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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“It could be that the software you want children to evaluate isn’t available in school because of the school’s child protection firewalls – so there are all kinds of practical issues there.”
Judy Robertson, Heriot Watt University