This semester I undertook a class as part of my degree, Bachelor of Communication And Media, called ‘Understanding Research Practice’. A part of this subject was to conduct a research report over the course of the semester, including a research report, annotated bibliography, opinion piece and a reflection. Some of the work like my Pitch and Opinion Piece you can also find here on my blog. My topic, which had to relate to the students of BCM212 in some way or another, was Remote Work-Life Balance And The Effects On University Students. If you are unsure on what Work-Life Balance is I suggest this quick read of my Pitch.
At the start of this semester I was really unsure of what direction to go in, in fact I was behind in figuring out a topic on my own. This is where my classes really helped, with open discussions and live tweeting of ideas I was able to land on the idea of Work-Life Balance from my own feelings of finding things overwhelming, as well as from the help of my Tutor. However, my initial Pitch provides a few unethical aspects that once noticed lead me into a completely different direction. Instead of focusing on the feelings of students I reworked my project to highlight the impacts, such as traveling and time management.
This then led me into identifying risk factors that this research project might encounter, and discovering my own. For example, procrastination I knew was something possible for me and I was able to manage this with structuring a timetable.
I was originally stuck on if I wanted to interview students or put out a survey, but over time I curated a survey with some long answer responses to gain depth and insight as my research method. I shared it via my Twitter a few times over some weeks, but that wasn’t really gaining participants even with the #BCM212 hashtag. I found that the more I participated in other surveys and sharing my own in the replies asking if they wished to participate back was the real key to getting traction.
My opinion piece was not really a struggle to write, as after all the data and readings I found myself to be incredibly passionate about the outcome and even my own thoughts on the topic. In fact, besides this reflection I believe that was the easiest part of this whole project. My research report was incredibly overwhelming to write up though, just because of the sheer amount of data I had and the time I really put into structuring it as it is not really a format I am familiar with. That being said, by the time I had completed that element I was proud of it.
I have learnt many different things from this subject, like my own limits and working with them to create a finished product. I have learnt how to be more confident in engaging with students because I had to, and am really benefiting from that in other aspects of my University life. I have learnt how to research and collect data in an ethical way, even if I had a few setbacks before achieving that. In all, I am really thankful for the lessons learnt and the help received over the course of this project.