Parents as co-researchers at home: Using an observational method to document young children’s use of technology

Given, Lisa M., Winkler, Denise C., Willson, Rebekah, Davidson, Christina, Danby, Susan J., & Thorpe, Karen J. (2016) Parents as co-researchers at home: Using an observational method to document young children’s use of technology. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 15(1).

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This paper discusses the use of observational video recordings to document young children’s use of technology in their homes. Although observational research practices have been used for decades, often with video-based techniques, the participant group in this study (i.e., very young children) and the setting (i.e., private homes), provide a rich space for exploring the benefits and limitations of qualitative observation. The data gathered in this study point to a number of key decisions and issues that researchers must face in designing observational research, particularly where non-researchers (in this case, parents) act as surrogates for the researcher at the data collection stage. The involvement of parents and children as research videographers in the home resulted in very rich and detailed data about children’s use of technology in their daily lives. However, limitations noted in the dataset (e.g., image quality) provide important guidance for researchers developing projects using similar methods in future. The paper provides recommendations for future observational designs in similar settings and/or with similar participant groups.

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ID Code: 92554
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: preschool children, technology use, video recordings, observational methods, research design, participant co-researchers
DOI: 10.1177/1609406915621403
ISSN: 1609-4069
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Early Childhood Education (excl. Maori) (130102)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Children & Youth Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Deposited On: 02 Feb 2016 00:18
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2017 21:36

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