Qualitative Data Collection Dr. Susheewa Wichaikull, RN, Ph.D.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS OF QUALTATIVE DATA CLLECTION? 1- Identify the participants and sites. 2- Gain access i.e. permission. 3- Define the type of data to collect. 4- Develop data collection forms i.e. observational checklist. 5- Administer the process in an ethical manner.
Populations and siteHow to recruit participant and site?- Random sampling Vs Purposive sampling
Random “Quantitative” Purposeful “Qualitative” sampling sampling Select people or sites who can best Select representative individuals help us understand our phenomenon To generalize from sample to the To develop a detailed understanding populationTo make “claims” about the population That might provide useful information. That might help people learn about theTo build/test “theories” that explain the phenomenon.population. That might give voice to silenced people.
Purposive Sampling• Researchers intend to select individuals and sites based upon the limitation in order to learn and understand the central phenomenon.
Types of Purposive Sampling o Maximal Variation Sampling o Extreme Case Sampling o Typical Sampling o Theory or Concept Sampling o Homogeneous Sampling o Critical Sampling o Opportunistic Sampling o Snowball Sampling o Confirming and Disconfirming Sampling
Maximal Variation Sampling: A purposive sampling strategy in which the researcher samples cases or individuals that differ on some characteristic or trait. e.g. different age groups.
Extreme Case SamplingIs a form of purposive sampling in which the study an outlier case or one that displays extreme characteristics.-Choose extreme cases after knowing the typical or average case-e.g., outstanding successes, crisis events
Typical SamplingA form of a purposive sampling in which the researcher studies a person or site that is “typical” to those unfamiliar with the situation.
Theory or Concept SamplingA purposive sampling strategy in which the researcher samples individuals or sites because they can help the researcher generate or discover a theory or specific concepts within the theory.
Homogeneous SamplingThe researcher purposefully samples individuals or sites based on membership in a subgroup that has defining characteristics.
Critical SamplingIdentify the case that can illustrate some phenomenon dramatically.
Opportunistic SamplingPurposive sampling undertaken after the research begins, to take advantage of unfolding events that will help answer research questions.
Snowball SamplingA form of purposive sampling that typically proceeds after a study begins and occurs when the researcher asks participants to recommend other individuals to study.
Confirming and Disconfirming SamplingA purposive strategy used during a study to follow up on specific cases to test or explore further specific findings.
A key informantA key informant is• a person who has unique skills or professional background related to the issue being studied.• A person who is knowledgeable about the project participants, or has access to other information of interest to the evaluator.• A person who has a way of communicating that represents the essence of what the participants say and do.
Advantages and disadvantages of using key informants • Advantages •Information concerning causes, reasons, andbest approaches from an "insider" point of view •Advice/feedback increases credibility of study •Pipeline to pivotal groups •May have side benefit to solidify relationships between evaluators, clients, participants, and other stakeholders
Disadvantages• Time required to select and get commitment may be substantial• Relationship between evaluator and informants may influence type of data obtained• Informants may interject own biases and impressions• May result in disagreements among individuals leading to frustration/ conflicts
HOW TO GAIN ACCESS TO THE SITES? Gaining access to the site or individual(s) in qualitative inquiry involves obtaining permission at different levels, such as: The organisation The site The individuals The campus institutional review boards
WHAT INFORMATION ARE INVOLVED Observations, reflective journal, field note Interviews , Tape or video record Documents, newspaper, poem, diary Photographs Audiovisual materials, songs
Categories of Data Collection Data collection strategy Method Attributes ChallengesData Collected directly in words from peopleInterviews: one-to-one Reveal information about the Interviews are a time-question-and-answer sessions worldview of a single individual. consuming form of datawhere the researcher may This is a flexible strategy that collection. To gather datause a variety of techniques. can be massaged during data from one person requiresInterviews average 30-45 collection as needed to heighten preparation, the time of theminutes per person results. interview, and the time of transcription.Focus groups: group More time effective than The group dynamics mayInterviews, using the same interviews but with slightly less interfere with complete orvariety of techniques and flexibility. The group process accurate data.talking approximately the may encourage results from shysame length of time as or hesitant people when theinterviews. group brings up topic with which they agree.
