REFLECTION

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I am very proud of the project I have put together. I am proud of the work I put in to get the information I needed for the end result and the answer to my question. I stepped out of my comfort zone and got in contact with other people and worked on my communication skills to gather the information needed. I worked hard on analysing what I have found and making sure that all my information came together at the end.

I first conducted a survey online that got 38 responses, I was very happy with that and was not expecting that sort of result. It made things easy when looking into the answers. I had more opinions and more information to grab from. I posted the survey on UOW pages, twitter and Moodle to gain interaction. Within a few days I got my answers and I started to work with them. With the many opinions I got, I wanted to get some sort of confirmation on what was being asked, from people that do study via distance. I then decided to conduct my interviews.

I conducted eight interviews that went very well. The interviews were all with students that study via distance. They were not hard to find as I am from a small town and was going back there in the mid session break. I got in contact with some people and they got me in contact with others, which worked really well for me. The interviews all ran smoothly and confirmed any answers collected from the survey. The information was their opinions but answered the questions I had about the path that they are taking. All answers were pretty similar which was good for confirmation.

Then I conducted a focus group in class with 11 peers, which also ran very smoothly. They all spoke with their opinion and experiences of what they heard about people they know that study via distance. All their insight came together with my survey and interviews to give me one solid answer to my question.

The methodology that I took with the interviews, survey and focus group was taken as I thought the more opinions I got the more it would come together to answer my question. I made sure after each step, I had time to analyse what I had found so that at the end before the final project was due, I had everything I needed.

My main problem with my research was my flexibility. In the lecture for week 8 flexibility was spoken about. When relying on things for information things can wrong and you have to take a few other turns. Depending on the one week in Dubbo to conduct my interview was risky. A few didn’t work out but I got eight, which I was happy with. This also led in to negotiation. Being professional I made sure the time was right for the other person but I had to change things around a few times before I got them all. I had my method set up so that I had everything done in time to submit. Some things fell into different times but it all come together in the end.

In my research insight was a key that developed different opinions on my question. People that study on campus, have a different opinion on studying to people that don’t study at all. I needed the interviews with the students that do study via distance to give their insight on what it really is to study via distance and not only clear up others opinions but to also clear up my own. I then had to make sure that what I collected clears up to audiences reading my research.

I have learned many things throughout conducting this research project. I learnt on ways to gather information and the risks that come with it. I learnt that to get information, you have to go out ad get it. I had to work around other people’s schedules and be available. In my future research practice I will make sure I am a little more organised. Conducting research takes time and I have to make sure I have a plan for getting the information and then analysing it all in organised steps. My information was conducted all over the place and I got confused when looking at different aspects of things. I think interviews are a great way of discovering information. Speaking one on one with someone really gives you another aspect of things and can help to get better information out of someone.

This project was a great learning experience and I hope to only get better as I try again. I learnt aspects that I would never of thought of while conducting research.

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