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Diary of a Research Assistant: Week 4

Upon entering this week’s meeting, the first thing Professor brought up to me was that she had a big realization about Dedoose, the original analysis software we planned to use for our research. She realized it was not going to work because it took her nearly 10 minutes to upload one piece of data, and we have hundreds. If we stuck with Dedoose, we would not only be seriously frustrated, but our research would be put back several weeks.

It was evident Dedoose was not a realistic option, and so we began exploring others, and we decided HyperResearch seemed like our best option, especially considering Professor had some experience with it since she used it for her dissertation several years ago.We were able to use her old log in code to HyperResearch which saved us about $500, which I like to think of it as a nod from the research gods in return for our wasted time on Dedoose. Our next set of goals included getting acquainted (or reacquainted) with HyperResearch, continuing to clean our last two, lengthy interviews, and establishing “code names” for all the teachers and other participants in the interview, as well as taking out any sensitive or personal information to protect the privacy of the school and the staff.

I took on cleaning the first part of one of the last interviews, and while my setup for cleaning wasn’t nearly as cozy as before (I was still having computer troubles, so I was forced to work in the library rather than the comfort of my own room), I still did enjoy the process, and found what they were talking about very interesting. The principal led them in a discussion of their journey to implementing Universal Design for Learning schoolwide, and they were able to identify two pivotal moments in this timeline. One of these was switching their perspective on UDL from a “special ed issue” to something that concerned all students in the general ed classroom, and the other was making their school fully inclusive, where special education students receive their respective services within the class, and are never separated from their peers. I also noticed a common theme in the interview that could lend itself to a possible discovery, which got me really excited, as it made me feel like I was really contributing to the research and finding my place in this process.

 

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