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Qualitative Method

Notes by lecturer




INTRODUCTION TO QUALITATIVE RESEARCH RESEARCH METHODOLOGY DR. NUR SOFURAH MOHD FAIZ FAIZ UNIVERSITI TUN HUSSEIN HU SSEIN ONN MALA MALAYSIA YSIA QUALITATIVE RESEARCH QUALITATIVE RESEARCH WHAT IS QUALITATIVE RESEARCH? Qualitative research research is an inquiry approach in which: • explores a central phenomenon (one key concept) • asks participants broad, general questions • collects detailed views of participants in the form of words or images WHAT DO WE NEED TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN DESIGNING A QUALITATIVE STUDY? • Focus on process as well as outcomes • Use inductive reasoning • • Develop a complex picture of the phenomenon (studying many ideas with few participants and sites) Discuss the context of the phenomenon UNDERSTANDING THE CENTRAL PHENOMENON: • Quantitative research Independent Variable   influences X Dependent Variable Y • Qualitative research Y Central Phenomenon THE QUALITATIVE TRADITIONS Dimension Narrative Phenomenology Grounded Theory Ethnography Case Study Focus •Exploring the life of an individual • Understanding the essence of  experiences about a  phenomenon • Developing a theory grounded from data in the field • Describing and interpreting a cultural or  social group • Developing an in-depth analysis of a single case or  multiple cases Data Collection • Primary interviews and documents • Long interviews with up to 10  people • Interviews with 20-30 individuals to “saturate” categories and detail a theory • Primarily observations and interviews with additional artifacts during extended time in the field (e.g. 6 months to a year) • Multiple sources including documents, archival records, interviews, observations, • Physical artifacts Data Analysis • Stories • Epiphanies • Historical content • Statements • Meanings • Meaning themes • General description of the experience • Open coding • Axial Coding • Selective Coding • Conditional Matrix • Description • Analysis • Interpretation • Description • Themes • Assertions  Narrative Form • Detailed picture of an individual’s life • Description of the “essence” of the experience • Theory or  theoretical model • Description of  the cultural  behavior of a group or an • In-depth study of a “case” or  “cases” HOW TO START? • • Start with a research topic and a research problem Write down the topic and the research problem leading to our study • Write a good qualitative purpose statement. • Write good qualitative research questions. • Design the methods for qualitative study. WRITE DOWN THE RESEARCH TOPIC AND RESEARCH PROBLEM • • Identify the subject area or topic for the study Specify the research problem: The practical issue that leads to a need for your study. WRITE A GOOD QUALITATIVE PURPOSE STATEMENT • What it includes: Single sentence “The purpose of this study . . .” Central phenomenon Qualitative words (e.g. “explore,” “understand,” “discover”) Participants Research site  –  –  –  –  –  – HERE IS A SCRIPT FOR A GOOD QUALITATIVE PURPOSE STATEMENT: “The purpose of this qualitative study (replace later with type of  qualitative tradition) will be to ______(understand, describe, develop, discover) the ________(central focus) for  _______(participants: person, process, groups) at  ______________(site)." WRITING GOOD QUALITATIVE RESEARCH QUESTIONS • • • • • Begin with words such as “how,” “what,” Tell the reader what you are attempting to “discover,” “generate,” “explore,” “identify,” or “describe” Ask “what happened?” to describe Ask “What was the meaning to people of what happened?” to understand Ask “What happened over time?” to explore a process DESIGN THE METHODS FOR QUALITATIVE STUDY 1. Let’s design the methods for this qualitative study by choosing the type of qualitative tradition we will use in our methods. Include: Focus Data collection Data analysis Narrative form • • • • Cont: 2. Within this tradition, decide: • What data will we collect? • Where does the study will be conducted? • Who will be studied? • What information will be collected? Points to consider: • Can the people and sites help us learn about our central phenomenon? (purposefully select people and sites) • How many people and sites should we study? (keep sample size small) • Do we have access? (gain access) • Do we have permissions (obtain permissions) Cont: 3. Decide types of information can be collected in qualitative research: Observations Interviews Documents Audio-Visual Materials • • • • IF WE CHOOSE TO OBSERVE, HOW DO WE DO IT? • Create an observational protocol  – Record descriptive notes  – Record reflective notes • Decide on your observational stance • Enter site slowly • Conduct multiple observations • Summarize at end of each observation IF WE CHOOSE TO INTERVIEW, HOW DO WE INTERVIEW? • Decide on the type of interview to use Individual Focus group Telephone e-mail Create an interview protocol Ask open-ended questions (5-7) allows the participant to create options for responding participants can voice their experiences and perspectives If possible, tape record and transcribe for analysis  –  –  –  – • •  –  – • ONCE WE COLLECT THE DATA, HOW WILL WE ANALYZE IT? Codes the Text for Description to be Used in the Research Report Codes the Text for Themes to be Used in the Research Report The Researcher Codes the Data (i.e., locates text segments and assigns a code to label