The project that I put together is one that I am proud of, even though there were parts that could’ve been better. Conducting interviews was outside of my comfort zone, however once I started it got easier as I went along. I feel that each of the steps I took to complete this project were good enough to get the work done, but I believe that there could have been improvements in every area to make the whole project even better.
One of the first things I did was to create a risk management plan which I think definitely helped me in getting started as I was worried about what could go wrong. One part of this risk management was considering the axiology of the project and how it was going to affect my research overall. Axiology is about deciding what is worth researching and what practices are ethical in order to gain this research (Wilson 2008). I took this into consideration when conducting my research, and made sure that the topic was something that could be of use in the future. I also made sure to follow a set of research guidelines to make sure the ethical side was covered.
Something that I didn’t consider in my risk matrix was me leaving things until the last minute, which affected my flexibility. While writing this reflection I came across this quotation by Haider (2014): “Leaving assignments or thesis papers to the last minute means that you are compromising the quality”. I feel that this is true of my project, as by leaving my interviews and report to the last minute I think it has weakened the depth and quality of the information that I have. In the future, I would make sure that I stick to my project plan and take leaving things to the last minute into account.
Another part of the project that needed consideration was my methodology. I had originally planned to do a survey, 10 interviews and a focus group, however as I was not as effective in managing my time as I thought I would be, I wasn’t able to do a focus group and only managed to get 9 interviews done. After each interview, I did make sure to have time to analyse the results I received which helped me in writing my final report. An issue I did encounter was that my survey received slightly fewer responses than I had hoped. The 22 responses I did get were enough to ensure that I could continue with my research, but I would’ve liked more responses so that it was more in-depth.
Throughout this project, I’ve learned a lot about myself as a learner and a researcher. I now know how much organisation it takes to conduct a research project, as other people have to be taken into consideration. The next time I take on research, I will need to make sure that my time is managed more effectively and that I am more organised in my approach.
The communication side of this project I think started well, but got harder to maintain as it went along. I started the projected by tweeting about my survey, encouraging people to take part and be involved in interviews, and mentioning the results that were coming in. However, I had planned on doing a couple of blog posts to update people on my progress, but I didn’t manage to get these done as they got lost in the disorganisation of the project and the timings that I had hoped for clashed with assignments for other subjects. For future projects, I will make sure that everything gets completed according to my communication plan so that I can keep on top of everything and ensure that the stakeholders in my project are kept up-to-date.
Overall, I am proud of the work that I have completed despite my issue with time management. While I’m not so happy that the quality of my work was affected, I am happy that I was able to identify the issues I encountered so that I can work on them for future assignments so that the next research project I undertake will hopefully be more successful. It also allowed me to recognise that analysing and reporting on my findings quickly and effectively was one of my stronger points, as that helped me in writing my final report and reflection. This research project on the whole was interesting and enjoyable to do, as I learned more about a topic I am very interested in and learned new skills that will enable me to further this research in the future.
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