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Khalid qualitative research workshop Khalid qualitative research workshop Presentation Transcript

  • ManagingQualitative ResearchKhalid Mahmood, PhDProfessor of Library & Information ScienceUniversity of the Punjab 1
  • Acknowledgement This presentation is based on many books, notes, websites and presentations on the topic. The presenter pays his sincere gratitude to all authors, professors and experts for their efforts and contributions. 2
  • Agenda What is qualitative research? Qualitative traditions of inquiry Steps in qualitative study Ethical considerations Sampling Types of data Data collection Data analysis Validity, reliability and generalizability 3
  • What isqualitative research? 4
  • Qualitative research… Allows the researcher to understand a problem or phenomenon from the perspectives of the people it involves. Reveals a complete picture of a certain research issue. Seeks to provide a rich understanding of a certain research issue. 5
  • In qualitative methods… Researcher collects data in a real environment. Researcher himself/herself is the key research tool. Focus of research is a process or activity itself, not just results of that process or activity. Data collected is most often verbal (non- numerical). Verbal data analysis (rarely numerical). 6
  • Comparison of quantitative andqualitative methodsQUALITATIVE QUANTITATIVEMultiple realities Single realityReality is socially constructed Reality is objectiveReality is context interrelated Reality is context freeHolistic ReductionisticReasoning is inductive Reasoning is deductive and inductiveDiscovery of meaning is the basis of Cause-and-effect relationships areknowledge the bases of knowledgeDevelops theory Tests theory 7
  • Comparison of quantitative andqualitative methods (continued)QUALITATIVE QUANTITATIVEMeaning of concepts Measurement of variablesProcess oriented Outcome orientedControl unimportant Control importantRich descriptions Precise measurement of variablesBasic element of analysis is words Basic element of analysis is numbersUniqueness GeneralizationTrustworthiness of findings Control of error 8
  • Qualitative traditionsof inquiry 9
  •  Biography Historical research Phenomenology Grounded theory Ethnography Ethnology Case study Symbolic interaction 10
  • Biography The study of an individual and her or his experiences as told to the researcher or found in documents and archival material. Life history—The study of an individual’s life and how it reflects cultural themes of the society. 11
  • Biography (continued) Oral history—The researcher gathers personal recollections of events, their causes, and their effects from an individual or several individuals. The researcher needs to collect extensive information about the subject of the biography. The writer, using an interpretive approach, needs to be able to bring himself or herself into the narrative and acknowledge his or her standpoint. 12
  • Historical research Studies available data to describe, understand, and interpret past events. Uses primary sources of information. Does external and internal criticism of documents or artifacts. 13
  • Phenomenology Describes the meaning of the lived experience about a concept or a phenomenon for several individuals. Determines what an experience means for the persons who have had the experience and are able to provide a comprehensive description of it. From the individual descriptions, general or universal meanings are derived, in other words, the essences of structures of the experience. 14
  • Grounded theory Intends to generate or discover a theory that relates to a particular situation. If little is known about a topic, grounded theory is especially useful. Because the theory emerges from the data, it is said to be grounded in the data. Data collection and analysis occur simultaneously, until “saturation” is reached. Data reviewed and coded for categories and themes. 15
  • Ethnography A description and interpretation of a cultural or social group or system. The researcher examines the group’s observable patterns of behavior, customs, and ways of life. Involves prolonged observation of the group, typically through participant observation. 16
  • Ethnography (continued) Field work Key informants Thick description Emic (insider group perspective) and Etic (researcher’s interpretation of social life). Context important, needs holistic view. Needs grounding in anthropology. 17
  • Ethnography (continued) Many ethnographies may be written in a narrative or story telling approach which may be difficult for the audience accustomed to usual social science writing. May incorporate quantitative data and archival documents. 18
  • Ethnology Compares and analyzes the origins, distribution, technology, religion, language, and social structure of the ethnic, racial, and/or national divisions of humanity. 19
