At the beginning of the course, I had no idea where my research interests were and whether I could handle the role of researcher, even on a junior level. Although I conduct research for almost every major assignment, the task of developing my own research proposal was quite intimidating. However, proceeding incrementally and being able to discuss my research as it evolved has been very helpful – thank you, my fellow blog members for your comments, opinions, and advice!
My research question has not changed in substance since I submitted my SSHRC program of work. It still focuses on the association between Facebook use (of a specific nature to do with school) and student satisfaction with university life. My biggest problem was deciding in detail on the method. Finally, after considerable indecision, I settled on asking students to use a diary to track their Facebook use and a questionnaire to assess their satisfaction. Hopefully the diary will help avoid the problem of participants guesstimating the time they spend on Facebook.
I developed a theoretical framework to assist me. It has been very helpful in terms of clarifying my thoughts. Similar to the “bedraggled daisy” exercise, drawing a diagram of the framework really helps in seeing the connections between the variables under investigation. Because of this project, I have come to appreciate the difficulties in designing research proposals. Good luck to all, and thanks again!