Observational Research (version 1)

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  • Observational Research (version 1)

    1. 1. Observational Research 697 Qualitative Research February 20, 2008 By: Eddie Gose, Mark Hines, Lisa Waters
    2. 3. What is observational research? <ul><li>Observation of people in action </li></ul><ul><li>Act of recording that which is being observed </li></ul><ul><li>Roots in ethnographic research </li></ul><ul><li>Goal is to help the researcher learn perspectives held by participants (Mack, et al., 2005) </li></ul><ul><li>Used in conjunction with other methods (e.g. interviews, focus groups, content analysis) </li></ul>
    3. 4. Theory behind the method <ul><li>Need details </li></ul>
    4. 5. How do we go about it? <ul><li>Participative </li></ul><ul><li>Covertly </li></ul><ul><li>Overtly </li></ul>
    5. 6. Pros & Cons <ul><li>Pros </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible </li></ul><ul><li>Directly measures behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Gives researcher “insider” view </li></ul><ul><li>Allows for morphing of study </li></ul><ul><li>Open-ended </li></ul><ul><li>Cons </li></ul><ul><li>Time consuming </li></ul><ul><li>Difficult to record everything </li></ul><ul><li>Subjective </li></ul><ul><li>Participants may not act in true nature </li></ul><ul><li>Hard to be an “insider” </li></ul><ul><li>Invasive & intrusive </li></ul><ul><li>Not generalizable </li></ul><ul><li>Can’t measure cognitive or affective </li></ul>
    6. 7. Forms of data collection <ul><li>Field notes </li></ul><ul><li>Video </li></ul><ul><li>Audio </li></ul><ul><li>Transcripts </li></ul><ul><li>Need more </li></ul>
    7. 8. Phases of observational research <ul><li>Phase 1: develop positive relationships with participants, gatekeeper, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Phase 2: improve design, refocus, redefine questions after initial observations (may be ongoing) </li></ul><ul><li>Phase 3: select additional participants as necessary </li></ul><ul><li>Phase 4: follow up and probe deeper </li></ul>
    8. 9. Ethical Considerations <ul><li>How much do you disclose? Depends on type of research you are doing! Covert? Overt? Participative? </li></ul><ul><li>Make your intentions clear to participants </li></ul><ul><li>Get informed consent </li></ul><ul><li>Develop a “code of practice” </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain confidentiality </li></ul>
    9. 10. How to be an effective observer <ul><li>Know what you’re researching! </li></ul><ul><li>Check in with your lens, biases, experiences and expectations -- have a blank mind ( Goldbart, J. & Hustler, D., 2004, p. 18) </li></ul><ul><li>Know the culture </li></ul><ul><li>Rehearse how you’ll explain your purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Document what you observe without expectations! </li></ul><ul><li>Summarize and expand on field notes as soon as possible </li></ul><ul><li>Decide how you’ll observe </li></ul><ul><li>Be open to “research problem reformulation” (Goldbart, J. & Hustler, D., 2004, p. 18) </li></ul>
    10. 11. Tips for conduction observational research <ul><li>Find an “informant” </li></ul><ul><li>Field notes should include accounts of event, behaviors, reactions, conversations, physical gestures, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Go where people are engaged in their daily lives (Mack, et al., 2005) </li></ul>
    11. 12. What to observe (Mack, et al., 2005)
    12. 13. On your mark, get set, observe! <ul><li>Add the other two videos here -- give them the same instructions as we did at beginning of the PPT -- only this time, they need to employ what they have learned. </li></ul>
    13. 15. Add the other video
    14. 16. What did you learn?
    15. 17. Rap up
    16. 18. References and Bibliography <ul><li>Mack, N., Woodsong, C., MacQueen, K.M., Guest, G., & Namey, E. (2005). Qualitative research methods: A data collector’s field guide. Research Triangle Park, NC: Family Health International. </li></ul>

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