It Doesn't Rain it Pours—Reflections on Fieldwork in The Academic Year 2019/20

Stephen Holmes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The crucial component to any research being successful is fieldwork and gaining access to research participants; which in the academic year 2019-2020 in England became a challenging endeavour, with regards, a) industrial action across the higher education sector, in December 2019 and again in February 2020; b) regional rail network industrial strike action across the year, and c) the pandemic (Coronavirus). This perfect storm restricted and challenged qualitative data collection for a study on 'Teaching Innovation in 21st century UK Higher Education'. Writing from a postgraduate researcher position and perspective who was caught in university halls of residence; this paper reflects a meaningful mental activity and an approach to telling stories. Through my reflections, three themes of experience are significant. 1) Connection and access to participants, Implications of mass media reporting; workloads and screen time. 2) The use of visual method selection is difficult to achieve over a series of digital platforms regarding network failures, functionality, visual descriptions, and feelings of incompetence in understanding the impaired spoken drawing, and 3) the emotional toll on the researcher.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Trends in Qualitative Research
EditorsElizabeth M Pope, Catarina Brandão, Cedric G Sanders, Nuria Fabrellas
Place of PublicationPortugal
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)978-989-54759-7-1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2021

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