Qualitative Research and the Internet

The presentation on technology made some interesting comments about how the rooms we are using in the conference are a bit barren of technology. Wonderful wifi access throughout the campus, but a strange lack of projectors for computers. Oh good, the overhead projector is almost warmed up.

Nice to have some interaction here at the beginning of the session. Interesting that one of the people in the session is from the CUNY Graduate school.

The first person is speaking about patient populations accessing their own healthcare information is available online.

Interesting how Canada is now doing a lot of work with online health counseling. This seems to have to happen since Canadians are so geographically disperse.

The issue about ethical considerations and consent are still surfacing with online research. There is not a standard or clear consensus yet about this. This supports what we learned and studied in my Lancaster program, where we spent some time with Kanuka and Anderson’s Ethical Issues in Qualitative E-Learning Research.

The person who is presenting this now asked the attendees what their thoughts are about what sorts of questions may or should be asked for the online patient population for online counseling.

Really interesting about this pushing the boundaries of healthcare. I know there are more and more needs and calls for research around this area, in part because of need and (at least in the US) for cost savings. Really interesting thinking about online patient care needs.

Now another presentation, this one called “Shopping for Humans: Love, Sex, and friendship on the Internet and Elsewhere.”

There was an interesting session on World Cafe-sort communication. We met in pairs, and initially I was in a triad. We are now in a larger group, and were just given paper and crayons. Interesting how we are now discussing issues in and around community. One person is speaking about diversity and related challenges in the Ivory Tower. Another person is focused around community in a larger context, the American Leadership Forum. Goodness, what should I say or share? I ended up talking about my own preference for online communities, and allowing them to develop organically rather than intentionally. There was also some discussion about political communities, especially with a discussant in our group from Columbia. People then discussed Second Life and Adobe Connect as other options for online community.

There is now a really interesting presentation on the use of a blog with a classroom teacher, on using a blog with a series of math classes. There is a data analysis done with this, as a grounded analysis. I am wondering how they addressed the ethical issues and consent (for the research part) and how this works with privacy (for minors and their names online with what they do or do not know). I will have to ask about these. Interesting work with student blog summaries of mathematical concepts in textual form. There is even an interesting discussion about breaking down barriers of accessing information and communication between classes. The math teacher approves each comment to the blog with the student responses listed. The researcher co-presenter works with mathematical communication.

All the students and parents signed consents on this, and the blog is open to the public, but the links are not readily accessible. This presents a challenge (IMHO) about privacy, equality of  service, research, and a need to use current technology to meet learning needs.