Your grades are on Canvas, so check for them there.
I also provide individualized feedback on modules that connect what you individually did to what you need to do in the next module, so be sure to check on that as well.
TPC is a wide-open field, which is both good and bad
As you are learning, TPC is an incredibly diverse field. One might argue: too diverse. When diversity reaches a point at which shared methods, approaches, and research questions don’t exist, a field has a hard time defining what it really does. At the same time, when fields overly restrict what field members are allowed to research and do, this can create the opposite problem by squelching innovation.
TPC has been trying for a long time to find a middle ground between these two extremes, and has made some great strides, but is not there yet. We desperately need some shared methods, for instance, especially for training new members of our field. And we desperately need a common understanding of how to design a research methodology, or overall approach to research (questions, problems, etc.).
Lacking both of these, it can feel at times like individual members of TPC simply aren’t communicating with one another in the ways that members of the same academic field should.
Research problems are important first and foremost to guide and develop research before it even begins, so that the researcher is writing with a clear understanding of why research is needed and what the objective to the research will be. Without taking the time to situate your prospective research in the context of what already exists in the field, you run the risk of duplicating previous research efforts.
Often, a researcher comes to understand a potential need for research by noting research “holes,” “gaps,” or unanswered questions when reading through prior research on a topic and making connections between previous studies. For example, reading a study about younger employees’ experiences with communications technology that they consider “outdated” – like a desk phone or fax machine – might cause a researcher to wonder how the young subjects of that study might engage with video calls or text messages in the workplace differently than their older peers. – Margaret
Use Each Other’s Sources, Please
What I also wanted to do in this first module is provide you with sources. Hopefully one or more of the articles reviewed in this module will spark your curiosity and help you shape your annotated bibliography and literature review. I have found it can be particularly challenging for new members of TPC to understand the sub-topic areas that are held within it, which are many.
This is one thing that I believe TPC is starting to do well: we are starting to specialize. It’s good that we have people who just study intercultural communication, or UX, or training. Every other academic discipline on the planet that considers itself a research discipline includes areas of specialization that individual members can choose from, or can develop new specializations from.
This is an exciting time for TPC as new topic areas seem to emerge on an almost daily basis. Have fun researching, and please let me know any questions you have as you work on the next module.
I noticed that I had a hard time navigating through the different journals. I often found myself lost or back to square one. I read through several articles before I found the research that I wanted to focus on. It was easy to see common themes from article to article but finding one that truly connected to one another was difficult.
I wanted to find articles that were similar to my own research interest. With the articles that I have chosen, I felt more of a connection the readings and the author’s research questions. With these two articles their central research problem/question focuses social media and the pandemic. Pinpointing the exact problem however was not the easiest. The obvious being how social media has spread word with the pandemic, but that was too broad of a topic. Finding that clear differentiation between the two was key and took time. – Emily