5 Technologies That Can Help You in Conducting Research

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Technologies are known for boosting modern research but not only among accomplished scholars. As a student, you can also use devices and software to study something exciting and novel. Instead of writing another theoretical paper you will get an average mark for, try looking into more interesting topics and using up-to-date tools.

While an essay writer should use their own knowledge and judgment primarily, a paper or dissertation writer needs to research deeper. Quite often, primary data is a must. So, you’re going to have to conduct interviews and surveys, make lab tests, or perform some practical exercises.

As it’s 2021 today, there is no sense to conduct some operations manually or overcomplicate things. Neither is it possible to perform an outstanding study in medicine, psychology, or sociology without specific software or hardware. Remember, a study needs to be novel in some sort of way. Also, you should be able to use modern tools.

So, if you’d like to contribute to scholarly literature or simply save your time, it’s time to think about what tools you can use.

Software

SPSS

This popular software used in sociology research and other subjects  is not a piece of cake. Yet, the results you can obtain with it are quite helpful for quantitative studies. So, it will be much easier to deal with real research later if you go through the SPSS official manual and specialized websites thoroughly. Don’t forget to practice at least basic operations.

SPSS can be used for the same purposes as Excel, but it’s not always allowed by a university at a certain degree of education. Moreover, SPSS offers a much wider range of calculations that allow for finding:

  • relationship between two phenomena/data from two groups;
  • correlation between the same;
  • statistical difference, and many more.

These tests allow for unbiased analysis. What’s more important, you get the results free from mistakes (if you enter the initial data correctly and perform relevant tests, of course).

NVivo

This software will come in handy if you need to conduct qualitative research. Whether you’ve interviewed some people or need to analyze some articles according to themes, NVivo can help you.

If you’ve ever visited a lecture on research methodology, you’ve probably heard about thematic analysis. That’s the stuff that requires, first, to have any kind of data you want to analyze in written form.

So, imagine you have several interviews and you have to transcribe them. This is already too much even if you use automated online solutions. After that, you have to use color codes related to different phenomena/feelings/objects/opinions/etc.

Going through long transcripts manually leaves a lot of space for the omission of valuable information. That’s actually what NVivo can do for you – analyze the repeating words, patterns, or phrases. No highlighters, no piles of print-outs. Just several clicks.

MAXQDA

This software is similar to NVivo, yet, it has one more advantage – a free trial. NVivo requires you to purchase the software instantly. MAXQDA gives you a chance to figure out whether it’s what you need, want, and can manage.

In addition, it has an in-built tool for the automated transcription of audio files. So does NVivo, except there’s no free trial.

Hardware

3D Printer

Almost any major can benefit from the use of a 3D printer. Whether it’s fashion or the medical field, students can make use of this technology and let themselves be creative.

First of all, 3D printing is known for boosting students’ engagement. Some people may think it’s because it is fun to print a three-dimensional item. Yet, that’s what makes any study or class more exciting and connects the students to the real world.

By using such equipment, students can reproduce items that originally cost a lot or are hard to obtain. Also, quite often, it’s the lack of opportunity that makes studies boring. Meanwhile, the printer increases the accessibility of necessary tools and promotes out-of-the-box thinking.

Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/OPeSKKUMva4

Smartwatch

This device has been here for a long time. Somehow, it turned into an accessory we use for superficial purposes. However, don’t be deceived by this.

Smartwatches are used for tracking down physical dynamics during exercises or rest. So, use this opportunity! You won’t even have to buy the hardware. These wearables are so widespread that you can easily sample the students who have them and observe their sleep patterns, for instance.

Headset

Another example of conducting research using wearables is a real case of Kashfia Rahman’s study. Kashifa is a Harvard student who decided to save up money for an EMOTIV headset instead of a less useful item for herself. By using the headset, she monitored the brain activity of the participants.

The research focused on how risk-taking affects a teenager’s brain. So, Kashifa was able to measure emotional response using the device. Of course, such an option requires some investments, but they should be manageable. Also, you can chip in for the device with other students you know to use it later. You can even rent it.

The headsets suitable for such research include but are not limited to:

  • EMOTIV headset – $300;
  • Urgonight headset – $350 (you can pay for it in 4 installments as well);
  • MindWave Mobile 2 EEG headset from NeuroSky – $109.

Summing Up

It was not a long time ago when students could perform more than ordinary studies only in special settings. Extra expensive equipment was required. Sometimes, only a research  grant could help. Or, you had to perform many operations manually.

Yet, today a student can even conduct a study in a school library using a small device. It’s not only engaging but also revolutionary.

So, be mindful that you don’t have to perform another research on the same topic that was explored a billion times. There is no need to use outdated methods as well. Tech field is here to help you. Sometimes, even for free.