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Monday, 31 October 2011

The downward, outward and upward spiral

Two posts in a week -wow, I do have more time now! This is just a brief musing in relation to my Developing Researcher Competence. As we work through our Pilot Study we are required to make decisions about the actual design of the study - ultimately giving our opinions- why we did what we did, why we think what we think. Something hit me when I was thinking through this process.

For me, I can liken this design of a pilot study to a movable spiral. Continuously moving over the bigger picture of the design process and then moving the focus in or out, as the design question dictates. Two things came up that I need to reflect further on:

It is quite easy to be lost in the detail, but for a research project you may have to be...
One small decision can, and will change the whole scope of the final project

This links back to my ideas about making rash decisions and having to question everything - I believe that this is called researcher transparency and this is what we are looking at in the next step.

I quite like this movable spiral metaphor and I would be interested to see if anyone else had a metaphor for when they are conducting research.


  1. Hi Martin
    not sure if you read on the MA forum, but Susan, I think, wrote a nice tree, and / or river metaphor for interview design, which really helped me. Now I think of it, trying to focus my pilot study was very much like this spiral you describe, some sort of tornado! Anyhow, getting there with it all now.
    Recording the chaos is another challenge all together! I will try to put a note on my blog soon , it's been ages...

  2. Saw Susan's post and saw your response just now. It is an interesting metaphor for the interview, I agree:) Really looking forward to kicking on with it all again now. Hope all is well with you and will keep my eyes peeled for your next post:)