Summary of the Research Project
The purpose of the study is to determine the benefits and risks of the transition to distance learning for university students, which is due to the introduction of quarantine measures in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The study puts forward the following hypotheses. First, the effectiveness of the transition to distance learning depends on the professional and personal qualities of the teacher, his motivation, and their ability to adapt the usual pedagogical methods to the new conditions of distance learning. Secondly, the use of modern information and communication technologies and the formation of stable feedback with students reduce the negative consequences of the transition to distance learning. The key research method is a questionnaire survey of senior students of full-time and part-time forms of education. The choice of an educational organization will be determined by the internal principles of improving the transition to distance learning and its status.
The Sample of Participants
The sample of participants will involve senior students of full-time and part-time forms of education from a chosen university. It is expected to recruit students in the 3rd year – and higher – of the educational process. Their number will be between 30 and 50, depending on the extent of the willingness of these students to participate. Their age should be between 20 and 25 years. There will be no specific requirements for gender.
The Way of Recruiting the Participants
After an educational institution is chosen, a number of random departments will be contacted via e-mail describing the research. The representatives of these departments will be asked to deliver the idea of the study and request some students to give their contacts to the researcher. When the number of potential participants is between 30 and 50, the details of the research will be sent to them via e-mail, which will reveal the process of surveying and other vital information.
The Way of Obtaining Informed Consent from Participants
Within the scope of this research, obtaining consent entails describing the study and measuring respondent understanding utilizing a consent document as a reference for the verbal nature of the study, which will be a written participant information sheet. The latter will address the crucial aspects that will address all the concerns of the ones taking part in the survey.
The Way of Maintaining Data Protection
The survey will involve students from a particular educational establishment. Hence, aside from their personal information, such as name or age, the department and university at which they are studying will be known as well. It will be important to protect the data appropriately – the responses will be anonymized, personal data will not be revealed to anyone, and all the survey answers will be stored on one researcher’s device (without uploading any primary materials to the clouds).
The Way of Reviewing Opportunities for Participants
Prior to the publication of the research, the participants will be provided with the opportunity to get acquainted with the final draft of the study. The file that they will get will be coded so that no material can be copied and used without the permission of the author. All the participants should express their agreement with the way their responses were used. If any of them will show interest in taking part in the following research on the topic, these persons will be contacted individually.
Data Collection and Analysis Methods
The primary method that will be used for data collection is a survey that contains only open-ended questions regarding the topic. Open-ended questions allow individuals to express their thoughts on any subject. Given that there are no predetermined answers, qualitative data can provide a great volume of relevant information to researchers.
In the given research design, thematic analysis is done to look for themes or structures of meaning in the material. This strategy can stress both the information set’s arrangement and detailed description, as well as the meaning’s comprehensive theoretical analysis. It goes beyond collecting sentences or words in the survey and investigates the information’s overt and covert interpretations. The basic method for producing themes is coding, which involves selecting objects of analytic relevance in the information and labeling them with a coding identifier. Coding is a logical procedure of attributing data to pre-identified topics that follow themes’ development in a number of thematic analysis methodologies.
The participants may face reputational risk. Given that they will be assessing the current educational approach of the establishment in which they are enrolled, their evaluation may be negative, revealing several flaws in this vein. This risk will be controlled by ensuring the greatest extent of data protection and anonymity.
Other Ethical Considerations
Risks of the Researcher
I may face complaints from the participants regarding the extent to which their personal data is anonymized and secured. The first step to control this risk is to provide the participants with an informed contest sheet, providing the essential information about the study and the related process. The second step will be ensuring that the responses are stored on only one device of mine. The third step will be to take all the necessary measures to assure anonymity prior to and after the publication.
The second risk that I can face is the possible spoiling of the educational institution’s reputation. Not all the responses will evaluate the educational process positively. In order to aver this risk, the university will not be revealed as well.
Benefits That the Research Participants May Gain from Participation
The participants will get the opportunity to critically reflect upon the current educational process of their university, as well as give some recommendations that they can deliver afterward to the institution’s management. Moreover, they will be offered to take part in the following research regarding the issue.
The Way of Data Collection
All the data will be collected and stored on the personal computer of the researcher in digital format.