Case study and observation


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Case study and observation

  1. 1. Educational Research:Case Study Methodology ADES 1004 Researching Literacies and Learning
  2. 2. case study …examines the characteristics of a particular entity, phenomenon, or person  Select a unit of analysis - singularity
  3. 3.  Is useful for describing or answering questions about particular, localized occurrences or contextsAND / OR the perspectives of a participant group toward events, beliefs, or practices
  4. 4.  Illuminates the “invisibility of everyday life” …by making the familiar strange, more examined, and better understood
  5. 5. Types of Cases  The critical case – You already have a theory (hypothesis) and the case with prove or disprove it  The extreme case – the elements you are looking for a pronounced and highlight the concept / hypothesis  The exemplifying case – the elements are broadly showing a theory  The longitudinal case – data over time sheds light on development of the concept
  6. 6. Case Study – Your first questions  What is your Unit of Analysis? “ A single ..................” Family Behaviour Location Perception Community Attitudes Person Beliefs Organisation Knowledge Processes Language  What is shown by the case…?
  7. 7. What are you doing – theresearcher?Descriptive phase: Its constructionrelies heavily on “thick” verbaldescriptions of a particular socialcontext being studiedAnalysis phase: Its meaning relies onyour interpretations and thematic logic
  8. 8. …employ expressive language andvoice in descriptions and explanations…judged in terms of believability, trustworthiness, coherence, and the logic underlying researcher’s interpretations
  9. 9. Participant Observation Cases
  10. 10. • Issues in primary qualitativeresearch... a. gaining entry b. contacting potential research participants c. being prepared d. capturing all data in the moment
  11. 11. a. gaining entry... access is dependent upon the researcher’s personal and professional characteristics and how others perceive the researcher may require considerable negotiation with a gatekeeper – a friend or acquaintance trust is earned, not given
  12. 12. b. contacting participants...• Have the consent form with synopsis ready build trust and ensure confidentiality Do what you say you will - reliability
  13. 13. c. be prepared Preparation includes: The Rationale / Validity Table (see class notes) Consent forms Observation sheet Thank You Letter
  14. 14. The threats to validity in qualitativestudies... Observer Effect …the impact of the observer’s participation on the setting or the participants being studied
  15. 15. the researcher records descriptiveas well as reflective notes aboutwhat one has seen, heard,experienced, and thought about aduring an observation sessionTeacher_Observation_Checklist
  16. 16.  regarding field notes… notes …put aside assumptions, experience context first …see phenomena through participants’ perspective …write up notes immediately following an observation
  17. 17. Text Based Cases
  18. 18. Selecting the case the goal is to get the deepest possible understanding of the setting being studied Photos, descriptions, memos, field notes, videos, narratives from others
  19. 19. Collecting data... KEEP IT ALLTOGETHER observations – field notes about other people’s primary data (video or document) official documents – govt. photographs, recordings, emails media reports – different sources informal conversations - memos
  20. 20. Themes As you collect data, categorise it around your objectives, themes, sub-categories Have some decided already But leave other so they can emerge
  21. 21. The threats to validity in qualitativestudies... observer bias… bias …invalid information resulting from the perspective the researcher brings to the study and imposes upon it Question: what are your biases regarding your topic?
  22. 22. Gathering and Theme-ing data…detail is critical: topic theme on every note; leave wide margins for writing impressions; use only one side of a page of paper; draw diagram of site (if necessary)…list key words first, then outline one’s observations
  23. 23. …keep the descriptive (context) and reflective (analysis) sections separate in your note book…use memos to record hunches, questions, and insights after each observation – group these later
  24. 24. Analyzing data… data pieces data categories data patterns
  25. 25. classifying the data, including categorization, coding, and grouping into thematic unitsinterpreting and synthesizing the organized data into general conclusions or understandings
  26. 26. • Checking for Validity a. credibility or plausibility b. transferability c. including a methods section
  27. 27.  credibility or plausibility …to demonstrate that the study was conducted in such a manner as to ensure that the subject was accurately identified and described
  28. 28.  transferability …to demonstrate that the results of the study are generalizable to others in the original research context or to contexts beyond the original study
  29. 29.  including a methods section …to provide an in-depth description of the processes and methods used in the study
  30. 30. • Strategies for analyzing qualitative data... a. constant comparison method b. negative case and discrepant data methods c. analytic induction
  31. 31.  constant comparison method …compares new evidence to prior evidence to identify similarities and differences between observations
  32. 32.  negative case and discrepant data methods…the search for contradictory, variant, or disconfirming data within the body of data collected that provides an alternative perspective on an emerging category or pattern
  33. 33.  analytic induction …a process concerned with developing and testing a theory in order to generalize a study’s findings
  34. 34. 5. Writing the research report... Describe the setting where the data were collected Identify characters of focus describe the social action in which the characters are engaged offer an interpretation of what the social action means to the characters