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Sessions 9, 10, 11, 12 Qualitative Research

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Title: Sessions 9, 10, 11, 12 Qualitative Research


1
Sessions 9, 10, 11, 12 Qualitative Research
2
Session outline
  • What is qualitative research?
  • Research designs

3
Session 9 Introduction to Qualitative research
4
  • In groups of 3, share your information about
    thick description
  • Prepare a summary of key points

5
Thick description
  • Clifford Geertz (1926-2006)
  • His oft-cited essay, "Deep Play Notes on the
    Balinese Cockfight 1973," is the classic example
    of thick description. Thick description is
    anthropological practice of explaining with as
    much detail as possible the reason behind human
    actions.

6
  • At the University of Chicago, Geertz became a
    champion of symbolic anthropology, a framework
    which gives prime attention to the role of
    symbols in constructing public meaning.
  • In his seminal work The Interpretation of
    Cultures (1973), Geertz outlined culture as "a
    system of inherited conceptions expressed in
    symbolic forms by means of which people
    communicate, perpetuate, and develop their
    knowledge about and attitudes toward life"

7
What is qualitative research?
  • Qualitative research is a type of scientific
    research that
  • seeks answers to a question
  • systematically uses a set of procedures to
    answer the question
  • collects evidence
  • produces findings that were not determined in
    advance
  • produces findings that are applicable beyond
    the immediate boundaries of the study

8
Qualitative research
  • seeks to understand a given research problem or
    topic from the perspectives of the local
    population it involves
  • is especially effective in obtaining culturally
    specific information about the values, opinions,
    behaviors, and social contexts of particular
    populations

9
Reading
  • At the edge of the silent centre... (Wildy
    Clarke, 2010)
  • What can you learn from reading this piece?
  • How might the data that inform this piece have
    been collected?
  • Is it research?

10
Qualitative Research
  • Seeks to explore phenomena
  • Instruments use flexible, iterative style of
    eliciting and categorizing responses to questions
  • Use semi-structured methods such as in-depth
    interviews, focus groups, and participant
    observation
  • To describe variation
  • To describe and explain relationships
  • To describe individual experiences
  • To describe group norms
  • Open-ended
  • Textual (obtained from audiotapes, videotapes,
    and field notes)
  • Flexibility (the addition, exclusion or wording
    of interview questions)
  • Participant responses affect how and which
    questions researchers ask next
  • Study design is iterative - data collection and
    research questions are adjusted according to what
    is learned

11
Advantages of qualitative methods for exploratory
research
  • 1. Open-ended questions and probing give
    participants the opportunity to respond in their
    own words, rather than forcing them to choose
    from fixed responses
  • 2. Open-ended questions evoke responses that are
  • meaningful and culturally salient to the
    participant
  • unanticipated
  • rich and explanatory
  • 3. The researcher has the flexibility to probe
    initial participant responses to ask why or
    how. The researcher engages with the participant
    according to their individual personalities and
    styles, and use probes to encourage them to
    elaborate on their answers.

12
What can we learn from qualitative research?
  • complex textual descriptions of how people
    experience a given research issue
  • the human side of an issue the often
    contradictory behaviours, beliefs, opinions,
    emotions, and relationships of individuals
  • intangible factors, such as social norms,
    socioeconomic status, gender roles, ethnicity,
    and religion, whose role in the research issue
    may not be readily apparent.

13
The steps in designing a qualitative study
  • Establish the general problem/aim to be addressed
  • Establishing a conceptual/theoretical framework
    for the study
  • Posing general and specific research questions
  • Deciding who will participate in the study
    (sampling methods)
  • Deciding on an appropriate qualitative research
    design

14
  • 6. Consider issues of quality e.g.,
    trustworthiness
  • Decide on data collection methods and establish
    data collection protocols
  • Manage, analyse and interpret data
  • Write up findings

15
Research designs
16
The Case Study
  • Focuses on individual cases and what can be
    learned from an in-depth analysis of these
  • The definition of a case can vary significantly
    this can be, for example
  • A single teacher
  • A school of teachers
  • A school district
  • In a typical single case study, only one example
    is studied to investigate a phenomenon of
    interest
  • In a collective case study, several examples are
    studied to investigate a phenomenon (allows
    cross-case comparisons)

