Although the human brain is powerful, it can’t store everything we hear, see or read in our lifetime. Every new piece of information acquired by the brain replaces the old one, but what if we want to remember something we read for a long time or even permanently? One of the best practices to do that is note-taking. No matter if we read fiction or non-fiction, taking notes improves the learning process and helps to remember the data for a long period. To put it simply, it extends the memory.
As primary methods of data collection, interviews and surveys are conducted traditionally (face-to-face) and online. Although online research methods reach a wider audience, they are not substitutes for in-person data collection methods in some cases. Needless to say, face-to-face data collection is not without its advantages and disadvantages.
First, let’s check the benefits in-person data collection provides over the other methods:
Writing has a long history as an art form. Writers always used their hands to write with a pen or, type using typewriter and computer. "Handwriting "was the only method available. Now, they take a fresh approach to that process. Feats of modern technology let enhance productivity and at the same time maintain the quality of writing, whether it is an article, essay, or book. Speech recognition software opens up new doors to writers and allows them to write by dictation.
Focus groups are one of the significant data-gathering methods commonly used in marketing and social sciences. It is organized the same way as interviews, but instead of one-on-one interactions, they usually involve five or more people who share similar socio-economic background and demographics. Researchers take notes or record the process with the consent of the respondents.
Surveys are among the primary methods of collecting data. For decades, researchers used old-school methods - paper and phone calls - to conduct surveys, but advances in technology let them take a different approach to almost all data collecting methods. Now, it is possible to create, send, and analyze surveys using computer-assisted, easy-to-use software that comes with numerous features.
One of the principal methods of collecting data is observation. This research technique is primarily used for qualitative research to gather data about people, objects, events, behaviours, etc., in their natural setting. Researchers watch, listen, take notes, and also record video/audio in their surroundings to get first-hand information on the research topic. There are two approaches to observation:
We may perform research for academic or business purposes, and in both cases, we need to gather information using different data collection methods. These methods vary depending on the method availability or objectives of the research. The main research types – quantitative and qualitative research may require specific strategies, and in some instances, some of the methods may be used for both forms of research.
Taking notes while listening to an audio/video file is easy because you can rewind the recording any time and write anything you missed. It is different when it comes to taking notes during the live talk. You may need to take notes during the lecture or an event. In all cases, you need to be prepared both before the talk and during the talk. The following tips may be useful for taking notes while actively listening to the speaker.