For an extra credit methods practice I decided to apply some of the inquiry method techniques while working for a professor on campus. I have been doing research with this professor on genetic indicators of health conditions in adults. Most of what we have been doing this semester is coding data received from surveys that were collected last year. This is valuable experience for my field study since I will be coding data from surveys as well.
For this particular methods practice, I decided to not go so fast when coding the surveys so I could look for patterns in the data. I wrote down questions I had about the responses and patterns I saw in them. For example, I found that a lot of the responses on the questionnaire were in relation to medical conditions that I had never heard of. Taking the time to stop and look up each condition when I found it on a questionnaire was extremely helpful. I was able to see that some medical conditions reported on the surveys were actually in the same category as other health conditions (e.g. multiple medical conditions that all have to do with the cardiovascular system). Previous to this, I didn't know that these conditions were related, and with that knowledge, I am more able to analyze the data.
For my own project I plan to implement this slower coding technique every once in a while. It would be impractical to go this slow every time I coded a questionnaire in my research, but doing this periodically will give me insight into the data. I will be able to see patterns that I have not seen before.