Social Research Tools

I had the honor to be invited to deliver another lecture at to the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communication of The University of Kansas. Many thanks to Dr Mugur Geana for inviting me.

Picture 3This time however was to address a group of master’s students enrolled in a research methods class. My task was to show some applications and tools freely available online that could be potentially used in an academic research setting. I concentrated on Google, symptoms Twitter and Facebook. After giving a short review of each tool or application, more about I gave an example from my own experience of using them for academic research purposes and highlighted the advantages and disadvantages of using them.

I think it is highly important that current students, especially those in communication schools, are at least made aware of these platforms. I also believe that they should be encouraged to experiment with social media. While academic journals might maintain their reluctancy to publish papers using experimental and exploratory tools and methods, students should nonetheless aim to familiarize themselves with them as a way to preparing themselves for their future careers. Furthermore, with pressures on both academia and professional environments to become more profitable or reduce spending, being aware of the tools and applications that can enhance work, increase efficiency or provide data in a quick and easy manner people aware of these free options could be in a position of advantage. Finally, research and academia alike are, in my opinion, about exploration and experimentation so if they are not going to use these tool, who will?

The lecture took place online and was delivered via Skype. Unfortunately TokBox didn’t perform as expected so students were given handouts of my presentation to consult and make notes on while my powerpoint and I were being projected on a bigger screen.

The presentation is below:

[slideshare id=2477004&doc=kuonlineresearchtools-091111125431-phpapp02]

 

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Blog Comments

Excellent presentation today – thank you very much Ana for a very well organized and comprehensive lecture on new research tools available for online social networks. Bringing a lecturer from Scotland live in a classroom in the Midwest USA was a complex task only a decade ago (it involved airplanes, hotels and a lot of travel); this time it took a some planning, Skype and a good Internet connection. This graduate course focuses on traditional research methods, so your presentation was a much needed and interesting addition to the syllabus. Thank you, and I hope we’ll repeat this experience next semester.

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