This portfolio assessment was a great learning experience about the research process as well as student life. This is one of the complete studies that I have conducted going through all the steps of the scientific research process. I identified a research gap and went through all the steps involved in the research process finishing up with a solution to the problem. I wanted to establish the challenges that student workers face and also how student work relates to academic performance. I established that a large number of students are working part-time but they are doing mainly odd jobs. I also found out that combining work with academics was a bit challenging with most students missing vacations and class. From these findings I concluded that there is a need for the regulation of student working for there is a risk of lowering academic standards when students pay too much attention to work forgetting their studies.
The main take away from this portfolio process is that the research process is challenging. I faced numerous challenges including the identification of a precise research topic, coming up with the sample size, analyzing data, and also ensuring that the entire research process was ethical. The solution to all these challenges was research and consultations on the research process. I consulted widely with classmates and researched extensively over the internet. Sampling is one of the areas where there was the greatest confusion. Failure to consult can make the research process frustrating and kill morale. So it is always recommended that a researcher remains actively involved during the research process.
I would do several things differently next time when presented with the chance. One of the areas of change would be the sample size. I had a small sample of only 21 participants who were students from my college and I realized that this had its limitations. It was not possible to generalize the results of my findings to a wider geographical area such as a country. A small sample also limits the credibility of research findings. Next time I would use a larger sample to make my results more generalizable. The next thing I would do differently is the use of an interview or a focus group discussion as opposed to a questionnaire. I feel that interviews and focus group discussions would generate more comprehensive data due to their more interactive data. I would also make my questions open-ended questions to create room for detailed responses. This is the best way to understand the topic better. All these changes mean that I would have to assign more time for the study.