Joining the dots : piloting the work diary as a data collection tool for educational research

Duke, Jennifer (2012) Joining the dots : piloting the work diary as a data collection tool for educational research. Issues in Educational Research, 22(2), pp. 111-126.


This paper demonstrates the affordances of the work diary as a data collection tool for both pilot studies and qualitative research of social interactions. Observation is the cornerstone of many qualitative, ethnographic research projects (Creswell, 2008). However, determining through observation, the activities of busy school teams could be likened to joining dots of a child’s drawing activity to reveal a complex picture of interactions. Teachers, leaders and support personnel are in different locations within a school, performing diverse tasks for a variety of outcomes, which hopefully achieve a common goal. As a researcher, the quest to observe these busy teams and their interactions with each other was daunting and perhaps unrealistic. The decision to use a diary as part of a wider research project was to overcome the physical impossibility of simultaneously observing multiple team members. One reported advantage of the use of the diary in research was its suitability as a substitute for lengthy researcher observation, because multiple data sets could be collected at once (Lewis et al, 2005; Marelli, 2007).

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ID Code: 52809
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: research pilot, diary, inclusion, education, HERN
ISSN: 0313-7155
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Special Education and Disability (130312)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Western Australian Institute for Educational Research Inc.
Deposited On: 27 Jul 2012 04:20
Last Modified: 30 Oct 2014 08:21

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