The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly affected the field of teaching and educational research, requiring new changes to methodological tools in my research. My doctoral study examines Maldivian primary teachers’ engagement with social studies pedagogies through reflection. The pandemic posed several complex data collection challenges which I experienced as a researcher. As a result of not being able to return to the Maldives from New Zealand to gather data, data methods were altered from Participatory action research (PAR) to form online action research (OAR). The data were gathered from four different teachers in Maldivian primary schools through an online questionnaire, online workshops, online reflective narrative texts and online interviews. Unexpected research challenges included (i) time zone differences, (ii) my own and participants’ unfamiliarity with new methods of online data collection in the research, and (iii) challenges of maintaining good researcher rapport with participants. These research challenges contribute to an emerging understanding of the unexpected issues that researchers might face using an OAR approach.
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