DAVAO

Researching during a pandemic

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LATELY, I find it difficult to help my students complete their research requirements. It is already September 2020, and as their mentor, I am quite pressured since the defense is scheduled very soon. I have been very particular of deadlines and sad to say, but we are not yet half of its completion. I guess conducting research during this new normal is not that easy, considering that there are a lot of adjustments because almost everything now is done online.

As a research adviser, one should be quick in responding to students' queries and must write communication letters without delay. The adviser's roles are crucial in the student's research progress. He or she must communicate regularly to the research chairman and to students and vice versa. Now, one should also think of an alternative data gathering procedure instead of that face to face interview of respondents or participants, considering the Covid-19 precautions.

Students may be lost if instructions are not made as a consensual decision of the research team panel. There are instances like a guideline that may have been already followed by the student researchers, but the chairman and the other panels may not have yet agreed and changes may be requested at the limited time left. Although the chairman has the final say, members of the research panel should know about it to prevent confusion and above all should find time to at least know about its update. And since, it is very important to maintain constant communication, Facebook messenger group chat, or other forms of instant chat, may help.

This new normal has made the life of the advisers, chairman, and panelists of student researchers difficult and confusing. And so, I guess that in this new normal, the research chairman, panelists. advisers and mentors should find time to discuss the process of helping the students in the completion of their thesis in this new normal. It will be essential not to troubleshoot only difficulties that teachers may experience in assisting students in their thesis completion but as well as consider the student's difficulties too.

As a research instructor, I may say that I cannot just impose the rules that I have years observed for my students while conducting their research in this time of the pandemic. Let us face that the abrupt change brought by this crisis is delimiting the research process standards for student researchers. And if I may add, is truly delimiting research panels and advisers to do what is ideal. Very sad!

For now, I choose to remain hopeful that this change will not entirely lead us not to do what is right. Now, I hope that my students finish their research on time!


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