The ethical dimension pertaining to protecting participants from psychological harm due to the in-depth nature of the inquiry and to the intimacy resulting from prolonged engagement is well-documented. This is laudable, but very few studies focused on guiding the researchers against chaotic emotions arising from introspectively questioning their beliefs and motivations and inspiring their judgments underlying their decisions. In our involvement with masters’ students’ thesis writing and research management training, supervision, and examination, we became aware of recurring cases of novice researchers silently disappearing from the program, eventually reappearing, continuously struggling with their thesis. Investigating this process, we identified the difficulty of becoming trustworthy researcher-instruments as the central issue leading to students disconnecting from their research. Students would disclose their anxiety of being accused of bias when defending their purposeful sampling. Therefore, we decided to equip them pre-emptively, helping them build their researchers’ expertise and confidence. Firstly, we disclosed our vulnerability from the perspective of the researchers’ awareness. Secondly, we exposed an intricate sampling case in terms of methodical considerations. Lastly, we provided a step-by-step demonstration of the initial, purposeful, and theoretical sampling selection process, illustrating the constant comparative analysis method, peer discussions and member reflections as safeguarding procedures towards trustworthiness.


Awareness, Trustworthiness, Grounded Theory, Action research, Educational technology, Supervision

Author Bio(s)

Cécile Gabarre is an assistant professor with the University of Nizwa. Her fields of expertise are educational research, instructional design and second language teaching. Her dedication to designing immersive and personalized learning environments supporting the co-construction of knowledge in meaningful and caring communities led her to adopt action research and grounded theory methods of investigation. Her current interests include educational qualitative research, novice researchers’ training and support, engagement dynamics and language acquisition. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: cecile@unizwa.edu.om.

Serge Gabarre is currently an assistant professor at the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Nizwa. He received his PhD from the Faculty of Education at the National University of Malaysia. His research interests are foreign language acquisition, mobile assisted language learning, qualitative data analysis and research methodology. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: sergegabarre@unizwa.edu.om.


The research “Developing a Mobile Assisted Research Supervision Support Framework” received the support and the ethical approval from the University of Nizwa and a research grant from the Omani Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (BFP/RGP/CBS/20/074). We would like to extend our gratitude to Sally St. George for her continuous faith and guidance. Working with Sally was a truly gratifying experience. We would also like to thank our students for agreeing to participate in this research.

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