When researching it is important to manage time, remain neutral, be ethical and plan for risks. In this report I will examine the potential risks and establish solutions that may hinder my ability to undertake a research project. I will explore the importance of integrity while researching, structuring, collating and interpreting data. In research secondary sources give clarity in how one will structure their own project. Thus why I will explore how secondary sources have benefited my project.
In my research I not only want to expand my knowledge on the benefits of Wi-Fi, but to explore the implications of online learning. I plan to explore the impact Wi-Fi has on a student’s ability to study. In terms of obtaining academic sources, communicating with lecturers and take part in systematic, rigorous or pervasive research Wi-Fi is beneficial to any student who can navigate the World-Wide-Web. It virtually gives you access to information from the other side of the world. However Wi-Fi may have a negative impact on a student’s mental and emotional well being, due to its unreliability and cost. Due to my past experience with UOW Wi-Fi, I am curious to find out how the student’s study if Internet isn’t available at the time they plan to study and what medium they use to access Wi-Fi. As online learning, technology and Wi-Fi continues to develop, (through daily observation) it appears that student’s are shifting to accessing academic sources online rather than travelling to the library. As a result, it will be interesting to discover whether students at UOW have acquired the skills to search the library for books/journal articles.
From my own understanding, Wi-Fi is at times frustrating and can place a strain on already stressed students. As people continue to complete my online survey, it is becoming evident that there are rarely any computers available in the library for students who don’t have access to Wi-Fi. If this research project goes to plan I could place my findings online on my blog to create to make a difference. This could lead to a change in Wi-Fi at UOW. If my observations are incorrect, it will be pleasantly surprising.
Through my research it would be interesting to know why has it become so important and so impacting in our lives if it doesn’t work.
I plan to conduct my research through 2 methodologies. By conducting online surveys and face-to-face interviews, I hope to achieve both qualitative and quantitative data to support my secondary sources. By conducting these surveys, each participant is aware of where the information will be uploaded.
2:1 Secondary Sources
In the study “Academic Use of Internet among Undergraduate Students: A Preliminary Case Study in a Malaysian University” by Balakrishnan Muniandy, the primary focus is how the Internet is used and whether the students benefit from Online learning. Muniandy provides quantitative data based on method of Internet usage. He explores the quality of learning through technology and how people use it. This reading will be a main focus to guide me through the Research Project as it clearly relates to my topic, and allows me to expand my research further. While Muniandy doesn’t specifically focus on UOW Wi-Fi, it still provides a substantial amount of data based on why University students use Wi-Fi and also touches on how the students access information. Therefore Muniandy allows myself to further research how students access Wi-Fi at UOW and the impact Wi-Fi has on students. After critically analysing the reading, it is evident that most students access the Internet via Wi-Fi. It also provides data that Australia is the second highest country in the world that uses Internet the most. This secondary data has the potential to support my hypothesis – that reliable Wi-Fi is necessary at UOW because students maybe shifting their methods of learning, communicating and accessing academic resources. Muniandy also provides an understandable and comprehensive example of how a research project should look like. Muniandy uses a clear structure and is straight to the point, which in turn saves time. Having access to a smaller, yet informative academic article is imperative for this research task in particular, due to its approaching due date. Overall, this study not only examines the demand for Internet, and emphasises the need for Wi-Fi but it is also accessible via the Internet. It also displays other academic references that provide further research in relation to the Internet.
In the article, “Accessibility And Use Of Internet in Prof. Festus Aghagbo Nwako Library At Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria” the importance of Internet is covered through a substantial amount of quantitative data. The authors provided quantitative data based on the importance of Internet access for university students, as well as examining the barriers to Internet access. In this reading, it is evident that Wi-Fi in Universities is an integral resource for accessing the Internet, which in turn reinforces my hypothesis; that if Wi-Fi is not available, how will this impact their ability or will to study. This made it clear to me to focus my methodologies based on the negative and positive impacts Wi-Fi has on people. Although the data provided a positive example of how to structure survey questions, there were also gaps in the findings. For example, in the first question 87.44% of the participants claimed that Wi-Fi was very accessible at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, however in the 66.25% of the students claim that accessing the Internet is a major problem. The problem accessing the Wi-Fi may not be the quality of Wi-Fi itself, but access to laptops/computers instead. Therefore this should be explained through qualitative data. This lack of information provided an example of how to structure my survey questions and to ensure there is a “Why/why not/how” comment section.
In the two readings, all authors demonstrate the sample size used. In the Internet Access and Use by Students of Private Universities in Ogun State, Nigeria, the sample size is equally split between genders. This is a reminder of how important it is to consider the sample size; how many people to undertake a survey, what gender, and age. This will make collating the data easier to understand.
In both readings, the findings represent a high accessibility rate to Internet. This makes me curious to collect survey responses from students of the University Of Wollongong. If Wollongong were the opposite, it would be interesting to compare the differences between the two Universities.
