Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Research Journal: 5 questions, and another one.

Sitting in the first class, I began brainstorming as we discussed the assignment. I've been thinking about doing this project for a while. In order to come up with a better idea for what I wanted to do I asked myself the five big questions: Who, What, Where, When, and Why?

Who: NPDA debaters
What: Information/decision processes
When: Recent past/ contemporary
Were: United Sates
Why: Debaters model leaders(?)

After I asked my self those questions I asked my self why for each one.

Who: NPDA debate has a extemporaneous nature and time/evidence constraints that reward using materials found on the fly as much as adequately preparing for a debate.
What: Structural constraints, attitudes towards research, and extemporaneous nature make this a good test environment.
When As I've mentioned the emergence of technology has impacted the event at a meta level. While the shapes of the rounds have stayed the same, the tools used outside are getting better. Looking at debaters in this environment mirrors the same sort of emerging paradigms we see in industry and government as technology becomes more embraced.
Where: It's familiar to me. I have resources and contacts that I wouldn't have if I examined Canada's debate teams.
why: If you want to get a good job, you have to do interesting meaningful research.

I found that asking myself these questions and expanding them out was a helpful foundation for moving forwards with my research. As I mentioned before my interest in debate is more focused on how debaters use information. However, I've realized that what makes that research valuable is laying a ground work that shows the value of information to that particular community. My next step was brainstorming possible questions. As I progressed in my brainstorming I found that some of those possible questions or research ideas wouldn't work. Coming back to these questions has been helpful in staying focused on workable approaches, and keeping my research focused.

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