17
Ethnography (Participant Observation/Naturalistic
Inquiry)
  • Complete observer
  • Behind one-way mirror, invisible role
  • Observer as participant
  • Known, overt observer
  • Participant as observer
  • Pseudo-member, research role known
  • Complete participant
  • Full membership, research role not known (eg Bryn
    Roberts PhD)

18
Action Research
  • Generally grounded in professional practice
  • Primary goal is to improve practice, develop
    effective interventions, and promote and evaluate
    change processes
  • Is done in a cyclical manner alternating phases
    of action and reflection both doing and
    inquiring

19
Grounded Theory
  • Focuses on development of theory based on data
    systematically collected and analysed
  • Constant comparative analysis used in deriving
    theory based on cases
  • Aim is to develop generalisable theory throught
    multiple comparisons across situations

20
Session 10 Sampling
21
Session outline
  • Sampling in qualitative research
  • Data collection in qualitative research

22
Considerations in sampling
  • In deciding on sampling method
  • Depth of analysis versus breadth (across
    people/cases)
  • Rich understanding of a specific context rather
    than generalising to a population
  • Based on conceptual rather than statistical power
    issues
  • The notion of purposive sampling

23
Purposive Sampling Strategies
  • Heterogenous samples
  • Sample diverse cases with diverse characteristics
    with goal of exploring common patterns
  • Homogenous samples
  • Obtain similar cases to obtain an in-depth
    understanding of a particular group
  • Deviant samples
  • Focus on cases that are unusual in some
    identified way (e.g. very high level leaders)
  • Typical case samples
  • Attempt to elucidate what is typical in a given
    context or setting

24
Sampling types
  • Purposive
  • Convenience
  • Quota
  • Snowballing

25
Sample size in Qualitative Research
  • An effective sample is not determined by size,
    but by
  • Saturation
  • Redundancy
  • Aim to obtain small samples to provide a sound
    basis for studying the phenomenon of interest

26
Data collection methods
  • The interview

27
Interviewing
  • Interviews allow researchers to
  • Explore participants perspectives in their own
    terms
  • Inquire about the meaning people attach to
    certain events
  • Interviews can be
  • Informal conversational (handout)
  • Structured - fixed-response
  • Semi-structured

28
What makes a good interview?
  • Brainstorm the actions of interviewer and those
    of interviewee that make for a good interview
  • Role of interviewer
  • Role of interviewee

29
Probing
  • What are some effective probes?
  • Direct probes
  • Indirect probes

30
Interview
  • In groups of three, take turns to be
  • Interviewer
  • Interviewee
  • Observer
  • Roles
  • Interviewer seeks to understand the research
    interest of the interviewee, especially the
    research question
  • Observer gives feedback to both interviewer and
    interviewee on their roles

31
  • In pairs, help each other to generate at least 3
    different ways of exploring your research topic
  • Consider alternative research questions

32
  • Write notes on what you have learned about the
    art and craft of interviewing

33
Session 11
34
Session outline
  • More data collection
  • Observation
  • Focus group discussions
  • Document review
  • Data analysis
  • Data representation

35
Observation
  • Purpose of observation
  • Describe the context
  • See what is spoken about first hand
  • Confirm reports of respondents
  • Requires training, preparation and discipline
  • Develop an observation checklist
  • Observation as
  • as outsider - unobtrusive
  • participant observation
  • Includes what is not seen
  • Generates field notes (narratives eg drug
    rehabilitation)

36
Focus Group Discussions
  • Advantages
  • Efficient/Cost-effective
  • Quality of data enhanced by group participants(?)
  • Can quickly assess the extent to which there is
    agreement or diversity on an issue

37
  • Limitations
  • Limits number of questions that can be posed
  • May minimise responses made by each participant
  • Minority views may not be heard
  • Confidentiality cannot assured
  • Requires significant group process skills
  • Explores broad themes, not subtle
  • Views are mediated by group members

38
Document review
  • Obtain access to key documents and records at the
    outset
  • Documents can help to establish what needs to be
    pursued through other methods (e.g., direct
    observation, interviews)
  • Consider whether the documents are public
    ethical issues
  • Examples minutes of meetings, brochures, school
    reports, school websites

