Thursday, February 16, 2012

Research Journal Update

I've written before an area of research I am interested in involving information's role in NPDA debate. Specifically, I want to understand how debaters use information and what role access to information plays in NPDA rounds. I've narrowed the area of my initial study down to a research question: Is there are correlation between wireless internet access affect NPDA round outcomes?

At the end of last term I created a study proposal. Since then, I've shown it to a few people and gotten positive and constructive feedback. I've learned a few things from that feedback. Most importantly I've learned that I need to operationalize my variables.

In the initial proposal I poorly defined the particular variables that would be tested. There were a few reasons for that, but one of the primary ones was uncertainty over the type and availability of data. I've done a preliminary survey of debate resources, and found that there is no widespread historical record of debate rounds, beyond the last three years, exists. Even then it isn't standard practice in the community. I don't have enough data to make that a conclusive statement, but it's my strong impression.