(Note: All of my works related to this project have been uploaded online. You can easily navigate these posts here for more details on progress and my portfolio.)
After thirteen weeks, I have finally finished my research project. Although it is not easy doing, this project has been a valuable experience for me in terms of doing research and broadening my horizon on the topic I chose.
The research project is more complicated than I thought. People who don’t understand might think that all I need to do is have a topic in mind, throw a survey to collect some responses and then interview or ask questions in focus groups to reinforce what I think or draw out from the survey. However, research process involves more than that. It is about exploring new things carefully by thinking about it without having biased ideas. Moreover, it is important to recognize that doing a research is not only about the researcher and his/ her topic, but many other people. Thus, respect and concerns for how others might be affected by a research project are vital, by possessing and maintaining ethics throughout the whole process of researching.
The guidance I got from my lecturer and tutor has been eye-opening to me, as they introduce me to concepts I never knew before. As a student, I only knew about secondary research, which means finding and skimming academic sources of scholars. However, now I know how to do primary research, which I could collect my own data and how to collect it ethically.
While carrying out the survey, I have faced some major challenges. The first thing I encountered was bias. As I had a certain view about the topic, it was hard for me to not bring up biased questions in the survey and focus group. However, with the help of my tutor and friends, I could be more subjective in having questions for others to get information.
The second thing I had difficulty in was recruiting responses for my survey. Although I understood that my project was small, I really expected that I could get responses effortlessly, yet I, in fact, had to go on Twitter a lot to get some answers. From this, I realize that time and efforts of people are valuable, and they are not easy given away. Besides this, I also faced an issue I didn’t expect when I did my risk matrix: scam answers. Since taking a survey is time-consuming and my topic is not about a sensational issue, I could not understand why somebody would spend their time doing that. However, I forgot that anything is possible to happen, and I actually failed to take scam responses into my account. This shows me what I should improve on my research skills and be more careful on doing research next time.
I am happy that I finally finish this research project. I have learned a lot from doing research and made many new friends. I really look forward to studying more subjects that have research projects like BCM212 to gain more experience in doing research.