Qualitative methodologies involve collecting non-numerical data

Discussion 1

Qualitative Methodologies

Qualitative methodologies involve collecting non-numerical data, usually through interviews or observation. There are many approaches to qualitative research and no fully agreed upon “list” of methodologies. The text (Malec and Newman, 2013) describes six approaches in Section 3.1. The Frank and Polkinghorne (2010) article also describes three main qualitative approaches. The best way to learn about a variety of qualitative research methods is to read reports or articles of research around a topic you are interested in.

Instructions:

For your initial post, choose two articles that use a qualitative research method to answer a research question on your topic of interest. Remember that qualitative research is exploratory in nature, and is used to go deeper into issues of interest and explore nuances related to the problem at hand. Common data collection methods used in qualitative research include group discussions, focus groups, in-depth interviews, and uninterrupted observations. Data analysis typically involves identifying themes or categories, or providing in- depth descriptions of the data. Use the Anderson (2006) and Lee (1992) articles to obtain a better understanding of what qualitative research includes.

  • Briefly describe the particular qualitative research approach/methodology utilized in each of the two articles you selected (e.g. case study, ethnographic study, phenomenological study, etc.).
  • Refer to the week’s readings (or recommended articles) to help you explain.
  • Compare and contrast the two qualitative methods used:
    • What is the same and what is different and why?
    • Does either methods seem a good fit to explore your topic of interest?
    • Why/why not?

Post should be at least 300 words. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ postings.

Week 2

Qualitative Validity

Many researchers, particularly those from the hard sciences like mathematics or physics, consider quantitative research, with the ability to determine “statistical significance,” as more rigorous than qualitative research. Qualitative research does not lend itself to such mathematical determination of validity, rather it is highly focused on providing descriptive and/or exploratory results. However, this does not relieve the qualitative researcher from designing studies that are rigorous and high in “trustworthiness,” often the word used to describe validity in a qualitative study. There is no agreed upon set of criteria for ensuring a quality qualitative study, but there are a number of models of quality criteria.

Instructions:

  • After reading the assigned articles by Shenton (2004) and Freeman, deMarrais, Preissle, Roulston, and St. Pierre (2007), discuss at least three things a qualitative researcher can consider to increase the validity of a study’s results.
  • Give at least one example from one of the qualitative study articles you have found on your own topic of how a claim (reported result) is supported.
    • How does that article report on the validity of the study’s results?
    • Do the authors do a good job of demonstrating validity? If not, what could/should they have done differently?

Post should be at least 300 words.

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