The efficacy of using e-mail when researching inclusive teaching practices used by male academics

Year: 2001

Author: Keamy, Ron

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The paper describes work-in-progress and reflects upon a small research project, ‘A Small Study of Male Academics and Their Inclusive Teaching Strategies’, in which the author trialed the use of e-mail communication as a medium for having repeated conversations with a number of male academics about their inclusive teaching practices. This forms a small part of a larger study concentrating on the non-mainstream leadership practices of male academics.

The study met with mixed results: on one hand, it provided an opportunity for the respondents to express how they teach inclusively; on the other, the study made it apparent that the use of e-mails alone did not facilitate communication with the respondents. The implication for research of a sensitive nature is to ensure that the communication is primarily of a personal, face-to-face nature with the use of e-mails providing a complementary, rather than a primary, means of data gathering.