Being a University student, accessing secondary data from across the world with no cost makes researching simpler and less time consuming. By researching a range of different research projects, it has clarified and steered my research project into an improved direction. By critically analysing each methodology used in the different articles made it clear to me how to structure questions in a clear and non-biased approach. To conclude, the simple fact that I accessed all my academic sources via the Internet reinforces the argument that dependable Wi-Fi is a necessary source, especially for university students.
In my research I plan to use a mixed method approach, consisting of survey questionnaires and interviews. Thus having the most likely chance in obtaining both qualitative and quantitative data. By using observation, survey questions and interview methodologies, I will hopefully acquire a range of statistical and supporting evidence. I acknowledge that each method has strengths and weaknesses, hence why using a pragmatic approach, as it will enable me to delve into my focus question and relate it back to the secondary data.
Being a University student at the UOW campus, I will continue to take an ethnographic approach as a basis of understanding how the students feel. People’s facial expressions, body language and non-verbal communication signals are a form of understanding if the students are expressing their honest opinions, or holding back due to social factors. These social factors may be anxiety, embarrassment or fear of what the interviewer will think of them. Therefore I will continue to take an ethnographic approach in my research, especially during my focus group questions.
In my research, I plan to conduct 100 surveys to UOW staff and students only. The surveys will include a mixture of factual and theoretical questions. According to Giddens, 2013, ‘factual questions are those that raise issues concerning matters of facts, rather than theoretical or moral issues’. In simpler terms, it will provide the subjects age, gender and whether they live at home, campus or on their own. By acquiring statistical evidence, I will hope to compare and analyse my findings that even the subject may not have been aware of. According to Giddens, (2013) ‘theoretical questions are posed by the researcher, when trying to explain a particular range of results.’ By placing comment section under the question, I aim to obtain information based on personal experience and opinions. The qualitative data will support and provide reasons for the quantitative methods and the quantitative data will provide evidence to each theory – because without either, the findings will not make sense. This survey will be available to complete online via ‘Survey monkey’, ‘an online survey development cloud-based software company’. It enables simple, and clear data analysis, sample selection, bias elimination, and data representation tools.
Despite surveys being a simple, and a less time-consuming methodology, it has its disadvantages too. Giddens (2013) claims that it is important to be aware that ‘responses may be what people profess to believe rather than what they actually believe.’
The next step of the research project, I will be conducting 10-20 face-to-face interviews. I will be using the stratified sample method. As it provides greater precision than a random sample, it will require fewer students to interview. Being face-to-face enables me to make the subjects comfortable in expressing themselves, and reassure them of their rights. I am also able to observe the respondent’s reactions towards each question. Facial expressions, body language and posture may provide feedback in how they are feeling towards a topic.
Overall, it is important to be aware of interpreting the data or generalising people due to where they live, their age or gender.
3:1 Communication plan
It is important to self-reflect on how you act as a researcher. This means to conduct the methods and collate the findings ethically. As a UOW student, I naturally have ideologies towards the Wi-Fi system. Therefore it is highly necessary to minimise any biases, remain neutral and open to other possible opinions.
It is important to begin the survey and interview with a letter of invitation and consent form. This allows the subject to willingly take part in the survey, with a full understanding of the purpose and procedures of the research project. This means structuring the interview/survey questions clearly and on neutral grounds to avoid manipulating the subjects’ idea of the question.
Survey monkey is a program developed to minimise any chances of being bias, or prejudice. After research, I have gathered that it only allows one person do complete a survey per device. It also structures questions in regards to gender and age where the researcher cannot alter, otherwise it would be considered as unethical.
Survey link– https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TSJJCRW
Example of a consent form/letter of invitation;
Thankyou for participating in this survey! Your feedback is important because it will provide further information in regards to the ins and outs of Wi-Fi. In this research study, I am investigating the impact Wi-Fi has on current students at UOW. I plan to explore the advantages and disadvantages of using the Internet as a primary source to obtain information for assignments. It is your decision to participate in this survey. If any questions make you feel uncomfortable, you have the option to pull out of the survey at any time. No information will be recorded. If you make the decision to take part in this survey you will be asked to answer a range of multiple choice and short answer questions. This survey takes approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. By answering each question, you are assisting me in exposing whether UOW facilitates access to reliable Wi-Fi and resources such as computers. All your information will be kept confidential, and no names or private information will be available to the public. However, the overall results and data will be uploaded to my blog. This will give you access to finding out the end result of this research project. See below for blog details.
4:1 Risk planning
If you don’t plan for risks, it is impossible to prepare for the obstacles and challenges of completing an assignment in a matter of weeks. This research project has 3 main tasks and if you do not implement strategies, it will be difficult to obtain clarity and a clear understanding of what is expected. There are strategies to implement, which will decrease the chances of handing in an unclear or confusing report.
As human beings in society we often have perceptions of ourselves that may hinder our confidence or self-esteem. Therefore it is important to ensure my questions don’t trigger extreme emotions, causing a negative impact on a student(s). Asking someone from a low socio-economic status versus someone from a high socioeconomic status may require clear but carefully structured questions. For example, if the questions aren’t based for every type of student, it may make students feel worthless if they don’t own a laptop or have access to Wi-Fi.
