get more credible and full responds. As a result, the interview lasted for 10-15 minutes more than I have planned.

Secondly, some interviewees at the last moment refused to participate at interview due to unexpected circumstances. Moreover, one participant even did not come to interview without any excuses and I had to search and find another students who were eager to contribute. It also took time, patience and efforts.

Despite these challenges I could say that it was excellent experience for me to be in a role of interviewer and discover different opinions, fears and values. The most surprising thing is that I have found the answers to my own questions since I’ve had my hesitations about online learning.


6 thoughts on “Data collection process…

  1. Aigerim,

    Your research topic sounds really interesting to me! I haven’t even thought that there might be misleading stereotypes about online education that prevent students from selecting this mode of learning. If you have already done your data analysis or once you do that, could you please share what myths you identified and their influence on students’ decisions.

    Thank you in advance.


    1. Marina,

      Thank you for your comment. Yes, there exist some misunderstandings about online learning and they really interfere students to accept this style of learning. I have not yet started analyzing the data, but I can foresee (according to raw data) the incredible and even unexpected findings.

      Sure, I will definitely share findings and results a bit later.


  2. Hi Aigerim,

    I like the way you described the study procedures and challenges you faced while conducting interviews. Especially I am interested in probing interviews you provided with two group mates. So I would like to know did you find piloting interviews useful? and did you make some changes or improvements to your interview protocol after these probing interviews?

    Thank you!


    1. Gulzina,

      I really liked piloting interview questions. It greatly contributed in advancing and improving my prior questions. Some of them were too broad and could make the potential respondents confused. Some of the questions were only yes/no questions and needed to create the follow-up questions. Moreover, during the pilot interview I have learned how to behave, how to sit, how to address the questions. It is a good practice before conducting the real interview. Suggest you also to try out probing interview.

      Thank you.


  3. Aigerim,

    First of all, I really enjoyed talking with you yesterday. You are a good source of information about education in Kazakhstan.

    Yours: To explore, analyze, interpret and understand how has online learning been misinterpreted and how does this affect GSE students qualitative research design has been chosen.

    Me: This is a long sentence “fragment.” In other words, it is not a complete sentence. In fact, you can delete it because it the sentence before, you already said that you are researching misunderstandings about online learning that might interfere with its acceptance. Part of researching is, of course, exploring, analyzing, interpreting and understanding, so you don’t need to write it. Don’t use vocabulary like this to “pad” your writing. Be concise! I’m having trouble understanding the second part of your fragment. Do you mean that you are trying to understand whether such misunderstandings about online learning affects GSE students? What does their qualitative research design have to do with it? How would that be affected by misunderstandings about online learning? How did you determine GSE students’ misunderstandings? I’m wondering exactly what you asked them that exposed their misunderstandings about the effectiveness of online courses.

    Anway, I look forward to your mini-thesis and reading a nice clear and direct account of what you found. Remember the advice I gave you during our meeting!

    5 out of 5
    Ann in Astana


  4. Hi Aigerim,
    In this blog I see a real reflection of the job done by you. I liked the way you express the steps in your work, as they include both scientific and vivid colours.
    The most gripping part of your research is your topic of research. I knew that online distance learning is still a blur in education, but I have never even thought to investigate it. Your approach inspires me to investigate in the same way some educational issues.
    I would be glad to read your findings on the topic. I am sure you will bring clarification and enlightenment in to the topic.
    Good luck!


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