Research Reflection

This research project has been a highly perceptive and valuable experience. I have learned a great deal about working with people, the challenges associated with academic research, the ethical considerations of research as well as an insight into a passionate area of interest: Food waste.

Timing was by far my greatest challenge when undertaking this research. While I got off to a smooth start, I soon found myself in Week 12 will a huge task on my hands – alongside many other assessments in other university subjects. I had originally planned to create a video to summarise my results as I thought this would be a fun and creative way to finish the subject, however I ended up running out of time and had to resort to the written opinion piece.

Receiving adequate responses to my survey was another challenge. In total, I received 30 responses, however ideally would have liked to see many more in order to gain a much broader understanding of the topic. I also learnt that sometimes contacting higher people for an opinion is quite difficult –  which is the reason why I was unable to follow my initial plan of receiving feedback from UOW about their own approach to food waste.

I learnt a great deal about ethics when conducting my research. When I did the focus group, I was in the relaxed environment of the classroom with my peers, and actually forgot to read out the consent form prior to recording. I asked them for consent after the focus group had taken place and luckily they were all obliging, however this is something I would definitely need to address in the first place.

I went into this project with a slight bias, as food waste is and has been for a while a great passion of mine. I did my best in all aspects of the research to keep an open mind and be open to learning about what other students thought of the issue.

My findings were both pleasing and surprising. From this research, I learnt that students really do care about food waste, and many take active steps to try and reduce their environmental impact. And for those that don’t, or haven’t given it much thought, I hope that this has provided a chance for the beginning of an ongoing conversation. I also hope that UOW acts upon my suggestion to further implement education, workshops and activities for their students in this area, as it is, in my opinion, one of the most important issues facing our future society.

Published by susiealdermann

Fifth Year Bachelor of Communications and Media/ Bachelor of International Studies (Dean's Scholar) student

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