Being a procrastinator and a naturally disorganised individual, it is important to evaluate the risks that come along with leaving tasks to the last minute and misplacing critical information from tutorials. By organising my sheets of information into a folder, I will be able to access all the instructions in relation to this research task. This task is held over a whole semester, therefore it is important to keep up to date with the lectures. Thus means I can include the content in my findings/reports. To minimise procrastination, I have written in my diary to force myself to complete each small task, to complete the overall task. Fro example, ‘you have no excuses’, ‘get back to researching’. This self-talk will eventually motivate myself to complete it, which in turn will minimise the chances of getting a low mark, handing the assignment in late, or having high anxieties about finishing it. Creating a plan and a draft before it is due will allow time to proof read, which will result in a perfect structure and clear report. By implementing strategies to overcome the risks of procrastinating will make the overall process easier.
Speaking of unreliable Wi-Fi, it is important to upload the report before the time it is due because Wi-Fi dropping out is a high risk for myself.
Losing all information due to a technological breakdown is low risk yet high impact; if I were to lose all my secondary and primary data it would create immense amount of stress and create time-consuming duties, such as applying for an academic consideration/going to a computer shop to fix the situation. Therefore it is important to have a plan b in case this was to happen. You can minimise the stress of this implication from occurring by backing up your data on a USB instead of just relying on your computer.
By evaluating these risks make it clear on what to expect from the task, and how to prepare for it. If there is no strategies put in place, it will be very difficult to conduct a research project clearly.
4:2 Time Management
Due to the extent of the assignment, conducted in such a short period of time, it is important to self-reflect and remain aware of the goals that need to be achieved. If you do not manage your time wisely during a fast tracked task, it is almost impossible to achieve what is expected of you. Hence why I have created a time plan, to ensure I cannot procrastinate or lose track of time during the busy ‘Uni life.’
|Week 1 – 2
||· Adapt to 2nd year of University
· Begin prepared; have all folders and utilities ready and organised
· Listen to the lecture online, create notes, and write a blog post on ‘Curiosity’ and ‘Reflexivity’.
· Update blog on WordPress.
||· Read through subject outline and ask questions about the upcoming assignment.
· Brainstorm ideas for assignment 1.
· Participate in Secondary Research to ensure the topic is clear and relevant.
||· Decide on topic for assignment 1 and confirm with your Tutor.
· Stay up to date with lectures.
||· Submit assignment 1 on your blog – ensure each image is relevant to the topic.
· Wait for feedback, and start to take the next part of the assignment into consideration.
||· Receive feedback, analyse your constructive criticism/feedback.
· Continue to update your blog.
· Start to think about what methodologies are best suited to your assignment.
· Research if ‘Survey Monkey’ is ethical/the fastest way to complete a Survey.
· Create an account on ‘Survey Monkey’
· Brainstorm Sample size/types.
||· Re-read over survey to make sure it makes sense to others.
· Post Survey link on the UOW BCM Facebook page to collect responses.
· Plan for report – begin draft.
||· Proof read the report – submit the Report.
· Create/edit interview questions
· Begin sampling method(s)
||· Catch up on any missed lectures.
· Prepare for the next part of the assignment.
· Start collating the data from the surveys.
· Conduct 10 face to face interviews
||· Hope for feedback, to self reflect upon your previous work.
· Compare your data by analysing the different responses due to age/gender/where the student(s) live/if they have access to Wi-Fi at home.
||· Complete all data collation and present your findings ethically.
· Reflect upon previous lecture notes to ensure you have all the essential material.
||· Proof read over your draft report – make sure it is interesting and structured clearly and cohesively.
· Complete all references – do not leave this to the last minute, it takes longer than you think!
||· Ask a family member to read over the assignment to ensure it makes sense to not only another individual, but also someone who doesn’t go to University.
· Ask Tutor if you are on the right track.
· Read over subject outline, to make sure you have completed all the necessary steps.
· Submit the assignment – Smile now because it is complete!
To conclude, this over research task will require immense amount of strategic planning, self-reflection and time management. Without either of these, the task will become more and more difficult to complete. In order to conduct ethical and unbiased methodologies, it is important to have a well-thought out plan, be aware of any high or low likely risks and to prepare for a solution.
Aghauche, E.E., Ogbodo, E.U. and Nwosu, C.C., 2015. Accessibility And Use Of Internet in Prof. Festus Aghagbo Nwako Library At Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria. International Journal Of Scientific Research And Education, 3(02).
Giddens, A 2013, Sociology, 7th edn, Polity Press, Malden.
Lois Stickley, 2011, Online Teaching, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, viewed 20 March 2016, <http://www.ttuhsc.edu/sacscoc/2015/documents/cs-3-13-C/soahs-dist-ed-pres2.pdf>
Muniandy, B, 2010, ‘Academic Use of Internet among Undergraduate Students: A Preliminary Case Study in an Malaysian University’, International Journal of Cyber Society and Education, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 171- 178.
Salaam, M.O. and Adegbore, A.M., 2010. Internet access and use by students of private universities in Ogun State, Nigeria.