Conducting Social Media Research Using an Online Forum: Researching Parent’s Perspectives on Online Schooling During the COVID-19 Pandemic


A pilot research study was conducted on home-based learning in Singapore at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic when all schools had to switch to the online mode of study. An online ethnographic approach was adopted to gather data on parents’ perspectives on home-based learning. Online content data were extracted from parents’ online discussion forum in real time to investigate the issues they faced, the support they needed, and the perceived merits of home-based learning (if any). Social media research methodology, alongside content analysis, was employed for this study. This case study will describe why we adopted the online forum for our social media study, how we chose the online forum, and how we retrieved postings for content analysis. We will also discuss the tools used, practical challenges encountered, along with ethical considerations taken for this study.

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