Collaborative research: pros and cons.

In Week 2 of BCM240, each of us had to conduct an interview about TV memories and blogged about the experience acquired from that conversation. For week 3, we had the chance to take a look at others’ blogs of the same topic and it was a great opportunity to look at the topic on different angles. In this post, I will explain my personal analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of this method.

First of all, the advantage of collaborative research is that I was able to reinforce my own understandings. After reading several posts from my peers, I realized that there were lots of similarities in our interviews. For example, according to Sophie‘s interviewee, in her time there were only two channels and the TV only broadcasted from 6am to midnight, which was exactly the same as what I got from my conversation as SBS and ABC were the only two TV stations available at the time. I also found people that shared the same thoughts with me about the topic such as Charlotte that I agree with her about the experience of people from previous generations maybe equivalent with that of young people with smart devices as they are all main recreational devices at their prime. Moreover, this method is a great way to approach different points of view. ‘Family gathering’ was a common theme in our posts but the way it was formed were different in various cases. My interviewee said that he simply felt that based on the fact that he used to watch cartoons with his brother but Claudia‘s interviewee might obtained that from the horror movies memories with his mother. This interesting point relates to the idea that research should based on not only quantitative data but also ethnographic study as learners can understand the importance of diversity in every aspect (Banerjee 2015). In this way, I feel more confident as I am going the right way but I  am also be able to reinforce or review the existing opinions to make them more comprehensive.

strength-in-numbers
Source: freshwallpapers.net

 

On the other hand, reading other blogs may also result in incomprehensive research. For example, when I came up with the fact that TV in old time only had two channels from Sophie‘s blog post, I might take it for granted that that was the only case (Ellison and Wu, 2008). Therefore, I might ignored that details in other blogs which can be different such as Charlotte‘s interviewee stated that although there were actually limited choices, the number of channels could reach seven. The interviewees are people who are only older than us so they could be grandparents, parents or siblings who vary greatly in ages. Therefore, difference in generation could result in such variations mentioned above. The same situation can happen when I considered TV was really special at the time due to my conversation and other posts that shared the same idea so I would not challenge that opinion. According to Charlotte, she was also surprised that TV was ‘a very normal and common part’ of her mom’s life as a child. As stated previously, generation difference or economy condition could be possible reasons for these difference. If I had just stuck with the existing idea, I would have skipped this interesting detail and the chance to research more deeply. Once again, the necessity of ethnography or anthropology emerges.

To conclude, collaborative research allows me to reinforce as well as to approach different points of views. However, it is possible that I would miss the opportunity to challenge my own opinion when coming up with similar ideas. Therefore, to utilize this method, it is essential to spend much effort and analyze other resources rationally. It also indicates that various approaches ranging from qualitative to ethnographic study should be collaborated for a better research process.

Reference:

Banerjee, R K 2015, Will collaborative learning benefit your students ? A teacher’s perspective, Brighthubeducation, viewed 12th August 2016, <http://www.brighthubeducation.com/teaching-methods-tips/70619-benefits-and-drawbacks-to-collaborative-learning/&gt;

Ellison and Wu, 2008, To blog or not to blog, viewed 12th August 2016, <http://blogteam423.blogspot.com.au/p/secondary.html&gt;

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