We asked Tim about his experiences of the five years of work as a part-time student, including the way he planned his work, how he selected the topic and some of the methods and techniques he used. Like most of the other researchers whose work we have considered in this book, he had a full-time job and family responsibilities which made considerable demands on his time. Originally, he planned scheduled time slots for the research but found it impossible to keep to them. There were too many interruptions and demands on his time, everything took much longer and was more effort than he originally anticipated and getting restarted after an interruption was frustrating. Many of us have experienced similar frustrations. In the end he succeeded because he was committed, but it was never easy.
His topic gradually emerged from his supervisor's suggestions, from his work but also from his own developing interest in SET. He already had a Masters degree in auditing when he began the PhD and had become interested in the principles of quality auditing. His research was planned to be quantitative, but he needed to know what staff felt about SET, why some opposed it, what they thought about the characteristics of effective teaching and so much of his extensive preliminary work involved qualitative,