The Benefit of Generous Research Participants

I have the fortunate problem to have more potential research participants than I can use. This is in many ways a great problem to have, as some colleagues face just the opposite. I credit this to a somewhat untapped area of study, one that invites personal reflection and growth, where I supposed that people may have a passion and an interest that may lead to some interesting directions.

All this remains to be seen as I hope to begin the interviews next week (as this research paper is due in only five more weeks). My challenge now is to try to figure out what criteria to use to determine how to narrow down such a generous bunch.

I think I want an international representative sample (and being a New Yorker studying in the UK, this does make some sense), with people from different countries and academic affiliations). I hope to have some men and women. I do want the participants to be engaged (current or previously) in formal academic study, using social media (a blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) to express (or process) their learning along the way.

I really hope that some of the learning that is shared via social media is of the sort of paradigmatic shifts, significant critical examination, or of a transformational nature — though all of this will be explored in the interview.

It may be a little ironic that I am writing this while sitting in a theatre awaiting Avatar, a tale about identity and personal learning, to begin. I hope to reach out to some people, who already contacted me, directly beginning tomorrow.

I feel good about the direction this is headed, and think there may be some interesting findings ahead.