  • Case study An exploration of a “bounded system” or a case (or multiple cases) over time through detailed, in-depth data collection involving multiple sources of information rich in context. The context of the case involves situating the case within its setting which may be physical, social, historical and/or economic. 20
  • Symbolic interaction Investigates how people construct meaning and shared perspectives by interacting with others. 21
  • Steps inqualitative study 22
  • 1. General research question2. Select relevant site(s) and subjects3. Collection of relevant data4. Interpretation of data5. Conceptual and theoretical work6. Tighter specification of the research question7. Collection of further data8. Conceptual and theoretical work9. Write up findings 23
  • 24
  • Ethicalconsiderations 25
  •  Mutual respect and trust (prolonged interaction) Respect for social and cultural contexts Voluntary participation Informed consent Beneficence – doing good for others and preventing harm Confidentiality 26
  • Sampling 27
  • Determining a sample Even if it were possible, it is not necessary to collect data from everyone in a community. In qualitative research, the researcher needs to define and select a sample. The study’s research objectives and the characteristics of the study population determine which and how many people to select. 28
  • Sample size Usually smaller than quantitative study. Two general guidelines: the number of participants is sufficient when…  the extent to which the selected participants represent the range of potential participants in the setting  the point at which the data gathered begin to be redundant (data saturation) 29
  • Sampling methods No probability sampling Three of the most common sampling methods are:  Purposive sampling  Quota sampling  Snowball sampling 30
  • Purposive sampling Purposive sampling groups participants according to pre- selected criteria relevant to a particular research question.  ex. Vietnamese businessmen in the USA Sample sizes depend on:  Resources and time available  The study’s objectives If the researcher needs a specific number of participants, quota sampling is better. 31
  • Quota sampling Quota sampling begins with two decisions:  Whatcharacteristics?  How many people? Characteristics are selected in order to find participants who have experience with or knowledge of the research topic. The researcher goes into the community and selects the predetermined number of people demonstrating the pre-selected characteristics. 32
  • Snowball sampling Snowball sampling is a form of purposive sampling. Participants refer the researcher to other potential participants. Snowball sampling is often used to find and recruit “hidden populations” – groups not easily accessible to researchers. 33
  • Types of data 34
  •  Written field notes Audio recordings of conversations Video recordings of activities Diary recordings of activities / thoughts Documents Depth information on:  thoughts, views, interpretations  priorities, importance  processes, practices  intended effects of actions  feelings and experiences 35
  • Data collection 36
  •  Three data collection strategies: 1. Participant observation 2. In-depth interviews 3. Focus group interviews Qualitative researchers may combine more than one method 37
  • Participant observation Intensive, usually long term, examination of a social group, an organization, etc. Researcher becomes a participant in the lives of group members  Observes their behavior and learns meaning systems (which are tied to language) Most closely associated with Ethnography, as developed in Classical Anthropology Now done in a variety of disciplines 38
  • Participant observation (continued)  Today most ethnographers take an overt role  i.e.,their identity as a researcher is known to the people being studied  Covert participation (i.e., identity concealed from participants) is fraught with ethical issues 39
  • Steps involved in participantobservation researchA. Gaining entry into the groupB. Developing and maintaining rapportC. Developing a method for taking field notesD. Integrating data collection and data analysis 40
  • Steps in participant observation:Gaining entry into the group  Take into consideration the type of group  formal organizations require formal entry; involves letter writing, permission requests, etc.  Informal groups – different strategy needed  Access may be gained through a gatekeeper (an individual with special status)  Want to involve key informants (those who are most knowledgeable about the group) 41
  • Steps in participant observation:Developing/maintaining rapport  Researcher must work hard to develop and maintain good relationships in the field  e.g.,be sure not to become associated with one faction in a group or organization  Researcher could be blamed for problems that arise in the setting 42
