Well, guys, I am officially here to report to you that I have made it! Results are in, their analysis was done and, the Final Report…(you guessed it!) has been written. So, before I give myself a high five up high, all I (and my subject’s rubric) believe there is left to do is one thing; To quickly assess the extent of my report’s success.
Now, as I explained in past posts (here and here) health and media’s effect on health are area’s of intense interest to me. So, in each stage of my research I made the conscious effort to consistently remind myself that I was not just accountable to others for my quality of work, but myself in what I was producing. It was this way, I believed I could reflect on my report at its end and truly be confident that I conducted it best I could.
Now, Harvey (2017) does not believe that there is a clear definition or way to be reflexive. Nevertheless, Smith and Schuan (2001) have stressed that reflective practice, whatever it may be, is essential in maintaining a sense of professionalism in self-learning. I believe both to be true.
While it was important for me to meet the needs of my participants and any other readers by properly collecting, analysing and conveying my research findings, by reinforcing my own desire to communicate the most accurate answer this helped me maintain my motivation to ensure I best removed myself from every aspect of how I conducted my research. To me, this meant, trying to keep my questions, background research and analyses of the data as objective as I could to avoid the risk of confirmation bias.
I knew I believed media representations of a healthy diet were confusing and discouraged people from being able to understand the perfect diet. So, admittedly, every time I read secondary sources, or my own primary research which I believed confirmed this belief, I took extra measure to scrutinise why I saw it that way to ensure my reading was a product of objectivity and independence. I needed to critically judge myself to represent my participants accurately.
Retrospectively, it was only in this constant re-analysis that I was able to come to a finding that Millennial’s perceptions are different from my own – that majority believe they are not only personally healthy but are unconfused as to the methods they should employ to obtain/maintain this optimal health. While surprised, I was proud of this result as I was not only able to retrieve an answer I did not expect but one I believe I was only able to establish with my commitment to honest, fair and independent research practices (Journalist guidelines)
This is not to say using my data to come to deliver small and modest insights was easy. The Ethical Guidance of tutorial and subject lecturers was helpful, however, when it came to analysing my abundance of data to come to my conclusions, there were definite tensions between my desire to be objective and accurate and the desire I had to answer my question definitively on behalf of all Millennials.
As my Interview sample only consisted of 5 people, I was aware my research bore the risks and dangers of a small sample size. According to ‘Unite for Site’ – an organisation which often conducts research papers, this includes the chance that samples too small are not capable of producing useful results. However, as a further 25 survey participants supported the claims I was able to make on behalf of my Interview findings, I believe this reduced this challenge. This is because collectively, the quality of my sample size was improved when both of methods data and participants collaborated.
However, employing two methods to make my understanding and findings more comprehensive, while well-intended, also placed a limitation on my study. As both methods provided qualitative answers, I also had to decide which available facts should be focused on or dismissed to correctly communicate fair (not distorted) findings to readers. This also meant that in writing my findings I had to explain in a clear way, how my findings were reached without misleading or confusing readers by overemphasising or neglecting certain available facts.
Overall. I believe my research project was successful. Though it was difficult, through my persistence to remove myself from my primary research and achieve results that could inform society about a segment of society that had not yet been analysed in my topic area (Refer to Task 2) , I believe I was able to arrive at modest insights that are product of ethical practice.In the future I will continue to make conscious effort to adopt these ethical practices so to ensure whichever research I conduct, it is as accurate and fairly represented as I can achieve.
Harvey, M. (2017). Towards a theory of ecology of reflection. Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, [online] 13(2), pp.1-22. Available at: http://ro.uow.edu.au/jutlp/vol13/iss2/2/ [Accessed 30 May 2017].
MEAA Journalism Code of Ethics. (2017). 1st ed. [ebook] The Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, p.1. Available at: http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/0921_meaaethics.pdf [Accessed 30 May 2017].
Price, James H. and Judy Murnan. “Research Limitations and the Necessity of Reporting Them.” American Journal of Health Education 35 (2004): 66-67 in,.usc.edu. (2017). Research Guides: Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper: Limitations of the Study. [online] Available at: http://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/limitations [Accessed 30 May 2017].
Smith, M. K. (2001, 2011). ‘Donald Schön: learning, reflection and change’, the encyclopedia of informal education. [www.infed.org/thinkers/et-schon.htm. [Accessed 30 May 2017].
Uniteforsight.org. (2017). The Importance of Quality Sample Size. [online] Available at: http://www.uniteforsight.org/global-health-university/importance-of-quality-sample-size [Accessed 30 May 2017].
Party Streamers Stock Footage Video | Shutterstock”. Shutterstock.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 4 June 2017.