Here is the methodology from my final pre-proposal submitted in May 2010. I am posting it now, since the blog posts over the next three weeks will all be on my dissertation methods.
The nature of this study–examining an online communication method–is one of social acts. Using a social phenomenological inquiry to examine this subject as an intrinsic case study model, this study will critically examine and apply an embedded analysis on the use of the OVC in the AOC to determine the participant-perceived social presence level, the characteristics that lead to that perception, how participants interact through this method, and the features that allow or invoke that interaction. “A phenomenological study describes the meaning of the lived experiences for several individuals about a concept or the phenomenon” (Creswell, 1998). In this type of study, researchers search for the essence of the phenomenon and the meaning of the experience for participants. Read the rest of this entry »