  • Steps in participant observation:Strategies for taking field notes  Include descriptions and interpretations of individuals, interactions, and events  Distinguish descriptions from interpretations  Record time and location of observations, as well as key information (weather, events happening and their significance)  Keep theoretical memos – which are the tentative interpretations emerging and being assessed through further data collection 43
  • Field notes (continued)  May not be possible or advisable to take notes while in the field  Important that they be done as soon after field observation as possible  Note-taking is time-consuming because it is integral to guiding the data collection and continuing the analysis  e.g.,field notes for When Prophecy Failed were well over 1,000 typed pages 44
  • Steps in participant observation:Integrating data collection and analysis Organizing field notes into different types of files facilitates data analysis Master field file – complete journal of field notes; number pages and include entry dates Background, history file – subfile organizing background material Key character files – subfiles on key players in the group or organization Analytic files – subfiles for different types of observations or relationships 45
  • In-depth interviews Some studies cannot employ the participant observation method In-depth interviews allow participants to describe their experiences and the meaning of events taking place in their lives  Verbatimquotes capture the language and meaning expressed by participants Interviews are flexible and allow for probing  Interview method is quite diverse, adaptive 46
  • In-depth interviews (continued) Three key elements for the interview method to be successful:1. Explicit purpose – researcher and informant are aware that the discussion has a purpose2. Ethnographic explanations – researcher tries out explanations on the participants to see if they make sense  Encourage the informants to use colloquial language, and teach the researcher its meaning3. Ethnographic questions include: i. Descriptive questions – ask participants to describe their experiences (e.g., their ideas, circumstances, viewpoints, dilemmas, etc) ii. Structural questions – ask participants how they organize their world (e.g., activities) iii. Contrast questions – ask participants what is meant by specific terminology 47
  • Interview do’s and don’ts Do listen more and talk less Do follow up on what is not clear and probe more deeply into what is revealed Don’t use leading questions; do use open-ended questions (“probes”) Don’t interrupt; do wait Do keep interviewee(s) focused Don’t be judgmental about or react to an interviewee’s opinions, views, or beliefs Don’t engage in debate with an interviewee Do record everything the interviewee says and note impressions of interviewee’s nonverbal behavior 48
  • Focus group interviews Interview format, but in a group setting  6-12 participants with common experience Dates back to the 1940s – used to assess effectiveness of morale-boosting radio shows  1970s onward – used by market researchers  1980s onward – used by academics Transcript of discussion is the data  Plus accompanying notes  Use content analysis or grounded theory approach to analyze the data 49
  • Focus group interviews (continued) Strengths:  Open-ended question  Spontaneously deal with issues as they arise  Cost-effective method of collecting data  Less time-consuming Weaknesses:  One or two participants may dominate  Not done in a natural setting, so little “observation” to help understand the experience of the participants 50
  • Data analysis 51
  •  Open coding Systematic coding Affinity diagramming 52
  • Open coding Treat data as answers to open-ended questions  ask data specific questions  assign codes for answers  record theoretical notes 53
  • Example: Calendar routines Families were interviewed about their calendar routines  What calendars they had  Where they kept their calendars  What types of events they recorded … Written notes Audio recordings 54
  • Example: Calendar routines Step 1: translate field notes (optional) paper digital 55
  • Example: Calendar routines Step 2: list questions / focal points Where do families keep their calendars? What uses do they have for their calendars? Who adds to the calendars? When do people check the calendars? … 56
  • Example: Calendar routines Step 3: go through data and ask questions Where do families keep their calendars? 57
  • Example: Calendar routines Step 3: go through data and ask questions Calendar Locations: [KI] [KI] – the kitchen Where do families keep their calendars? 58
  • Example: Calendar routines Step 3: go through data and ask questions Calendar Locations: [KI] [KI] – the kitchen [CR] – child’s room [CR] Where do families keep their calendars? 59
  • Example: Calendar routines Step 3: go through data and ask questions Calendar Locations: [KI] [KI] – the kitchen [CR] – child’s room [CR] Continue for the remaining questions…. 60
  • Example: Calendar routines The result:  listof codes  frequency of each code  a sense of the importance of each code  frequency != importance 61
