One of the biggest battles in the world of research is being fought out between the ‘engagement’ and ‘science’ schools of thought. I believe that the best technology partners are the ones who can keep them both happy, by facilitating engaging experiences for participants and granting sufficient control to researchers.
The conflict raises questions about how scientific online qualitative researchers should be. For example, should they present stimulus in a controlled, private way? Or should they instead focus on getting more value out of participants by making the experience engaging, open and social?
(CC Image courtesy of Tixx on Flickr)
In the scientific corner we have the traditionalists, dedicated to techniques that control the group effect. For example they might insist on getting private responses before exposing a piece of stimulus to the whole group. In general, they want online qualitative platforms that give them control and therefore produce higher levels of confidence in the results. That’s all well and good but it makes the experience less interesting for the participants (which in turn means they need to be paid more to take part).