7th Biennial ACSPRI Social Science Methodology Conference

Shankar Sankaran

Professor Organizational Project Management, School of the Built Environment, University of Technology Sydney


Collaborative Research Using Virtual Tools During Covid-19: A Case Study using Zoom

Covid-19 is posing some difficult challenges to carry out research under condition of social isolation. However, it is also providing opportunities to develop innovative ways in which research can be continued virtually. Since the spread of Covid-19 several hurdles are being faced by researchers including inability to conduct face-to-face interviews and focus groups as well as lack of cross-checking their coding of interviews from qualitative data. The authors of this paper have been forced to teach virtually due to Covid-19. This gave them an opportunity to experiment with virtual tools, such as a collaborative whiteboard, to carry out group work with students in their classes over zoom. Based on this experience from their teaching they discussed whether they can use these virtual tools to analyse data from interviews and artefacts they had collected pre-Covid19 for their research projects as the process has stalled.

The research question they raised to address was:

How do researchers collaborate and make sense of data by using suitable tools when socially isolated during a pandemic?

They plan to carry out a pilot study in Sydney working virtually to improve their capability to use collaborative tools to conduct research. Using their experiences with the pilot study they plan to engage with international researchers who are also part of their research teams. At the ACSPRI conference the authors want to present a case study reporting on the pilot study and open it up to exchange other experiences. It is hoped that case study will help other researchers who are also facing hurdles to continue to work collaboratively while social isolation measures are in place due to Covid-19