39
What forms do qualitative data take?
  • Types of data are
  • field notes
  • audio (and sometimes video) recordings
  • transcripts

40
Stages in qualitative data analysis
  • Qualitative data analysis is an iterative
    process, involving several rounds of reflecting,
    analysing, theorising, and verifying
  • During data collection
  • Reading data immersion reading and re-reading
  • Coding listen to the data for emerging themes
    and begin to attach labels or codes to the texts
    that represent the themes

41
  • After data collection
  • Displaying the themes (all information)
  • Developing hunches, questioning and checking
  • Reducing from the displayed data identify the
    main points

42
  • Interpretation (2 levels)
  • At all stages searching for core meanings of
    thoughts, feelings, and behaviours described
  • Overall interpretation
  • Identify how themes relate to each other
  • Explain how study questions are answered
  • Explain what the findings mean beyond the context
    of your study
  • Representation of data
  • Themes, illustrated by data
  • Tables, schemes, models, diagrams, frameworks
  • Narratives

43
Processes in qualitative data analysis
  • 1. Reading / Data immersion
  • Read for content
  • Identify emergent themes and pose tentative
    explanations
  • Read identifying patterns
  • After identifying themes, examine how these are
    patterned
  • 2. Coding
  • Building theme related files

44
  • Displaying data
  • Capture the variation or richness of each theme
  • Take note of any differences between individuals
    and sub-groups
  • Return to the data and examine evidence that
    supports each sub-theme
  • Developing hunches, questioning and checking
  • Extract meaning from the data
  • Do the categories developed make sense?
  • What pieces of information are missing or
    underdeveloped?
  • What other opinions should be taken into account?
  • How do my own biases influence the data
    collection and analysis process?

45
  • Data representation
  • Make visible the most essential concepts and
    relationships and provide overall sense of the
    data
  • Distinguish main and sub- themes
  • Separate essential from non-essential data
  • Use visual devices e.g. matrices, diagrams
  • Interpretation
  • Identify core meaning of the data
  • Attributed meanings should be credible
  • Consistent with data collected
  • Verified with respondents
  • Present multiple perspectives (convergent and
    divergent views)

46
Activity
  • Read three short narratives
  • Select one to share with a colleagues in terms of
  • place
  • actions
  • point of view
  • message

47
Narrative writing
  • Narratives or narrative accounts are one method
    of representing qualitative data
  • Benefits
  • provide context (opposite of decontextualisation)
  • show interrelationships (opposite of
    fragmentation)
  • illustrate complexity (opposite of reductionism)
  • give voice to participants (rather than the
    impersonal and neutral researcher
  • serve as metaphors
  • stay in the memory

48
Session 12 Conceptual frameworks
49
Conceptual framework
  • A representation (diagram, description) of the
    main concepts and their relationships
  • Helps clarify
  • Where you are coming from
  • Your assumptions
  • Your research focus
  • The appropriateness of your design

50
Click here for full sized version of the
image
51
A Conceptual Framework for Architectural
Description
52
Conceptual Framework
53
        Knowledge of Learner Candidates
understanding of the learner which is necessary
to provide effective and equitable instruction  
54
  • Conceptual frameworks are usually less common in
    qualitative research but can be useful
  • (handout)

55
Session 12 Trustworthiness in qualitative research
56
Criteria for judging the quality and credibility
of qualitative research
  • General criteria
  • Data collection and analysis methods well
    justified and suited to research question/s posed
  • Alternative possibilities are considered, such
    as
  • Plausible alternative themes or explanations are
    discussed
  • Negative cases are analysed in depth to establish
    the basis for their abberrant status

57
  • Triangulation (crystalisation) divergent sources
    of information
  • Methods (interviews, observations, document
    analysis)
  • Sources (different teachers, or teachers with
    other school staff)
  • Theoretical frameworks (different assumptions to
    identify any inconsistencies in developed
    theories)
  • Member check ask participants to confirm
    transcripts/analyses

58
Debate preparation
  • Set up teams
  • Identify speakers
  • Prepare arguments for/against
  • Topic That qualitative research is better than
    quantitative research
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