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As countries moved into lockdown, so did education and educational researchers. For researchers in the middle of data collection which was not already entirely online, this affected researchers whether they were conducting Masters, doctoral, practitioner research and working in a small or large research team.
Not only does lockdown restrict access to observing or interviewing people in face-to-face settings, it also affects what primary documentation reserachers might collect and, not insignificantly, it affects the personal lives of all concerned, whether researcher or participant. 
In this episode Dr Alison Fox (The Open University) and Dr Carmel Capewell (Oxford Brookes University) discuss options researchers might have considered to find solutions to these unprecedented challenges. The decisions made will have been affected by pragmatics but also a researcher’s positionality and care for the wellbeing of those concerned. Changes made will have need renegotiation of permissions and consent. This has required flexibility and support from supervisory teams, research training programmes, sponsors and ethics committees in Universities. 


Resources referred to in the podcast:


Breslin, T. (2020 Time for educational researchers to take their place in the sun, BERA blog post, 19 May 2020, Available at:

Chamberlain, L. (2020) Opportunities missed: Then the rains came down and washed the writing away, BERA blog post, 7 May 2020, Available at:

Derbyshire, E. (2020) Virtual teaching for children with dyslexia: The realities and disturbing absence of research, BERA blog post, 26 June 2020, Available at:

Fensham-Smith, A. (2020) Should we really call this home schooling: Reflections from the research field, BERA blog post, 6 May 2020, Available at:

Heyes, J. (2020) Identifying the potential impact of COVID-19 on school-based sexuality education, BERA blog post, 16 June 2020, Available at:

Lupton, R. Thomson, S., Unwin, L and Velthuis, S. (2020) Making post-GCSE decisions during the COVID-19 crisis: The need for action, BERA blog post, 14 May 2020, Available at:

Ravitch, S.M. (2020) The Best Laid Plans… Qualitative Research Design During COVID-19, Social Science Space, 23 March 2020, Available at:

Robb, A. (2020) Researching the world in uncertain times> The role of bricolage, BERA blog post, 10 June 2020, Available at:


BERA Ethical guidelines for educational research (2018) (4th edition), Available at:

BERA Principles into Practice event series:

3 August (live keynote)

10 August (live keynote)

3-21 August (static presentations)

21 August (live webinar)

BERA Walk and Talk at a distance event 2 October


Nvivo Community Remote Research Centre webinars, available at:

NCRM – the National Centre for Research Methods – Switching to teaching, learning and researching online – what does it mean for research methods? Webpage of resources, available at:

In this Episode

Carmel Capewell, Dr

Lecturer in Early Years and Child Development at Oxford Brookes University

Carmel is a Lecturer in Early Years and Child Development at Oxford Brookes University. She has a strong interest in developing innovative research methods, particularly to encouraging the participation of young people in expressing and sharing...

Alison Fox, Dr

Senior Lecturer at Open University

Dr Alison Fox (BSc, Durham; MSc, Aberdeen; PGCE, Cambridge; MEd, Cambridge; PhD, Open) is a Senior Lecturer in Education at the Open University in the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education...