While reading for my lit review (alone on a Friday night, eating a family size bag of m and ms – this is what my life has become) I came across a very interesting statement in an article entitled Educating Public Relations Students to Enter the Blogosphere by Shearlean Duke. A study using the Delphi method of two or more rounds of questionaires sent to a panel of experts in order to reach a consensus on a topic, came to a conclusion that although it is important that public relations students learn to blog, they should not be forced to
“because forced content skews the transparency of the blogosphere”.
Maybe someone should mention this to RMIT?
Aside from this point, the article got me looking into the Delphi method. The general idea is that a questionaire is formed, sent out to 15 or so ‘experts’ (left to my discretion) with open-ended questions based around themes. From there, the answers of Q1 are collated and a new questionaire (Q2), containing previous responses of all participants and a summary is sent back to the panel for them to further comment in light of their colleagues comments. This can be done a third time as neccessary, with the idea being to lead to a general consensus on the query. The method is based on the idea that experts in the field of research hold the best answers.
This method seems to fit my project perfectly, at least I think so. So instead of regular surveys, I will create a ‘master questionaire’, and follow up on it although I will probably only have time for two rounds. This method will also help my ethics approval no end… I HOPE!