This blog post is Part 1 of 2 for the LRNT522: Introduction to Research course that required the class to disseminate an online collaboration session. George Veletsianos held a Q&A on the topic of Research and focused on two questions that he deemed were critical to academic research; What steps should be taken to get the process rolling? and What were his motivations to do a certain study? Lets take a look at each of these a little closer:
Q#1: What steps should be taken to get the process rolling?
Veletsianos commented that most research comes from letting ideas percolate for a while and are not generally concepts that come right off the top of your head. Perhaps there has been something you’ve been thinking about for a while or have written down somewhere along the line. They are the seeds of an idea or potential future project.
From there, research questions are formulated regarding that idea. These questions can be as simple as asking how are people feeling about X? or how could Variable A create a different result than when Variable B is used? It’s the stage of determining where the research could take you.
Finally, Veletsianos suggests that all beginnings start at the background. By delving into past data or work, you can then gauge what has been done before and where you may want to branch off with your research idea.
Q#2: What were his motivations to do certain studies?
Veletsianos offered that most of his studies stem from a personal interest in that specific topic. One example was workplace harassment and how women in the tech sector are still having to deal with the issue of harassment. Veletsianos referenced the recent letter regarding gender bias that an employee of Google wrote.
Since Veletsianos has an interest in utilizing social media and being involved in online environments, another project of his centered around the online participation of faculty. Veletsianos monitored faculty usage over 5-6 years and found that online participation did not change much over that period. There was not enough empirical data collected during this time to build a large project so further study would be required.