Workshop and discussion exercises
Practice with these exercises to prepare for your seminars and wider research.
1. Visit SurveyMonkey, Kwiksurveys or another online survey organisation that allows you to design a web survey for free. Create a free survey on a topic that interests you, which you send to others in your workshop group to complete. Is this way of designing and distributing a questionnaire easy? How was the experience for respondents? What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a web questionnaire, compared with a paper version?
2. Use the Wayback machine to retrieve versions of the two cancer websites analysed by Seale (2005) and summarised in Box 18.7. (The prostate cancer URL is now http://prostatecanceruk.org, but the URL of older versions is www.prostate-cancer.org.uk; the URL of the breast cancer site is www.breastcancercare.org.uk). How have the sites changed over time in their depiction of gender? You will find Seale’s original article provides a good guide to what to look for, if you find it hard to notice relevant things.
3. Either choose a topic you are interested in, or take one of the following topics:
(a) Gun control in the USA
(b) Diabetes care
(c) Climate change
Use Google to locate an important website focusing on your chosen subject. Find a free backlink checker by typing ‘Backlink Checker’ into Google and use to discover which websites link to the site you identified. Try to place the sites into categories (e.g. pro- versus anti-gun control, government versus non-government site, charity versus health care provider, environmentalist group versus business corporation). What do the links tell you about relationships between the groups concerned?