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Reflection on Learning Objectives, Research Methods

March 18, 2013 by   

Reflection on Learning Objectives

AAD 630 Research Methods

At the beginning of this term, I hoped to “better define both where I fall on the positivist/post-positivist spectrum, and what epistemology is appropriate for my research area.” As I worked through my various research ideas this term, I became very confident that my research will fall under a post-positivist umbrella. This does not mean that the positivist paradigm holds no value to me, only that the innate subjectivity of my research topic necessitates an acceptance of a gray area that positivism does not seem to accommodate. I think this is true of most exploratory (and often, social science-based) research.

I also stated, ” I also hope to discover a way to include surveying and experimental methods into my inquiry. I don’t know if it is possible to combine a more “hard science” approach with a softer social science approach, but both approaches to research interest me.” In my final research proposal, I did include surveys as a data collection tool, although I now think seeing surveys as “hard science” is a little short-sighted. It’s all in how the data is collected and analyzed that really determines what kind of lens the researcher is operating under, not necessarily the tool itself. Experimental methods are not likely to come into my data collection methods, because they just don’t have a place.

As my final learning objective, I explained, “Through this class, I want to learn the best way to design my research in order to meet that practical end, while working with concepts as subjective and slippery as “transformation” and “healing.”” The “practical end” to which I was referring involved creating a set of usable tools for music venues, which I have since moved away from. Furthermore, I am no longer dealing with the concepts of “transformation” and “healing” head-on, because it didn’t seem feasible. I really changed directions with my research, while still retaining the essence of my inquiry. Through this class, I believe I successfully identified the most appropriate research epistemology and data collection methods to align with my research interests.




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