A black and white photo of Yoda

Final Steps for Module #3: Teacher Response to Drafts

As you work on revising your drafts for Wednesday, keep in mind the following tips.

Don’t Make Too Many Assumptions About Your Participants

Good research questions are open-ended enough to ask a genuine question, but also come in with some assumptions that you know from past research. You have to be careful, though: even though other researchers may have studied similar populations, this doesn’t mean that your participants will fall into that population.

Instead of saying something like “why does X group do Y behavior” ask “is Y behavior present in X group, and if so: why does it exist?” The difference is subtle, but important. In the first formulation, the question assumes what you’re going to find. In the second, it asks if the behavior is present.

Student Example from a Past Class

Original:

How can intercultural health communication help health care providers with their struggles with the communication, linguistic difficulties, cultural traditions of patients from different ethnic backgrounds?

Revised:

What communication issues (linguistic, cultural, ethnic, etc.) do health care providers struggle with most?

How can intercultural health communication help health care providers with these issues?

Pare Down Your Research Questions

Many of you have too many research questions for one study. Research questions are the boundaries of a study: they delimit what you’re looking at and what you’re not. You can create very complex research projects that look at a lot of different variables, but those are very hard to create. It’s much better to take on simpler questions that are focused on a very specific variable.

Student Example from a Past Class

Original:

Conducting research across cultures presents many challenges. These unique challenges are not exclusive to the target audience, but also includes the researcher, who brings his own inherit bias. I wanted to explore how to best gather objective results absent a cultural bias when observing a demographic different from the researcher. I will do this by exploring online app dating from the LGBTQ perspective.

Revised:

Conducting research across cultures presents many challenges. These unique challenges are not exclusive to the target audience, but also includes the researcher, who brings his own inherent biases. In order to examine researcher bias, I will conduct an authoethnography of cultural stereotypes in online data apps targeted at LGBTQ users. I will begin by identifying stereotypes in marketing landing pages for online dating targeted at LGBTQ users. Then I will explore actual dating profiles to see how they display and/or subvert these stereotypes.

Here the researcher starts out with a lot of potential variables (intercultural research, bias, demographics, sexual preference, stereotypes, etc.). I have paired it down to one variable: cultural bias in online dating apps.

Cite Your Claims

It is important in your introduction/problem state to cite claims you are making. Anyone looking at a research proposal will want to see that you’ve done your homework.

How Will You Record Data?

In the age of omnipresent video-recording, I’m amazed by how few researchers make use of it. Taking notes will always be problematic, because you’ll lose about 80% of what actually transpired, including direct quotations, body language, etc. I only use note-taking when video-recording is impossible or completely impractical, such as during a busy activity involving a lot of people that participants are mixed in with. I video-record about 90% of my study data, however, because that’s the way to get the best data.

Final Steps for Module

5) 10/18/21 by Midnight ET >>

Post an answer to the following research question as a comment on the posts of each person’s webpage on this course website.

Each module, I will ask you a research question, which you must post a response to as a comment on the posts of each of your peers. Your research question for this module is the following:

  • Looking at this author’s Research Instrument: do the activities mentioned form a cohesive instrument? Does this instrument appear rigorous (systematic, credible, etc.)? Are there additional activities they might want to add to this instrument? Is tweaking their research question called for? Are there activities that don’t seem to fit their research question?

6) 10/20/21 by Midnight ET >>

Revise all your documents and hand them in:

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