Picture of person typing on laptop with programming code visible on the laptop screen

World class computing and information science research at Strathclyde...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the Department of Computer & Information Sciences involved in mathematically structured programming, similarity and metric search, computer security, software systems, combinatronics and digital health.

The Department also includes the iSchool Research Group, which performs leading research into socio-technical phenomena and topics such as information retrieval and information seeking behaviour.


Parents as coresearchers at home : using an observational method to document young children's use of technology

Given, Lisa M. and Winkler, Denise Cantrell and Willson, Rebekah and Davidson, Christina and Danby, Susan and Thorpe, Karen (2016) Parents as coresearchers at home : using an observational method to document young children's use of technology. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 15 (1). pp. 1-9. ISSN 1609-4069

Text (Given-etal-IJQM2016-Parents-as-coresearchers-at-home-using-an-observational-method)
Given_etal_IJQM2016_Parents_as_coresearchers_at_home_using_an_observational_method.pdf - Final Published Version
License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 logo

Download (504kB) | Preview


This article discusses the use of observational video recordings to document young children's use of technology in their homes. Although observational research practices have been used for decades, often with video-based techniques, the participant group in this study (i.e., very young children) and the setting (i.e., private homes) provide a rich space for exploring the benefits and limitations of qualitative observation. The data gathered in this study point to a number of key decisions and issues that researchers must face in designing observational research, particularly where nonresearchers (in this case, parents) act as surrogates for the researcher at the data collection stage. The involvement of parents and children as research videographers in the home resulted in very rich and detailed data about children's use of technology in their daily lives. However, limitations noted in the data set (e.g., image quality) provide important guidance for researchers developing projects using similar methods in future. The article provides recommendations for future observational designs in similar settings and/or with similar participant groups.