Thursday, January 13, 2005

Video-recording equipment = pain in my butt

This week has defintley been interesting. It was supposed to be my training week for my coders in my thesis. How many coders have I trained? Zip. Though I am meeting witih two today. Though, I'm not sure if I'm going to actually train them. Why?

At the beginning of my thesis I said I was going to use videorecording equipment to tape areas of a classroom. First problem was I couldn't see all of one area which means I will be missing data. Second, the tape I made had all audio on one area and all video on the other. Then while trying to tape again on a different day the monitor kept shutting off while I was taping. I don't know if that affected what I was taping or not, I didn't even bother to look. My advisor came up with the idea of getting a small camcorder and just taping the things I need myself in the classroom. That means standing there for an hour every day taping these areas. I'm not sure I want to do this. So basically I am very frustrated with my thesis. Partly because all the technology isn't working and partly because I feel like I made it suck because I didn't prepare enough.

So my idea has been to scrap all the technology and just go back to the basics. Pure observational research. The problem there is that I lose being able to record the duration. I also loose most of my coders, because it means they have to be there in the morning and they all have wacky schedules. Though two of them wouldn't have been able to do much anyways. I just wish I could sit down and do it all myself, but I know I can't because inter-rater reliability. I also have to nail down exactly how I am going to do do the observational research. I can tell my advisor is a bit leary about this. I'm not sure if she is just leary or kinda annoyed that I gave up in the middle of doing it this way. But at this point it would be easier for me. Yes, I lose the duration, yes its harder to find coders, but doing it this way means I can sit in the booth, code the data, and then have it. I won't have to sit through ten hours of videotape. I won't have to figure out when my coders schedules are and schedule coding meetings around them. I will be able to see all of one area that I couldn't before. I just want to do the dumb thesis. An because I am figuring these things out now, almost at the end of my training week and I don't have everything ironed out I'm getting a bit nervous. I want to just start the thesis on tuesday and get it done. Yet, if this keeps up I'm going to be behind schedule in data collection. I just need a good coder or two and to get approval from my advisor. I wish I could tell if she was just annoyed at the situation or what. I think she wanted me to stick with the video-taping thing, but Ive just had enough. *throws up hands in the air* So I guess we will see what happens.

1 comment:

Jeff the Baptist said...

I hate to agree with her, but if a handicam is an option then that might be the way to go. I realize its a bigger pain, but good data and keeping your advisor happy is important.