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An introduction to phenomenographic research


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An introduction to phenomenographic research

  1. 1. An introduction to phenomenographic research Sheila Webber and Bill Johnston EAHIL+ICAHIS+ ICLC workshop Edinburgh June 2015
  2. 2. Structure • Introduction to phenomenography – What it is & the process of research – Examples of research • Exercise: Examining a phenomenographic study • Carrying out phenomenographic research – Research question and sampling – Phenomenographic interviewing – Phenomenographic analysis • Exercise: Transcript analysis • How you could use phenomenography in your own work Sheila Webber and Bill Johnston, 2015
  3. 3. Introduction to phenomenography Sheila Webber and Bill Johnston, 2015
  4. 4. "Phenomenography is the empirical study of the differing ways in which people experience, perceive, apprehend, understand, conceptualise various phenomena in and aspects of the world around us.” Marton (1994) Marton, F. (1994). Phenomenography. In T. Husén and T.N. Postlethwaite. (Eds.), The international encyclopedia of education. (2nd ed.). (pp. 4424-4429) Oxford, England: Pergamon Press. Sheila Webber and Bill Johnston, 2015
  5. 5. Phenomenon ? Interviewee Interviewer Interviewees chosen purposively, usually to maximise potential variation The interview circles around the central question: discovering the key focus of Interviewee’s conception of the phenomenon You should be empathetic, but should not influence the interviewee Sheila Webber and Bill Johnston, 2015
  6. 6. Interviews e.g. for academics’ conceptions of IL and teaching IL - 3 basic questions: – What is your conception of IL? – How do you engage your students in IL? – What is your conception of the Information Literate University? Sheila Webber and Bill Johnston, 2015
  7. 7. Categories Pool of interview transcripts Analysis e.g. describing different ways of experiencing the phenomenon A descriptive ‘snapshot’ + Outcome Space (structure) Holistic view Variation not communality Not looking for causal relationships Focus only on transcripts Sheila Webber and Bill Johnston, 2015
  8. 8. Examples • Librarians’ conceptions of themselves as teachers (Wheeler, 2014) • UK academics’ conceptions of information literacy, and pedagogy for information literacy (e.g. Webber et al., 2005) • Irish solo librarians’ conceptions of Continuing Professional Development (Hornung, 2013) • Older Australians’ experiences of health information literacy (Yates et al., 2012) Sheila Webber and Bill Johnston, 2015
  9. 9. Categories from Hornung’s research • Category 1 CPD is upskilling for the sake of the organization/library service (service orientation) • Category 2 CPD is about developing as a professional librarian (LIS profession orientation) • Category 3 CPD is helping you to do all the jobs an OPL does (OPL orientation) • Category 4 CPD is when you have learned something and you want to do things in a better way when you come back (personal orientation) • Category 5 CPD is about your development as a human being (lifelong learning orientation) Sheila Webber and Bill Johnston, 2015
  10. 10. Category 1 ‘“Well, I did go to one on copyright and it was interesting, but . . . maybe it would have been more relevant [mentions different library type] librarian. And we’d be very, very direct and the type of work I do is very consistent and I’d know things in copyright in terms of what I do. I feel that I’m very much geared, like the library where I work has made me, rather than, you know what I mean? I fit into what’s needed in the organization and adapt to that . . . So I suppose I kind of see myself more of an information officer rather than a librarian in the more traditional sense, do you know . . . So, I think I’ve just kind of more developed with the organization and knowing what that needs rather than my own needs.”’ (Interviewee 4) (684-5) Category 5 ‘“Mmmmh. . . . for myself, personally, yeah? [Interviewer: Yeah] Oh, your mind would go numb if you didn’t continue to learn. Everyone should learn for life, I suppose.”’ (Interviewee 10) (689) Sheila Webber and Bill Johnston, 2015
  11. 11. Examining a phenomenographic study Andresson, E.K., Willman, A., Sjostrom-Strand, A. and Borglin, G. (2015). Registered nurses' descriptions of caring: a phenomenographic interview study. BMC Nursing, 14:16. DOI 10.1186/s12912-015-0067-9 Sheila Webber and Bill Johnston, 2015
  12. 12. Discussion • Questions that we already posed – Think about how the researchers justified/located the study in the overall context of the historical development of nursing and some current challenges. – How does the account of methods relates to your ideas about how to conduct research? – Raise any questions you would like to ask e.g. clarifying terminology • Discuss them in groups, then share in discussion Sheila Webber and Bill Johnston, 2015
  13. 13. Carrying out a phenomenographic study Sheila Webber and Bill Johnston, 2015
  14. 14. Identifying the research question This will be in the form of: What are the qualtatively different ways in which [the population] conceive of/ experience [the phenomenon] “The focus of this study was to describe the variation in how nurses could conceive, understand and conceptualise the phenomenon of caring” (Andersson et al, 2015)
  15. 15. Selecting the sample • Identify target population • Purposive sample • Try to get variation (you may not know what the factors in conceiving differently are, but think about factors which might cause variation: these will vary depending on the phenomenon studied) Sheila Webber and Bill Johnston, 2015
  16. 16. Phenomenographic interviewing Sheila Webber and Bill Johnston, 2015
  17. 17. Key issues • Data normally normally gathered in semi structured interviews • Always circling round the main research question (including asking it directly!) – sometimes talk about a spiral process • Empathy in interviewing • Bracketing your own views (setting them to one side); vital not to “lead” interviewee’s thinking • Ashworth and Lucas (2000) useful article Sheila Webber and Bill Johnston, 2015
