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November 22, 2005

The unattractiveness of essay writing

Writing about web page http://library.warwick.ac.uk

At the moment I'm meant to be 'comparing and contrasting a single and multi-strategy research study'. We were allowed to choose which studies to compare, so I did, and that's where my problems started…

I had a bit of a panic this morning as I [a Computer Scientist at heart] didn't know where to find a single-strategy research study without reading a lots of studies just in case it was single strategy. I'm guessing Sociologists know loads of case studies off the top of their heads, but I didn't so panicked…then prayed [In reflection should have prayed first, but was too busy panicking…] anyhow…

Decided to make use of the E-resources on the Library website, I used Blackwells no academic reason for this just that two of my friends have worked for them I searched for 'online' and 'education' and came up with over 1000 papers. I chose a random one, entitled 'Online technology in rural health: Supporting students to overcome the tyranny of distance' amazingly it was a single study research project.

As I had to compare and contrast two studies I thought I'd find another study, similar but multi-strategy – I thought I did, called 'Interactions in cyberspace: an online focus group' – but having read the study it's not so I need to find another one.

3 hours gone…

Problem is that the 2nd case study I looked at was so interesting that I didn't really want to write an essay on it I actually wanted to read it…as it related to my last post about joining online communities.

Here's a few snippets,

In traditional focus groups, Nyamathi and Shuler (1990, p.1285) suggested that a degree of 'social posturing' occurs. That is, particiants may be forced to be compliant with group opinion…it was not a problem in this study

also,

Nyamathi and Shuler (1990) beleived that the role of the 'moderator' in a focus group is to control discussion. With this study, participants made it very clear when a member was dominating and 'control' came from within the group. The group quickly censored any insensitive comments.'

Guess that tallies with the use of Blogs and their comments here…

If anyone wants to read the full article, it is available via ATHENS from a journal called: 'Methodological Issues in Nursing Research' –
'Kenny, A K, 2005, Interaction in Cyberspace: An Online Focus Group, Blackwells Publishing Ltd'

as you can see I can't quite remember how to do journal references off the top of my head yet!


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