Two weeks into the course I thought it would be a good time to review the process so far and verify I am up to date with the plan.
The first two weeks of the course are focussed on understanding what Qualitative research is and how output of Qualitative research studies looks like. This is mainly in the form of large ‘essays’ describing the performed research and the findings, based on observation of behaviour of pre-identified groups.
Now the initial part has been finished, the more detailed approach of how research is performed will begin.
First, we will have a quick play around in SPSS, although this will not come back until later in the course. After this the focus will be on developing a research idea – how to define a problem and planning. This will lead up to the first essay (TMA) that will have to be written by the beginning of January.
One of the minor disadvantages with the course I already discovered is that the focus is mainly on Qualitative research and that again focussed on the Social studies. There are other areas of Qualitative research as well as Quantitative research that don’t get explored in the course / books.
Also I found that similar to previous OU studies the ‘real’ world application is missing. In other words there is no mention of companies / organisations which perform either Qualitative and / or Quantitative research, nor mention of who commissions this kind of research or how it is used.