The purpose of my mini research is to explore the challenges that graduate students of Msc School leadership program at Nazarbayev University face over their 2 years of online learning. This study aims to answer one research question: 1)What are the challenges that graduate students of Msc School leadership program face during online learning? To answer this question I utilized qualitative method. The sample for this mini qualitative research was selected purposefully. I intentionally selected my classmates as participants because I found them to be “information rich” (Patton, 1990, p. 169).To collect data, I used individual interviewing. I prepared semi-structured interviews with open-ended questions.I found this instrument of data collection to be suitable for two reasons:
- Interviews allowed me to gain an in-depth understanding of the obstacles that students faced over their online learning (Lune & Berg, 2012).
- Interviews provided the opportunity to “probe and expand interviewee’s response” in order to clarify the responses or to get more broader information on the barriers that students experienced during online learning (Hitchcock & Hughes, 1995, p.83).
However, interviewing has its own weaknesses. Personally, for me, it was difficult to assign convenient time and place both for me and for participants. All my classmates were too busy with their intensive sessions. Interviewing is not as survey or questionnaire that participant may answer anywhere and anytime. Therefore, I had to rely on my two classmates as well as colleagues who agreed to take part in my research at weekends in return to my participation in their mini-research.
Overall, this mini research served me as pilot experience for my proposed thesis research, because I am also planning to conduct qualitative research with semi-structured interviewing. In this mini research, I used a Dictaphone in my mobile phone which seemed to be of poor quality with unclear recordings. Therefore, in my large-scale research I decided to use a real Dictaphone.
Berg, B., & Lune, H. (2012). Qualitative research methods for the social sciences (4th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Hitchcock, G., & Hughes, D. (1995). Research and the teacher: A qualitative introduction to school-based research (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.
Patton, M. (1990). Qualitative research and evaluation methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.