This week’s task proved to be the toughest one yet. In fact, I’m afraid I didn’t even begin what was originally scheduled for this week. However, I didn’t do nothing!
The Research Matrix has proven to be more time consuming than I originally thought. Last week, I had one source entered into my Matrix, and at the end of this week I have six. I was aiming for twenty; five on one subtopic and one on the other. So, what happened? Firstly, I am finding it hard to find suitable texts. I am trying to scan through texts to see is there relevant information to my research questions, or even the subtopic. If the abstract doesn’t wholly convince me, I use Cmd F to look for some of my keywords. I download several pdfs at a time using this method. When I have a few promising papers, I begin looking a bit more thoroughly at them to enter some information into the Matrix. I believe this is where my time is getting lost.
|First look at Keanu Reeves in The Matrix 4|
Most of my attention goes on the Abstract, Introduction and Conclusion sections of the paper. This is where I can get a general idea of the purpose of the paper, and the results of the research done. This can frequently be obscure or vague – from what I can gather. Some textbooks are just about Game Design. “What’s the point of it?” To teach game design? I find myself having to look harder at what is being said to try and narrow things down and not have answers that are too broad and unhelpful. Things like Primary Sources aren’t always clear, and even things like Strengths and Weaknesses can sometimes be unclear – at least to me. At the same time, I am trying to digest the information enough to be able to paraphrase it in my own words into the Matrix. This can take a few attempts, as the reading can be quite difficult. I have a decent reading level, but this reminds me of trying to read The Lord of the Rings as a child. My brain is trying it’s best, but I often find myself pages deep with no idea what I just read.
So the researching, the refining, the reading and the writing are all taking much longer than they should. This may be because this is unfamiliar territory, or because I am dwelling too long on perusing the sources I find. But if I don’t spend as long on them, then I will have no information to put in my Matrix.
The task that was due for this week was to become familiar with the writing stage of the paper. This included conducting a thematic analysis of the resources I had already collected. The method I read up on followed a six step process to establish a theme based on qualitative data collected. Two distinctive ways to approach thematic analysis are inductive and deductive. The inductive approach is where the research determines the themes, whereas a deductive approach applies desired themes to the data expecting to find reflective answers. There’s also a distinction between semantic and latent approaches: A semantic approach analyses the content within the data, whereas a latent approach analyses the subtext and implied findings from the data. The six steps in thematic analysis include becoming familiar with the research papers, sorting and organising them, finding the similarities between them and any gaps in the research and discovering a theme that binds all of the findings. Then the thematic analysis is ready to be written.
I didn’t quite get there this week, but having read up on the process, I believe that I will be able to manage to once I have sufficient resources. While I spent the allotted amount of hours on the tasks for this week, it didn’t quite work out. Next week I will have to allow extra time to catch up to get back on track.