Considerations in conducting in-depth interviews and focus groups Factors to consider in determining the setting for interviews (both individual and group) include the following: • Select a setting that provides privacy for participants. • Select a location where there are no distractions and it is easy to hear respondents speak.
• Select a comfortable location.• Select a nonthreatening environment.• Select a location that is easily accessible for respondents.• Select a facility equipped for audio or video recording.
• Stop telephone or visitor interruptions to respondents interviewed in their office or homes.• Provide seating arrangements that encourage involvement and interaction.
Advantages and disadvantages of in-depth interviewsAdvantages•Usually yield richest data, details, new insights•Permit face-to-face contact with respondents•Provide opportunity to explore topics in depth•Afford ability to experience the affective as well ascognitive aspects of responses•Allow interviewer to explain or help clarify questions,increasing the likelihood of useful responses•Allow interviewer to be flexible in administeringinterview to particular individuals or circumstances
Disadvantages• Expensive and time-consuming• Need well-qualified, highly trained interviewers• Interviewee may distort information through recall error, selective perceptions, desire to please interviewer• Flexibility can result in inconsistencies across interviews• Volume of information too large; may be difficult to transcribe and reduce data
Categories of Data Collection Method Data collection strategy Attributes ChallengesData Collected once or throughout a process of changeReflective Journals: Subjective account of the event Similar to interviews,Handwritten of verbal from the point of view of the reflective journals displayaccount of an event, or group writer, who may be the the worldview of singleof events, overtime. researcher or a subject of a individuals. They alsoThese often unveil how research. Can be collected once frequently requirewriters subscribe meaning to or throughout a process of transcription.their topics. changeField notes: written May follow a prescribed format Somewhat more objectiveexplanations or data taken, or be open-ended. than reflective dataoften by multiple observers at although still subject to thea single event, capturing biases of the writer.interactions of interest to thelarger topic under study.
Reflective Journal• Reflective journal is a series of writings in response to life experiences and events that may also involves reflections on what took place, express emotions, understandings and conclusions, lessons learned or action plans. Often called a “Journal Entry”
FieldnotesField notes refer to transcribed notes or the written account derived from data collected during observations and interviews.
FormatThere is no one format for field notes. Three possible formats are:• Save content part of field notes and reflective part of field notes in separate files.• Use two columns. The column on the right contains the content portion of field notes, with reflective comments relating to particular parts of the content part, written in the left column.
• Use wide left margin. Body of file contains content part, with the observers comments written in parentheses and indented under related paragraphs.
Categories of Data Collection Method Data collection strategy Attributes ChallengesData Collected during the event(s) being studiesAnecdotal evidence and logs: May follow a prescribed format or be Somewhat moredata taken from people often open-ended. May be more objective objective thanoutside the research team about the topic of study, since not reflective datathat report the facts of the constrained by the biases of the although still subjectinteractions as understood by research team’s discussions of the to the biases of thethe writer. topic under study. writer.Observations: stylized note Are often collected over a period of Accuracy may betaking about predetermined time. Can be a collected by a variety constrained by theportions of an event or group of people, thereby increasing the point of view of theof events under study, possibility of reliable results. Accuracy person recording thegenerally taken by more than may be helped by voice or video data.one observer. Observations recording prior, with multiple peopleoften tally the number of taking part in analysis.times an event takes place.Student work: Can also be collected over time and May be hard to with the intention of showing growth. interpret accurately.
• Becker (1958) described the role of the participant observer as the gatherer of data by participating in the daily life of the group or organisation.
Observational roles A participant observer: is an observational role adopted by researchers when they take part in activities (the same as their participants) in the setting they observe.
