So while Megan, Hanna, and Dermot dealt with the huge task of narrowing down and editing our literature review, Sam and I began the process of finding information for our Methodology section. Bear with me, this may get a little dry.
We began by searching for literature that was to do with Delphi studies, a method suggested by our supervisor. A Delphi study is usually a study comprising of experts in a particular field being asked to reach a consensus over four (or sometimes five) rounds of anonymous questionnaires. From this initial search we then focused on researching modified Delphi studies. A modified Delphi study is, essentially, any delphi study that does not fit the normal routine of four rounds of questionnaires with a small amount of feedback. We decided that, due to time constraints and funding, we would proceed with a two round study that involved an interview and a subsequent questionnaire. Potential participants were identified through the OpenDOAR Repository Registry and emailed a few days ago. Now we play the waiting game…
Following on from this initial investigation into the literature, Sam and I began annotating and compiling a list of references that will be bundled together (á la Lit Review) to form the Methodology portion of our final report. We have a list of 25 sources and have pulled the relevant quotes and information so that, when it comes to writing the darn thing, it won’t take us very long.
We then came together as a team and developed a list of relevant questions that we will be posing to the experts but I imagine there is going to be a whole other blog post alllll about our (modified) Delphi study.
We will also be conducting a “user survey” of the designated community (so, our classmates) in order to assess the needs of our intended audience. This survey is going to be hosted on SurveyMonkey and we’ll probably have a small post about that as well. I can’t promise you much but there will be screenshots (I can’t actually promise you that…).
Although this area of research can seem a little boring and off-putting, it is a hugely important aspect of any research project. There is, inevitably, a lot of literature; the information we find is not always what we are after and it is a slow process. But, to borrow another Shakespearian quote, we are “stepped in so far that, should [we] wade no more, returning were as tedious as go o’er.”
So for now we are keepin’ on and doing the best we can. As the saying goes: slow and steady wins the race!