The proliferation of smartphone technologies has considerably expanded social scientists’ methodological repertoire. Although widely recognised as flexible and powerful research tools, smartphone technologies in social science research also pose distinct ethical, practical and theoretical challenges. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated physical distancing regulations have dramatically increased the demand for mobile phone-assisted data collection.
This training is dedicated to expanding attendees’ knowledge and skills related to effectively and ethically incorporating mobile phone technologies into qualitative or mixed-method research designs. There is a strong focus on the flexibility, pitfalls and equity implications of smartphone app-based research. Attendees will be offered practical examples highlighting key considerations in study design, multi-modal data collection, data management and analysis, ethics and procedural rigour. Attendees will be encouraged to critically examine the benefits and pitfalls of augmenting traditional qualitative research designs with mobile technologies such as mobile phone interviews, mobile phone surveys, mobile diaries, mobile ethnography and others. The facilitator will also share insights into delivering multi-national mobile phone-based research with hard-to-reach groups. Attendees will be offered a compendium of relevant resources to help expand and empower their research practice.
The training could be of interest to any PhD student interested in qualitative research methods – particularly those in the social work and social policy, psychology, social anthropology and sociology pathways.