Notepad is NOT bad: Employing Yahoo! Notepad as an online research diary in educational enquiry based on a PhD study
Meetings and Proceedings
Reflective tools have been gaining ground in educational research. Diaries, especially electronic ones, can be effective in enabling researchers to organise and reflect upon their research. Online diaries are flexible Web-based facilities since the recording process can be conducted quickly and smoothly. Here, I report on using Yahoo! Notepad as an online diary in my PhD study. This facility was kept right from the start to record all significant events and updates (e.g., contacts, resources, reminders, must-do tasks, notes, comments, procedures, scripts, and essential readings). This practice organised the research process by enabling me to: (1) organise work into relevant folders based on topic; (2) monitor my progress by, for example, reviewing the tasks I have accomplished, and the tasks remaining ahead; (3) save useful readings and textual resources for future reference on a regular basis; (4) create some preliminary drafts of the ideas I should tackle, and update these drafts when something new comes to my mind; and (5) create reminders to be reviewed on a weekly basis so that nothing is missed or forgotten. Some examples and illustrations are provided to help other researchers to understand the utility of this free online tool.
Graduate School of Education, University of Exeter, UK.
Paper presented at the Graduate School of Education Annual Staff Student Conference, 14 May 2011, University of Exeter, UK.