  18. 18. Interviewing as a learning experience (see Hornung Salha & Webber: observations on 3 studies) • Interviewees mentioned how interviews changed their thinking • Interview as a learning experience for both interviewer and interviewee • Relationship between interviewer and interviewee changed • The setting influenced the quality of the relationship and of the interview • Cultural issues & existing relationships need to be taken into account Sheila Webber and Bill Johnston, 2015
  19. 19. Phenomenographic analysis Sheila Webber and Bill Johnston, 2015
  20. 20. Analysis has to reveal 2 things • Referential aspect (what is being experienced; what it means): Categories of description, each category describing one experience/ conception • Structural aspect (how the phenomenon is experienced): Outcome space showing how the categories are related, including the dimensions of variation that link and separate the conceptions • We will focus on identifying categories in this session Sheila Webber and Bill Johnston, 2015
  21. 21. Process of analysis • The most difficult, time-consuming part! “my phenomenographic research odyssey” (Joseph Essel) • Iterative process • Remembering always to focus on quotations: these exemplify meaning they are not just illustrative • May be useful to start with one or a few transcripts • Useful to have team or fellow researcher to challenge each others’ ideas once you start proposing categories • Generally categories start emerging before structure, but again this is iterative Sheila Webber and Bill Johnston, 2015
  22. 22. Pictures copyright Eva Hornung
  23. 23. Pictures copyright Eva Hornung
  24. 24. • Many themes associated with the phenomenon may emerge • You are looking for the ones in focal awareness, the ones that are returned to • Therefore numerous themes may be identified initially, but dropped in the final analysis Sheila Webber and Bill Johnston, 2015
  25. 25. 3 criteria for categories • They must be qualitatively distinctive • They should be structurally linked (possibly hierarchically) • There should be the minimum number of categories that can capture the variations in experience or conception (Marton and Booth, 1997: 125) Sheila Webber and Bill Johnston, 2015
  26. 26. Boon, Johnston & Webber 2006 TranscriptsInterview Atlas/TI Interviewee Discussion, debate, and analysis Atlas/TI data (charts/graphs) Reading, annotating, highlighting, selecting quotes, and concept- mapping Interviewer Reflecting, distilling and drafting Example research process Categories and outcome space
  27. 27. Readings re: analysis • 2 books published by RMIT (Bowden and Walsh, 2000; Bowden and Green, 2005) • Methods chapters from PhD theses • Data analysis section in Lupton (2004) • Marton and Booth (1997) Sheila Webber and Bill Johnston, 2015
  28. 28. Exercise: Transcript analysis Sheila Webber and Bill Johnston, 2015
  29. 29. • Identify quotations which you think exemplify some aspect of the interviewee’s conception(s) of information literacy – Individually read through the transcript and mark things out • Compare and discuss what you have discovered – Agreement/ disagreement about what are significant quotations – Do they exemplify one or more conceptions? – How might you start to categorise the conceptions? Sheila Webber and Bill Johnston, 2015
  30. 30. How you could use phenomenography in your own work Sheila Webber and Bill Johnston, 2015
  31. 31. Reasons for understanding phenomenography • Gaining insight into information and healthcare practice from existing phenomenographic research • Carrying out your own research Sheila Webber and Bill Johnston, 2015
  32. 32. Applications of phenomenographic research • Variation theory: having identified how learners’ conceive of a subject, you design learning that enables them to experience the variations • Workplace training & education (e.g. studies of how patients’ experience illnesses - useful for training nurses) Sheila Webber and Bill Johnston, 2015
  33. 33. Sheila Webber Information School University of Sheffield Twitter & SL: Sheila Yoshikawa Orcid ID 0000-0002-2280-9519 Bill Johnston Honorary Research Fellow University of Strathclyde
  34. 34. References and readings • Ashworth, P. and Lucas, U. (2000). Achieving empathy and engagement: a practical approach to the design, conduct and reporting of phenomenographic research. Studies in Higher Education, 25(3), 295-308. • Boon, S., Johnston, B. and Webber, S. (2007). A phenomenographic study of English faculty's conceptions of information literacy. Journal of Documentation, 63 (2), 204-228. • Bowden, J.A. & Green, P. (Eds.) (2005). Doing developmental phenomenography. Melbourne, Australia: RMIT University Press. • Bowden, J. and Walsh, E. (2000). Phenomenography. Melbourne, Australia: RMIT University Press. • Hornung, E. (2013). On your own, but not alone: one-person librarians in Ireland and their perceptions of continuing professional development. Library Trends, 61 (3), 675-702. • Hornung, E., Salha, S. and Webber, S. (2014). Phenomenographic interviews as a learning process. • Lupton, M. (2004) The learning connection: information literacy and the student experience. Adelaide, Australia: Auslib Press. Sheila Webber and Bill Johnston, 2015
  35. 35. • Marton, F., & Booth, S. (1997). Learning and awareness. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. • Sjostrom, B. and Dahlgren, L. (2002). Applying phenomenography in nursing research. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 40(3), 339-345. • Stenfors-Hayes, T., Hult, H. & Dahlgren, M. (2013). A phenomenographic approach to research in medical education. Medical Education, 47, 261–270. • Webber, S., Boon, S. & Johnston, B. (2005). A comparison of UK academics’ conceptions of information literacy in two disciplines: English and Marketing. Library and Information Research, 29(93), 4-15. • Wheeler, E. (2014). Investigating academic librarians’ perceptions of their own teaching skills. Unpublished MA disseration. Sheffield, England: University of Sheffield. 14/External/Wheeler_130117630.pdf see also • Yates, C., Partridge, H., & Bruce, C. (2012). Exploring information experiences through phenomenography. Library and Information Research, 36 (112), 96–119. • Yates, C., Stoodley, I., Partridge, H., Bruce, C., Cooper, H., Day, G., & Edwards, S. (2012). Exploring health information use by older Australians within everyday life. Library Trends, 60 (3), 460-478. Sheila Webber and Bill Johnston, 2015