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Qualitative Research Overview


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An overview of qual research.

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Qualitative Research Overview

  1. 1. Qualitative Research March 16, 2010 G. Andrew Page, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, UAA/COE A Short Overview of
  2. 2. Quotes There are no facts, only interpretations. ~ Nietzsche Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. ~Albert Einstein "A major strength of the qualitative approach is the depth to which explorations are conducted and descriptions are written, usually resulting in sufficient details for the reader to grasp the idiosyncracies of the situation." ~Myers
  3. 3. Qualitative Research is...
  4. 4. Characteristics <ul><li>Naturalistic inquiry began in journalism, anthropology (ethnography), and sociology (Chicago School) and involves the investigation of social problems </li></ul><ul><li>Focuses on how individuals and groups view and understand the world and construct meanings out of experience. Qualitative methods insist that we should not invent the viewpoint of the actor, and should only attribute to them ideas about the world they actually hold, in order that we can truly understand their motives, reasons and actions </li></ul><ul><li>In the last 20 years, after criticisms from quantitative researchers, new methods of qualitative research were developed to address problems with reliability and imprecise modes of data analysis. </li></ul><ul><li>In-depth knowledge </li></ul>
  5. 5. Characteristics Cont. <ul><li>Narrative oriented: data collected as words or pictures </li></ul><ul><li>Researcher embedded in research; researcher as instrument </li></ul><ul><li>Theoretical or purposeful sampling; focus on participants’ perspectives and meanings </li></ul><ul><li>Analytic induction is used to focus on commonalities among separate instances of a phenomenon. It is the systematic examination of similarities between various social phenomena in order to develop concepts or ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Meaning vs causation </li></ul><ul><li>Not about generalizability </li></ul>
  6. 6. Traditions in Qualitative Research <ul><li>Ethnography : description and interpretation of culture </li></ul><ul><li>Phenomenology : studies the meaning of lived experiences surrounding a particular phenomenon </li></ul><ul><li>Grounded Theory : generate theory related to a particular situation </li></ul><ul><li>Action Research : research done by persons, teams, or communities to improve strategies, practices, and knowledge of the environments within which they exist. </li></ul><ul><li>Case Study : in-depth examination of a single instance or event (the case) using a variety of methods. Analysis is done intra-case and across cases. </li></ul>
  7. 7. The People <ul><li>From Grounded Theory: theoretical (purposeful) sampling describes the process of choosing sites or cases to compare with one that has already been studied. </li></ul><ul><li>The goal of theoretical sampling is not the representative capture of all possible variations, but to gain a deeper understanding of analyzed cases and facilitate the development of analytic frameworks and concepts </li></ul><ul><li>Theoretical sampling can be viewed as a technique of data triangulation: using independent pieces of information to get a better fix on something that is only partially known or understood. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Data collection & Handling <ul><li>There is a common set of data collection and handling techniques </li></ul><ul><li>Qualitative Research often uses some combination of </li></ul><ul><li>Interview (structured, unstructured, semi-structured) & transcription </li></ul><ul><li>Focus groups </li></ul><ul><li>Observation (observer or participant-observer) </li></ul><ul><li>Field notes </li></ul><ul><li>Documents, public records, personal documents </li></ul><ul><li>Saturation, reduction & display </li></ul>
  9. 9. Data Analysis <ul><li>Many, many different techniques! If not &quot;objective&quot; in the strict positivist sense, qualitative analysis is arguably replicable insofar as others can be &quot;walked through&quot; the analyst's thought processes and assumptions.” QDA often uses one of the following: </li></ul><ul><li>Devising and affixing codes to field notes derived from observations, interviews, or documentary evidence </li></ul><ul><li>Noting reflections on observations or interviews (memos, field notes) </li></ul><ul><li>Identifying preliminary patterns, themes, and relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Conducting more focused investigation of observed commonalities and differences in subsequent waves of data collection </li></ul><ul><li>Gradually arriving at interpretations </li></ul>
  10. 10. Quality <ul><li>Make an argument for why yours is the most compelling of possible interpretations of the data </li></ul><ul><li>Verify interpretations (e.g., using a member check of study participants, triangulating from different data sources, or peer review) </li></ul><ul><li>Prolonged time in the field and rich data </li></ul><ul><li>Negative cases </li></ul><ul><li>Researcher credibility & reflexivity </li></ul>
  11. 11. Big Take-aways <ul><li>Qualitative research involves rich, descriptions, </li></ul><ul><li>Qualitative research can tell a story. </li></ul><ul><li>Qualitative research is time intensive. </li></ul><ul><li>Qualitative research </li></ul>
  12. 12. Web resources <ul><li>Interviews </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>An excellent section of Trochim's web site that discusses the following aspects of interviewing: the role of the interviewer, training interviewers, materials needed, opening remarks, asking the questions, probing, recording responses, and concluding the interview. </li></ul><ul><li>Participant Observation </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>This is a good paper on participant observation that discusses the advantages and disadvantages of involving participant-involved studies. </li></ul><ul><li>ETS Test Collection </li></ul><ul><li>This is the home page for ETS Test Collection. Using the Database Search option you can specify a search for observations that will identify many instruments that address a host of topics. </li></ul><ul><li>Learning Record Online </li></ul><ul><li>The Learning Record is primarily a document that enables teachers and students to observe a student's learning process over the course of a semester. It contains some brief but cogent discussions of observational methods as well as some sample observations in Appendix C that are interesting and useful. </li></ul>
  13. 13. References <ul><li>Adler, P. A. & Adler, P. (1987). Membership roles in field research . Newbury Park, CA: Sage. </li></ul><ul><li>Becker, H.S. (1996). The epistemology of qualitative research . University of Chicago Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Creswell, J. (1994) Research Design: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches . Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. </li></ul><ul><li>Creswell, J. (1998) Qualitative inquiry and r esearch design: Choosing among five traditions . Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. </li></ul><ul><li>Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (2000). Handbook of qualitative research (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. </li></ul><ul><li>Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (2005). Handbook of qualitative research (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. </li></ul><ul><li>Giddens, A. (1990). The consequences of modernity . Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. </li></ul>
  14. 14. More References <ul><li>Malinowski, B. (1922/1961). Argonauts of the Western Pacific . New York: E. P. Dutton. </li></ul><ul><li>Maxwell, J. (2006) Qualitative Research Design: An Interactive Approach (2nd ed) . (Applied Social Research Methods Series, Volume 41) . Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. </li></ul><ul><li>Miles, M. & Huberman, A. (1994). Qualitative Data Analysis: An Expanded Sourcebook (2nd ed.) . Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. </li></ul><ul><li>Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research & evaluation methods ( 3rd ed.) . Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. </li></ul><ul><li>Taylor, S. J., & Bogdan , R. (1998). Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods . Wiley. </li></ul><ul><li>Wolcott, H. F. (1995). The art of fieldwork . Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Wolcott, H. F. (1999). Ethnography: A way of seeing . Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  15. 15. Good Luck ! <ul><li>G. Andrew Page </li></ul>