Something that I have come to accept about undertaking a research project is the importance of remaining receptive and open to necessary changes. Originally, my research area was purely focussed on type one diabetics and stress management, however, after thorough consideration of all the ethicalities and practical measures involved it has now evolved into a similar yet slightly dissimilar topic:
The exploration of type one diabetic tertiary students and management.
Obviously the major changes seen here is my refocusing on academic students (seeing as I underwent a little detachment of specifying my particular people of interest) and the omission of stress from the area of study. However now that the project design and management task has been completed, I feel a boost of confidence in regards to knowing the definite exploration of my research.
Another major modification to make note of was my shift from utilising an online survey to conducting individual interviews. Upon consideration of the ethical framework involved in researching health-related topics, individual interviews seemed more logical and secure in terms of not mismanaging personal input. Once the panic of such a change in methodology had occurred, I realised that this in fact would provide a much more colourful depiction of the personal experiences of students with type one diabetes. Furthermore I was luckily able to review most of the survey questions already created to better suit an interview environment – but always remembering that probing questions are a major tool used in such research situations as I learnt from the wise words of Turner (2010, p. 757).
Some major research aspects that I utilised were acknowledging key research concepts of ethical and critical judgement to ensure that the information accumulated from this exploratory research will be in rightful accountability and respect. Therefore this would mean that the participants in this research project would be reassured of the project’s framework, the application of their input and overall academic objectives for this topic of research. More so, it would be adhering to socially responsible behaviour that would prompt the successful collection and representation of data from participants.
My original curiosity to examine type one diabetes as mentioned in a previous blog post, stemmed from my own experience with this chronic condition and how my project could potentially connect to the wider type one diabetic community. Thus through this research process my objectives are to exhibit continuous reflexivity to re-establish the foundation for my curiosity, as now conveyed through my remodified research area. From the execution of background research, ethical considerations and seeking feedback from academic staff, this ‘checkpoint’ has shown me the severe refurbishing that a research project can undergo. And as a good researcher, you must always remain receptive to these modifications to ensure that the best possible method of attack is going to be used.
Turner D, 2010, ‘Qualitative Interview Design: A Practical Guide for Novice Investigators,’ vol. 15 no. 3, Nova Southeastern University, USA, p. 755-757