Observational roles A nonparticipant observer: is an researcher who visit a site and records notes without becoming involved in the activities of the participants.
Observational roles• A changing observational role: is one where researchers adapt their role to the situation.
ObservationsThe process of gathering open-ended, firsthand information by observing people and places at a research site.
Advantages : opportunity to record information as it occurs in a setting,1- To study actual behavior and Permit evaluator to enter into andunderstand situation/context.2- Provide direct information about behavior of individuals andgroups3- To study individuals who have difficulty verbalizing their ideas.4. Provide good opportunities for identifying unanticipatedoutcomes5- Exist in natural, unstructured, and flexible setting
Disadvantages: Disadvantages1- Researcher will be limited to those sites andsituations where he/she can gain access.2- Researcher may have difficulty developrapport with individuals there.3- Culture shock may occur4- Hawthorne effect5-Expensive and time consuming6- Need well-qualified, highly trained observers7-Selective perception of observer may distortdata
InterviewsOccur when researchers ask one or more participants (groups), open- ended questions and record their answers.
Types of interviews Can be described into two ways : base upon participants and questions 1- one-on-one interviews: is a data-collection process in which the researcher asks questions to and records answers from only one participant in the study at a time.
2- focus group interviews: the process ofcollecting data through interviews with agroup of people, typically four to six.
3- telephone interviews: is the processof gathering data using the telephoneand asking a small number of generalquestions.
4- electronic e-mail interviews: consistof collecting open-ended data throughinterviews with individuals usingcomputer and the internet to do so.
Type of interview• Formal interview or structure• Informal interview or unstructured interview• Semi-structure interview• In-depth interviews focus on the depth detail of data.
Getting research participants to talk “Personal relations of trust are the basic ingredient for a research project which intends the collection of truthful information, data which retain the integrity of the actor’s perspective and social context. Such relations are essential for any project which seeks to penetrate the public fronts of our everyday lives”. (Johnson 1975: 121)
• Rapport are vital to gain trust.• Gate keeper is helpful person.
Transcribe tape record• Interviewer (or transcriber) listens to the tapes and writes a verbatim account of everything that was said.• Transcription of the raw data includes word- for-word quotations of the participant’s responses as well as the interviewer’s descriptions of participant’s characteristics, enthusiasm, body language, and overall mood during the interview.
• Notes from the interview can be used to identify speakers or to recall comments that are garbled or unclear on the tape.
Advantages and disadvantages of the interview: Advantages: 1- provide further information when you cannot directly observe participants. 2- Allow participants to describe detailed informationDisadvantages :1- Provides only information “filtered” through the views of theinterviewers.2- interview data may be deceptive and provide the perspective theinterviewee wants the researcher to hear.3- the presence of the researcher may affect how the intervieweeresponds.4- interviewee responses also may not be articulate, perceptive, orclear.
Conducting interviews:1- Identify the interviewees.2- Determine the type of interview you will use.3- During the interview, audiotape the questions and responses.4- Take brief notes during the interview.5- Locate a quiet, suitable place for conducting the interview.
6- Obtain the consent from the interviewee to participate in the study.7- Have a plan, but be flexible.8- Use probes to obtain additional information.9- Be courteous and professional when the interview is over.
DocumentsConsist of public and private records thatqualitative researchers obtain about a siteor participants in a study and they caninclude newspapers, minutes of meeting,personal journals, and letters.
Documents Advantages: 1- Being in the language and words of the participants. 2- Ready for analysis without the necessary transcription that is required observational or interview data.Disadvantages:1- Documents are some times difficult to locate and obtain.2- Information may not be available to the public.3- Information may be located in distant archives, requiring theresearcher to travel, which take time and can be expensive.4- The documents may be incomplete, inauthentic, or inaccurate. 5- In personal documents such as diaries or letters, the handwriting maybe hard to read.