them) Interactive Simultaneous The Researcher Reads Through Data ( i.e., obtains general sense of material) The Researcher Prepares Data for analysis ( e.g., transcribes fieldnotes) The Researcher Collects Data (i.e., a text file, such as field notes, transcriptions, optically scanned material) ANALYSIS PROCESS Divide text Initially read into segments through data of information Many Pages of Text Many Segments of Text Label segments of  information with codes 30-40 codes Reduce Overlap and redundancy of codes Codes reduced to 20 Collapse codes into themes Reduce Codes to 5-7 Themes WHAT ARE THEMES? • • • • • Themes are broad categories of information (codes grouped together) Themes can describe a setting Themes can describe what occurred In the 5-7 themes, have some be: a) what you would expect; b) what you would not expect (unusual themes) Themes can also be related (chronology, grounded theory model) COMPUTER PROGRAMS AVAILABLE TO ASSIST DATA ANALYSIS: • ATLAS TI • NVIVO • N6 • MAXQDA HOW WILL WE REPORT OUR FINDINGS? (What topics do we present in the findings?) • • • • • We might describe the setting We might identify and discuss 5-7 themes (including multiple perspectives, good quotes, useful dialogue, even metaphors or analogies) We write in detail We try to make the narrative as realistic as possible (even note tensions/contradictions) We report the narrative in a way consistent with our tradition Narrative – typically a chronology Phenomenology – typically description building toward the essence of the phenomenon Ethnography – description of the setting and cultural themes that display the way culture-sharing works Grounded theory – categories of information leading to a theoretical model Case study - description of the case and themes of the case  –  –  –  –  – AT THE END OF OUR STUDY, WHAT INTERPRETATIONS CAN WE MAKE? (DISCUSSION SECTION OF STUDIES) • • Interpretation is stepping back – asking what all of this means; it is not neutral Options: We can give our own personal reflection (based on our experiences, history) We can compare our findings with the literature We can summarize in a general sense what we found We also need (as shown in scholarly discussion sections) Raise potential limitations in our study Make suggestions for future research Discuss the practical implications for our study  –  –  – •  –  –  – HOW DO WE KNOW THAT OUR INTERPRETATION (OR THEMES, OR QUESTIONS, OR THE ENTIRE RESEARCH REPORT) IS ACCURATE? • • • Member checking: Members check the accuracy of the account Triangulation: Looking for themes across different types of data; different researchers; different participants Others: peer review, external audit, report disconfirming evidence, clarify researcher’s stance, thick description, prolonged time in the field LIMITATIONS & ETHICAL ISSUES 1. Small numbers, transferability and generalisation. 2. Informed consent; three elements: • • • • Information – were participants provided sufficient information? Comprehension – did participants fully understand the study and have an opportunity to ask questions? Voluntariness – if the above two have been met, are participants free to decline or withdraw? Vulnerable populations Include: children, prisoners, people with impaired cognitive capacity QUIZ • True or false… …The central focus of qualitative research is to provide understanding of a social setting or activity from the perspective of the research participants • True or false… …An interviewer constructs the meaning of the content of an interview using his own interpretation • True or false… …One of the first issues in qualitative research is to gain entry to a site • True or false… …One indicator that an adequate number of participants has been selected is the extent to which the information given by participants reflects voluminous repetition. • True or false… …Purposive sampling strategies are especially useful in qualitative research • True or false… …A qualitative researcher should be wary of potential participants who are extremely eager to be included in the study • True or false… …Each observation session has its unique focus and interactions but is guided by a protocol or list of issues that frame the observation • True or false… …In qualitative research, data analysis begins as the researcher initiates data management • True or false… …An interviewer will almost always meet face-to-face with an interviewee while some observers will not. • True or false… …Transcripts are the field notes of an interview session • True or false… …Data analysis and interpretation are based on induction as the qualitative researcher discovers patterns emerging from the data and makes sense of them • True or false… …There are no predefined variables to focus qualitative analysis of the data • True or false… …Credibility demonstrates that the study was conducted in such a manner that the subject was accurately identified and described • True or false… …The process of analyzing qualitative research data follows a sequential four-step process • True or false… …The ability of the researcher to induce or construct meaning from the data greatly influences the duration and quality of the data analysis ACTIVITY How do you describe your first week at UTHM? 1. Choose a friend and ask one of the questions. 2. Record the conversation using a an audio recorder. 3. Transcribe the interview. 4. Analyse the interview. 5. Conduct member checking