Contingency plans - research

posted
27-May-16, 19:18
edited about 3 minutes later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 years ago
Hi all

I wondered if you could offer an example of where you got results you weren't expecting and so changed your research plans, or where you anticipated some unexpected (!) results and had a nice plan in place about what to do next. Sorry for the vagueness of this question. I am writing my first year continuation report, and it has a section for contingency plans. I am struggling to think outside the box, so any advice appreciated (will speak to sups later too).

Thanks!
posted
27-May-16, 21:20
edited about 3 seconds later
Avatar for chickpea
posted about 3 years ago
I'm not sure if these are strictly contingency plans or just times when I had to think on the spot, but I'll tell you them in case they are any use! I was using certain questionnaires with a group of people and I noticed that the participants kept telling me about other things that were related to my overall topic but not captured by any of the questionnaires, so I gathered a list of those other items and made up a new questionnaire. I also responded to a mixture of slow and difficult recruitment/participants wanting to talk about a lot of stuff by taking my work in a more qualitative direction, realising I could get richer data from fewer people and work with the participant group that way.
posted
27-May-16, 22:55
edited about 27 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 years ago
As I was reading that, a lightbulb appeared above my head and I thought: case study! If my group comparisons aren't telling me what I thought they would, I could look more in depth at some of the video data I have collected. Thank you for sharing!

I'm sort of brainstorming now, so if anyone else has an experience to share, please do!
posted
31-May-16, 16:43
Avatar for Zutterfly
posted about 3 years ago
Have you recruited yet Tudor_Queen? Recruitment was one of the most difficult parts of my PhD. This meant that one group of participants took part in my study (longitudinal) for 5 months longer than another group, as I could only get access to the other group at a specific time of year. My initial plan was to have them all participating the same length of time, but I had to amend this to establish a more diverse sample through negotiation with one of the field work sites. It all was fine in the end doing it this way, but it was not my initial plan so I had to adopt a more flexible time frame quickly.

I also changed my approach shortly after data collection commenced where I moved to a more participatory approach to reassure my (young) participants that they were capable of contributing to the research (some had concerns about saying or writing the 'wrong thing') So, I let them interview me on the same topic.
posted
02-Jun-16, 22:33
edited about 18 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 years ago
Thanks Zutterfly. I have just written a section on recruitment! Thankfully my participants are only seen once, not longitudinally. But I need a fairly large sample from a hard to reach group - so it is indeed a challenge.

The participatory approach sounds very good - did that improve uptake in your study? (Hard to judge I suppose since you changed to it fairly early in?)
posted
03-Jun-16, 09:20
edited about 4 seconds later
Avatar for Zutterfly
posted about 3 years ago
I had already recruited when I switched to a participatory approach, but I felt it helped minimise attrition. Prior to that, I had a few participants withdraw and cited reasons such as concerns over saying or writing the wrong thing and feeling as though they could not commit long term. When I implemented it, no more withdrew. In an evaluation of the research, many of them expressed that my participation was reassuring for them.
posted
04-Jun-16, 14:54
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 years ago
I see. Makes sense. : )

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