Two main types of document• Public records are materials created and kept for the purpose of "attesting to an event or providing an accounting" (Lincoln and Guba, 1985)• Personal documents are first-person accounts of events and experiences. These "documents of life" include diaries, portfolios, photographs, artwork, schedules, scrapbooks, poetry, letters to the paper, etc.
Collecting documents: 1- Identify the type of documents that can provide useful information to answer your qualitative research questions.2- consider both public and private documents assources of information of your research.3- once the documents are located, seek permission touse them from the appropriate individuals in charge ofthe materials.
4- if you ask participants to keep a journal, provide specific instructions about the procedure.5- once you have permission to use documents,examine them for accuracy, completeness, andusefulness in answering the research questions in yourstudy.6- record information from the documents.
Audiovisual materialsConsist of images or sounds that researchers collect to help them understand the central phenomenon under study.
The advantages and disadvantages of using visual materials Advantages: 1- people easily relate to images because they are so pervasive in our society. 2- Images provide an opportunity for the participant to share directly their perceptions of reality. 3- images such as videotapes and films, for example, provide extensive data about real life as people visualize it.
Disadvantages:1- They are difficult to analyze because of the rich information.2- you as a researcher may influence the data collected.3- in selecting the photo album to examine or requesting that a certain type of drawing be sketched, you may impose your meaning of the phenomenon on participants, rather than obtain the participants’ views.
Steps of collecting audiovisual :materials1- determine what visual material can provideinformation to answer research questions and howthat material might augment existing forms of data,such as interviews and observations.2- identify the visual materials available andobtain permission to use it.
3- check the accuracy and authenticity of the visual materials if you do not record it yourself.4- collect the data and organize it.
How do you record data?For observations and interviews,qualitative researchers use speciallydesigned protocols.
Data recording protocols: Are forms designed and used by qualitative research to record information during observations and interviews.
Interview protocolIs a form designed by the researcher thatcontains instructions for the process ofthe interview, the questions to be asked,and space to take notes of responsesfrom the interviewee.
Development and design of an interview protocol1- It contains a header to record essentialinformation about the interview, statementsabout the purpose of the study a reminder thatparticipants need to sign the consent form, andsuggestion to make preliminary test of therecording equipment.
2- following this header are five brief open-ended questions that allow participantsmaximum flexibility for responding to thequestions.3- the core questions, 2 through 4, address majorresearch in the study.
Observational protocolIs a form designed by the researcher before data collection that is used for taking fieldnotes during an observation
Further ReadingDenzin, N.K., and Lincoln, Y.S. (Eds.). (1994). Handbook of Qualitative Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Fetterman, D.M. (1989). Ethnography: Step by Step. Applied Social Research Methods Series, Vol. 17. NewburyPark, CA: Sage.Guba, E.G., and Lincoln, Y.S. (1981). Effective Evaluation. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Krueger, R.A. (1988). Focus Groups: A Practical Guide for Applied Research. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.LeCompte, M.D., Millroy, W.L., and Preissle, J. (Eds.). (1992). The Handbook of Qualitative Research in Education.San Diego, CA: Academic Press.Lincoln, Y.S., and Guba, E.G. (1985). Naturalistic Inquiry. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Lofland, J., and Lofland, L.H. (1995). Analyzing Social Settings: A Guide to Qualitative Observation and Analysis, 3rdEd. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.Merton, R.K., Fiske, M., and Kendall, P.L. (1990). The Focused Interview: A Manual of Problems and Procedures, 2ndEd. New York: The Free Press.Miles, M.B., and Huberman, A.M. (1994). Qualitative Data Analysis: An Expanded Sourcebook. Thousand Oaks, CA:Sage.Morse, J.M. (Ed.). (1994). Critical Issues in Qualitative Research Methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Patton, M.Q. (1990). Qualitative Evaluation and Research Methods, 2nd Ed. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Schatzman, L., and Strauss, A.L. (1973). Field Research. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Seidman, I.E. (1991). Interviewing as Qualitative Research: A Guide for Researchers in Education and SocialSciences. New York: Teachers College Press.