How have research practices by AILA Research Networks and AILA members successfully shifted in the global COVID pandemic?
In this debate, we share insights on what has worked well. Our discussion of critical situations and good practices is meant to inspire other scholars, particularly junior scholars looking for leadership on how to academically survive and progress in difficult times.
One of the few positives of this unexpected and sudden switch to a virtual environment has been an increase in online collaboration and camaraderie. Our ReN members have switched from asynchronous Box to functioning in GoogleDocs, allowing real-time collaboration during our Zoom meetings, brainstorming sessions, and unscheduled but serendipitously coinciding work times. For data collection, this virtual shift has challenged us to simplify our instructions for data collection. For example, instead of collecting data in person during built-in language lab days, we now must collect via email and ensure that our research “pitch” is motivating and explains why the data is needed. We also must work to ensure that all steps can be followed without a researcher present. We also found that participants are exceptionally willing to share their real feelings right now and, for our current longitudinal motivational project, for example, this is particularly helpful.
How are you all shifting gears to ensure your data collection continues as robustly as possible? How are you staying motivated and connected to your research colleagues?