What are my options?

There are many different ways that digital media can be used as methods for gathering research data. For example:

  • Online surveys using tools such as SurveyMonkey and Wufoo.
  • Online ethnography in which data is gathered by researchers spending time in pre-existing online spaces.
  • Observational methods such as the use of video in psychological and ethnographic studies.
  • Interviews and focus groups in which digital media are used as a focus for discussion, and/or to record interactions or outputs (text, photos, audio, video).
  • Mobile methods using portable devices and GPS to gather data as people move around particular places, sites or landscapes.
  • Participatory methods in which participants take photographs, make blog posts, videos, sound diaries, animations and other kinds of media.
  • Digital story telling in which participants use audio and visual media to share their ideas, experiences and life stories.
  • Secondary analysis of the vast quantities of digital data that already exist.

Annotated bibliography: using digital media

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Quotes

“The approach of putting something up on a social media site and expecting the work to be done on dissemination is not realistic. The attention that we’ve always given to how we disseminate our findings should be given as well to using the online world.”
Susan Elsley, University of Edinburgh