My experience with BCM212 has been encouraging and positive. From taking interesting surveys from my peers to reading about new perceptions from their completed works, it was a journey.
From starting this subject, one thing that stood out to me the most was morality and ethics in research. I began to see how easy it could be to toe over the line in the name of ‘research’ like a crazed scientist. The rules and a 6 months ethics approval system that was in place at some universities was surprising, but understandable. The topic of key to avoiding harm was a good look at systems in place, such as HREC and MEAA, and how they protect us on the integrity of research and how an interviewer must not pose a risk of harm. The legal jargon used in questionnaires and surveys made more sense and I became less wary of them. I was also fascinated at the system of academia, while also being a bit horrified. The concept of agile research could easily be abused and the need to pump out surveys without real thought behind the answers.
Talking about the difference between an opinion piece and an academic article really drove home how an academic article wasn’t accessible to the public with its jargon. The opinion piece on a public website managed to condense and explain it better with much less words. I asked myself (and the tutor asked us), what is the point then, if a long-winded academic article isn’t fully understood by the public? Is academia only benefiting the system of academia and not the larger population? As a subject, I liked how BCM212 expored both positive and negative points about research and asked people to consider all of the facts.
I found focus groups to be a fascinating topic, and even though I didn’t conduct one myself, as I felt online was awkward. I was watching several Louis Theroux documentaries at the time, and I liked how he approached people. After watching them I noticed that he can slowly tease answers out of his participants without them realising by asking specific questions. It made me respect interviewers and group interviewers emotional intelligence. There was even a video that I shared, showing how Theroux does it so well.
It was an interesting experience overall, and seeing what other students were asking with their surveys helped me a lot and made me engage with the content.