The enrollment to the Master’s program at GSE Nazarbayev University provided me new impulse in my professional life. Undoubtedly, it gave me the opportunity and chance to be more than ‘ordinary’ person it brought me the responsibility, such as deadlines in the different courses and of course the experience of writing my thesis. The process of writing is quite challenging when you have other responsibility, such as daily work and family. It is more difficult if you never experienced conducting research in a new high level. But, I realized that more writing and reading about my mini-thesis, more I become to be ‘not bad researcher’. Here, I would like to say huge appreciation to our instructors and professors for their support.
In this post I would like to share my personal challenges of writing my methodology and data collection sections in my mini-thesis. The purpose of my mini-thesis was to clarify losing motivation of students to learning in online learning environments. I thought a lot in order to identify which research method is appropriate then after spending many times of reading I decided to explore the topic through qualitative research design. My literature review demonstrated that there are different reasons of losing motivation of students to learning in online learning environments, such as challenging in time management (Clark-Ibáñez & Scott, 2008), lack of community, difficulty understanding instructional goals, and technical problems (Singleton et al., 2004), personal interest, external and internal motivation, and conversation of information into knowledge and depth of learning process to recognize how to amount student motivation (Knowles & Kerkman, 2007).
Those literatures helped me identify my research method. The research was conducted through the qualitative research design, particular semi-structured interview. Nohl (2009) indicates that semi-structured interviews allow not only for assessing the participants’ opinions, statements and convictions, they also allow to elicit narratives about their personal experiences.
But, I understood that it is not so easy to conduct the interview. Fortunately, that is not my first experience that is why my previous knowledge helped me to manage and conduct the interview procedure. However, I can definitely say that I am not good interviewer, that I need more practice and training to do it again. My challenge was the preparation to the interview itself, it means that arranges all documents, creating the specific questions and prepares yourself in psychological side. Another obstacle was to find out specific time to prepare for the interview itself because my intensive session at the university and busy daily work. The last problem was do not forget my questions and record all the answers of my respondents.
Nevertheless, I believe that what we do it is extremely necessary actions towards to be ready in the thesis writing. My big lesson was that the more I practice the more I become a professional researcher. I hope that I will able to analyze all data what I have now and in proper way to illustrate in the result section.
Nohl, A.-M. 2009. Interview und Dokumentarische Methode: Anleitungen für die Forschungspraxis (3 ed.). Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden, Germany.