Exploring alternatives to online methods in Covid times


Bio: Andy Coverdale is a Research Fellow in Southampton Education School at the university of Southampton and member of the Centre for Research in Inclusion. He is currently working with the National Centre for Research Methods on their project looking at social research in the context of Covid-19 alongside research into how digital accessibility is taught and learned in Higher Education and the workplace. Andy has many years’ experience of working with, supporting, and teaching people with learning disabilities, and recently completed work on the ‘Self-build Social Care‘ research project, using inclusive and participatory methods to work collaboratively with people with learning disabilities and their allies. Andy has previously conducted research in the educational use of digital media and technology through his work with iRes at Falmouth University and the Visual Learning Lab at the University of Nottingham. His PhD examined the role of social and participatory media in doctoral education.

Bio: Melanie Nind is Professor of Education at the University of Southampton and a co-director of NCRM, leading on pedagogic research (https://www.ncrm.ac.uk/research/pedagogy.php) and methodological responses to Covid-19 (https://www.ncrm.ac.uk/research/socscicovid19/). Melanie guest-edited the 2015 special issue of International Journal of Social Research Methodology on the teaching and learning of social research methods, she is editor of the Bloomsbury Research Methods for Education book series and author of Inclusive Research in the NCRM Bloomsbury Research Methods series.

Bio: "Robert Meckin is a presidential fellow in the School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester and works closely with the National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM). He is interested in emerging technosciences, interdisciplinarity and research infrastructures. He has spent recent years collaborating with and working alongside scientists practicing a design-led approach to biotechnology, and exploring how publics anticipate the potential of new biotechnological capabilities by using the chemical menthol as a way into discussing everyday technological understandings. Publications include explorations of scientific practices in increasingly automated, digitalised laboratories, and the affordances of sensory methods in engaging publics. At NCRM he has been focused on interdisciplinary research methods and has been examining the nascent areas of investigative methods and computational social science methods with Mark Elliot (University of Manchester) and Michael Mair (University of Liverpool), and exploring changing research practices in Covid-19 with Melanie Nind and Andy Coverdale (both at the University of Southampton)."

Bio: Maggie has a long history of doing participatory research using biographical and arts based methods (visual and performative) in collaboration with artists and communities. Maggie has researched and published widely on critical theory, 'ethno-mimesis', PAR, sex work, migration, asylum and borders, walking as a biographical and arts based method. She is currently working with: Umut Erel, Tracey Reynolds & Erene Kaptani on 'Participatory Arts based Methods For Civic Engagement In Migrant Support Organizations', funded by AHRC, 2020-22, and with Dee Heddon, Harry Wilson, Morag Rose, and Clare Qualmann, on 'Walking Publics/Walking Arts', funded by UKRI, 2021 - 2023. Maggie is a member of the Executive Board of the European Sociological Association, a past Chair of RN03 and a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.

Bio: Tim Sykes @RiversandPeople is a mature, part-time post graduate researcher at the University of Southampton. Tim is conducting situated walking interviews with people who are emotionally, creatively and physically engaged with or inspired by chalk streams, especially their intermittent headwaters, and chalk springs and aquifers, in order to try understand our relationship with these special places. With particular regards to wellbeing, Tim is asking what feelings (positive and/or negative) and relational and intrinsic values do these ephemeral places stir in people, how, why, and do their emotions ebb and flow with the water?

Bio: Martine Shareck Ph.D. is a population health researcher and Assistant Professor in Community Health Sciences at the Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Canada, and holds a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Urban Health Equity Among Young People (2020-2025). Trained in social epidemiology, public health, health promotion and health geography, she has expertise in research with marginalized populations, on the social determinants of health, in mixed-methods program evaluation and in urban health inequities. She is currently involved in several studies evaluating the impact of built environment changes on health and health inequalities.

Bio: Nicole is a Knowledge Mobilization & Relationship Specialist working with PolicyWise for Children & Families in Edmonton, AB, Canada. She is a critical experiential scholar with a passion for creative data collection methods and story-telling. She is committed to engaged, community-led research, evaluation, and knowledge mobilization that promotes equitable and inclusive practices and policies.

This session draws on the NCRM study of changing research practices in response to the methodological challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many of the adaptations and focus of discussions have oriented to moving methods online; often at the risk of marginalising communities with limited access. However; our study has found social researchers have also been exploring and adapting creative and participatory methods; such as the use of cultural probes in people's homes. Additionally; as lockdown and travel restrictions ease; and researchers consider returning to research sites; how might the way they engage with participants in the physical / social space be negotiated? What role might methods such as walking interviews play; and will we see more hybrid approaches combining in-person with digital methods emerge? The panel will draw on their experiences and expertise to explore a range of methodological adaptations and discuss the longer-term implications for a post-Covid research landscape.