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Jessica Morris: Methodology

Methodology Section
In any research process, some guidelines or methods should to be
established so that a study can be conducted properly. These methods help
advance the learning process and control for human error. A group of four
colleagues teamed up together with the common goal of beginning a research or
case study of the information behavior of a community of their choosing. The
community chosen for this study was elementary age homeschool children but
because children are protected under IRB standards the interviews were focused on
the teacher/parents of this community. This section will review on the methodology
applied for this case study to gather information on this community and to analyze
material collected.
Questions - Interviews
The initial research question that spear headed this study was, What are the
information behaviors of children/teachers? The further inquisitive the group
became, the more questions arose. In effect, 12 questions were developed (listed
below) that would benefit in answering the initial question. It was decided that the
best way to gather the data needed was to conduct semi-structured interviews with
individuals founded in the chosen community. The semi-structured interviews gave
the interviewer the flexibility to add sub-questions during the interviews as needed.
These meetings lasted approximately 45 minutes. The questions were either
presented orally or through the internet. Notes were taken by the interviewer to
record the data for future analysis. All involved were well informed of the nature of
study and its purpose.

Jessica Morris: Methodology


After all interviews, it was decided that there were five main questions that
answered the initial question of the study. The interviewees motivation to
homeschool and what their role was in the education process (questions 2 and 5).
Next questions covered where and what information they acquired (questions 6 and
7). Another pertained to explaining the content of curriculum (question 8). Finally
asked, what information challenges were faced and the solutions to them (question
10). These main questions were not only able to answer the opening question but
gave the study thorough data to examine.
While leading the interviews, it appeared that questions six and seven were
very similar in several ways. First, they were alike in wording. Another, it was not as
clear how to answer if it pertain to just homeschool or personal activities. And
finally, the respondents had similar answers to both anyway. In revision, these two
questions could have been combined into one and possibly would of made it clearer
to the all involved in the interview.

Interview Questions
1. In what city do you
homeschool?
2. Why do you homeschool?
3. How many children are living at
home?
4. How many children living at
home are being homeschooled?
a) What are the
ages/grades?
5. What is the role of each person
involved in homeschooling?
a) Why?
b) (What is the highest level
of education of each
person involved)

6. Where do you get your


information (How do you
identify sources)?
7. What are your information
sources (curriculum,
homeschooling information)?
8. Briefly explain the content of
your curriculum.
9. What subjects do you
emphasize the most?
a) Why?
b) How do you teach the
subject matter?
10.What types of homeschooling
challenges do you (regularly)
face?

Jessica Morris: Methodology


a) How do you address
those challenges?
11.How many years have you
homeschooled?
a) How long do you plan to
homeschool?

b) Why?
12.Overall, how do you evaluate
the quality of your childs
homeschool education?

Participants
At first, the investigators wanted to compare traditional education to
homeschool but with time constraints it was limited to just the homeschool
community. Plus, all four collogues had some acquaints with homeschool families so
it was a natural choice for the study. Essentially eight interviews were performed
and everyones participation involved was voluntary. For the purpose of this study,
the number of interviews were considered sufficient.
The aim of this study is to learn more on the information behavior of
homeschool children but because of standards the focus shifted to the teachers and
how they find information for their students. Primarily, the teachers were the
mothers of the children being educated. Other members were also included such as
the fathers which some were interviewed also. One interview was a recent
graduated homeschool student that volunteered their perspective for the study.
Resources Consulted
Literature research was studied to give more insight of the information
behaviors of the homeschool community. The literature found through the
Oklahoma University Library database such as Ebsco Host and Eric. It was
discovered that in this community research was deficient. What data that was
recovered that stood useful were statics over the demographic of the community.
Also the data incorporated the information roles and needs of the user both teacher
and student.