Collecting data online from young students during a pandemic. Reflections.




online research, limitations, advantages, reflection


As researchers we need to be able to reflect deeply to constantly improve the research processes.  Reflection can help researchers to engage critically and objectively with the worldview while acknowledging what works and what doesn’t. This paper focuses on reflections emerging from online data collection during a pandemic.

This paper presents what was learned from conducting online research by collecting data through an online survey administered to school children during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Following a brief review of relevant literature, the research process employed is outlined.  This includes the sample, measures used and ethics clearance.  Secondly, we explore the advantages and limitations of conducting online research.  In particular we explore the issues that were encountered and how online research made data collection from a school possible during a pandemic. The main stumbling blocks were related to: (a) parental engagement and the subsequent collection of consent forms; (b) issues that emerged during the actual data collection.  These issues and others are explored through a reflection process using cycle outlined by Gibbs (1988).

The aim of the study was to explore how students aged between 9 – 11 years perceived their own creative self-concept and their wellbeing at school.  In this quantitative study, 530 students coming from different schools were surveyed using an online platform.  Participants were recruited through their respective schools following the dissemination of information letters and consent forms.  While various advantages emerged from conducting online research, a number of challenges were encountered throughout the process.    This data collection exercise presented an opportunity for learning and growth through a process of reflection and evaluation.