Covid-19 has brought about widespread changes within academia, both with relation to teaching and research. Within this, qualitative social science research methods have increasingly become deployed in an online environment in order to adhere to public health guidelines and social distancing measures. There are both benefits and drawbacks to this move online. This paper focuses on a research intervention investigating community engagement practices within public bodies with relation to the delivery of large scale infrastructure projects. Due to Covid-19, the research was undertaken online. Reflection is given on the use of an online workshop for data collection, providing feedback from participants on the success of the research intervention, and reflections from the researcher on the benefits and challenges involved when undertaking a workshop intervention online. It contributes to the emerging field of online qualitative social science research by outlining the usefulness of the process undertaken. The main argument brought forward is that for qualitative social science research to move online new considerations are relevant. The well-established principles for undertaking qualitative studies in real life must be built upon for online spaces and the ethical considerations which are taught and promoted within the social sciences must be advanced.
Keywords: Methods, Covid-19, qualitative research workshops, videoconferencing, online social science research.
Cite as: Boyle, E. (2021). Workshopping online: The use and usability of online platforms for facilitating research workshops in the era of Covid-19. Journal of Qualitative Social Science, 3(1), 22-32.