Changing Rooms: Navigating the Ethical and Technical Challenges of Exploring Workspaces Online

Abstract

This case study will reflect on the ethical and technical challenges of designing and conducting online qualitative research. Utilizing photoelicitation and a written survey, our research team investigated the new or adjusted workspaces that educators and students used during the social restrictions and campus closures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. As a new team conducting online and remote research for the first time, we identified a number of challenges involved in adapting qualitative and creative research to a fully online format. This case study will focus on exploring these challenges and the bespoke approach we adopted, which permitted flexible, anonymous collection of multiple forms of data via a single submission point. We reflect on our team’s learning as we collaboratively embarked on an “emergency remote research” project as a new team, and we make recommendations for the adoption of a customized approach.

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