Toughts on my research interests…

As mentioned, over the last week or so I’ve been putting a lot of thought into each of my research ideas. I honestly think it’s the first time that I’ve ever had more than one idea that I’ve really wanted to work on.

For each area, I decided to to some good old fashioned brainstorming to get my thoughts flowing…I think with all of the ideas, I had similar areas of consideration…

  • Target audience – Age, Gender, Ability, Resource access,
  • Output – Where will the product of my research be used?
  • Hardware/Software and I/O Devices
  • My experiences – some of the reasons that I chose this particular idea or interest
  • My main interests in terms of what I want to achieve through the research of each idea
  • Contacts – Who will I be able to go to for support, advice, research sources etc
  • Research methods
  • Current examples of similar research areas

The other idea I kept in mind was the research approach that Cameron Watt recommended to us in the research methods lecture a few weeks ago:

What?, So What?, What Now?

– It seems fairly obvious and straight forward but I think that there is a tendency to over complicate problems when all that’s really needed is a simple path to work through in order to help create a clear research question or proposal.

Here are some of the more specific areas that I took into consideration for each interest:

Interactive tools for education:

One of the main considerations within this idea was, what subject area would I cover within the project? – Although I’m only at the research stages at the moment, I think content on a project like this would have significant influence on the structure and development of the work that I do.

Another major consideration would be the method of presentation- would this be projected, on screen, worked on by the user individually or as part of a group?

The main feature that I would like to include in this idea is that of encouraging team work within the classroom – getting kids to all learn and direct their study as a group by navigating through the experience as they wish.

One of the ideas that I found interesting when discussing this possibility with one of my graphics tutors was the concept of having a control device which simply allows the possessor to take control of the interactive experience.

Visual Music:

This is possible the most abstract idea that I have come up with, I feel as though it is quite significantly different to anything I have considered before and I don’t necessarily have one specific idea with regards to possible outcomes. My primary interest is in eventually creating an interface of some sort which would allow users to ‘see music’.

I realise that I probably sound as though, Yes, I have thought about the outcome but, I feel that it’s an area in which I never worked before, and potentially on a scale of which I’ve never worked before…

I definitely feel a lot more personal attachment to this idea and having thought about it over the last week, I’ve come up with some potential applications for the experiment – as well as being a visual experience, it could be used to aid speech therapy by way of representing sounds and words visually – in the same way that sign language allows a series of shapes to be created with the hands to represent words, feelings and phrases, graphics could be used to show a person a sounds, visually. A graphic would be generated as a result of different graphic attributes being assigned to different attributes of sound.

By then making sounds into a microphone, the person could learn to say basic words by using their voice to manipulate the graphics on screen with their voice, in theory, when they manage to imitate the graphic correctly, and with practice, they could become familiar with the sound and gradually remember it…maybe…?

Research and development of CCBT:

Again, this is an idea where maybe I’ve already made a lot of assumptions about the end product already, I can’t really help it, it seems to be the way that I plan my work…

I think one of the most critical elements of this project will be; How easy it will be to establish and maintain contact with at least one, if not more expert on the subject of CBT.

I think this area has a lot of potential though it feels like a very predetermined project, aside from finding out about design techniques and researching the relationship between Humans and Computers there is only a limited amount of space for discovery.

On the whole, documenting and investigating my research interests has been really challenging. Having discussed my ideas with Tutors, I have come to realise that in a lot of ways, I have been very product focussed, which, I don’t think is a bad thing but maybe the most interesting approach for me to adopt at this stage is to develop a research proposal which allows me the most potential for exploration.

I will be working on a conclusive idea over the next few days and will hopefully be putting together a research proposal at the start of next week in order that I can get on with the project itself….I have lots of work ahead of me!


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