  • Example 2: Calendar contents Pictures were taken of family calendars 62
  • Example: Calendar contents Step 1: list questions / focal points What type of events are on the calendar? Who are the events for? What other markings are made on the calendar? … 63
  • Example: Calendar contents Step 2: go through data and ask questions What types of events are on the calendar? 64
  • Example: Calendar contents Step 2: go through data and ask questions Types of Events: [FO] [FO] – family outing What types of events are on the calendar? 65
  • Example: Calendar contents Step 2: go through data and ask questions Types of Events: [FO] [FO] – family outing [AN] - anniversary [AN] What types of events are on the calendar? 66
  • Example: Calendar contents Step 2: go through data and ask questions Types of Events: [FO] [FO] – family outing [AN] - anniversary [AN] Continue for the remaining questions…. 67
  • Reporting results Find the main themes Use quotes / scenarios to represent them Include counts for codes (optional) 68
  • Software: Microsoft Word 69
  • Software: Microsoft Excel 70
  • Software: ATLAS.ti 71
  • Software: NVivo 72
  • Systematic coding Categories are created ahead of time  from existing literature  from previous open coding Code the data just like open coding 73
  • Affinity diagramming Goal: what are the main themes?  Write ideas on sticky notes  Place notes on a large wall / surface  Group notes hierarchically to see main themes 74
  • Example: Calendar field study Families were given a digital calendar to use in their homes Thoughts / reactions recorded:  Weekly interview notes  Audio recordings from interviews 75
  • Example: Calendar field study Step 1: Affinity notes  go through data and write observations down on post-it notes  each note contains one idea 76
  • Example: Calendar field study Step 2: Diagram building  place all notes on a wall / surface 77
  • Example: Calendar field study Step 3: Diagram building  move notes into related columns / piles 78
  • Example: Calendar field study Step 3: Diagram building  move notes into related columns / piles 79
  • Example: Calendar field study Step 3: Diagram building  move notes into related columns / piles 80
  • Example: Calendar field study Step 3: Diagram building  move notes into related columns / piles 81
  • Example: Calendar field study Step 3: Diagram building  move notes into related columns / piles 82
  • Example: Calendar field study Step 3: Diagram building  move notes into related columns / piles 83
  • Example: Calendar field study Step 3: Diagram building  move notes into related columns / piles 84
  • Example: Calendar field study Step 4: Affinity labels  write labels describing each group 85
  • Example: Calendar field study Step 4: Affinity labels  write labels describing each group Calendar placement is a challenge 86
  • Example: Calendar field study Step 4: Affinity labels  write labels describing each group Calendar placement Interface visuals is a challenge affect usage 87
  • Example: Calendar field study Step 4: Affinity labels  write labels describing each group People check the Calendar placement Interface visuals calendar when not at is a challenge affect usage home 88
  • Example: Calendar field study Step 5: Further refine groupings People check the Calendar placement Interface visuals calendar when not at is a challenge affect usage home 89
  • Validity, reliability andgeneralizability 90
  • Threats to validity Observer bias  Invalid information resulting from the perspective the researcher brings to the study and imposes upon it  e.g., studying one’s own culture Observer effects  The impact of the observer’s participation on the setting or the participants being studied  e.g., people may do things differently 91
  • Strategies to enhance validity Intensive, long term involvement  more data, repeated observation and interviews Rich data  full and detailed descriptions Respondent validation  ask them if the reporting is correct Intervention  interact with them and see how behavior changes Searching for negative cases and alternative explanations Triangulation  collect data from a variety of settings and methods Quasi-statistics  e.g., frequency counts of the argument Comparison  multicase, multisite studies 92
  • Reliability It is a quantitative measure. This concept is irrelevant in qualitative research. However, to test a qualitative study for reliability, you need to convert data into relevant numbers and determine efficacy based on the results. 93
  • Generalization A generalization is usually thought of as a statement or claim that applies to more than one individual, group, or situation. The value of a generalization is that it allows us to have expectations about the future. A limitation of qualitative research is that there is seldom justification for generalizing the findings of a particular study. Due to this problem, replication of qualitative studies becomes more important than for quantitative studies. 94
  • Thanks to allparticipants 95