Act in Haste, Repent at Leisure: Experiences in Refitting On-the-Ground Research for Online Spaces in the Midst of a Pandemic


This paper explores the experiences involved in adapting on-the ground research to fit the emerging work-related realities at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. During this time, citizens across the world were experiencing various restrictions, disruptions, and uncertainty. Like many academics, we found our research project interrupted, which forced us to “pivot” our work toward conducting online research. In this paper, we revisit how we adapted our research from a photo-based research project examining the built environments of universities to a project retrofitted to home and online environments. We discuss our processes and thinking during the stages of adaptation to show how our research survived a period of great flux, but also how it was partially undermined by needing to respond to such rapid change. This case study offers other researchers an opportunity to peer into the decision-making between two researchers grappling with the challenges of rethinking research for the new online reality. This case offers valuable lessons about the real practicalities, risks, and opportunities of rapidly adapting research to changing circumstances.

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