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Qualitative reseach

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Henriette Holmegaard

on 10 September 2015

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Transcript of Qualitative reseach

The workshop's learning objectives

To identify different interview-methods and their knowledge-potential
To acquire the ability to analyse the strengths and limitations of different interview methods.
To discuss how the criteria for qualitative research differs from that of quantitative research.
The interaction in interviewing
- Levels of interpretation
Read the transcripts of two interviews.

In groups:
1. Discuss how the interaction takes place. How does the interviewer pose questions and how does the interviewee react to them (construction/ decoding)? Find examples in interaction where the questions produces various outcomes.

2. What kind of interview-method do you think is used?

3. Consider the pros and cons in the two different methods, and discuss the knowledge they produces.
Interview method, aim and theory
Use a few minutes individually:
What would be an appropriate interview-method to your own project and why?

Consider which kind of interview-method will suit your aim and theory best.

Present for your colleague.
Research criteria' for qualitative research
What did you learn?
Qualitative research

By Henriette T. Holmegaard

Structured interview
Narrative interview
Focus group interview
Peer interview
Longitudinal interview
Confrontational interview
Life history interview
Object-driven interview
Semi structured
A check list

Two and two (somebody you don't know). Take turn in interviewing each other.
One will take a structured interview approach (a miner) and the other an open narrative approach (a traveler).
The topic is: 'What is challenging when doing a Ph.d-project?'

- Use 5 min to prepare the interview individually
- Interview, 5 min
- individual evaluation, 2 min
- Interview, 5 min
- Evaluate, 2 min

Evaluate: The interviewer writes down: What did you talk about and how was it interviewing?
The interviewee writes down: What did you talk about how and was it essential? How was it being interviewed.
What should a researcher doing interviews report to convince fellow researchers of the quality of the research?

- Selection of and contact to participants
- Selection of interview method
- Interview setting
- Procedure
- Ethical considerations
- Analytic approach
Narrative longitudinal interviews
Open (narrative)
Structured (miner)
Open (traveler)
The truth is out there I just have to collect it

The way I ask questions is neutral, the setting does not affect the order or formulation of questions

Purpose: To collect facts

The interviewer is in control of what is being said

The replies are closely related to the questions. If not the interviewer will get the response back on track
I am co-producing the results

The way I prompt the interviewee with questions affect the interview

Purpose: To investigate meaning, produce thick descriptions

The interviewer is in control of what is being said, however in interaction with the interviewee

The replies are explored and elaborated
Aim: To explore meaning
Interviewer: A traveler that explores new territory

A few guidelines
Ask open questions
Did you feel lonely/ How did that make you feel?
Ask follow up questions to the replies
What do you mean when saying with it was difficult?
Pay attention to when and how you prompt new questions or interrupt the interviewee
Pay attention to your position
When do you smile, nod your head, interrupt...
You can prepare for themes you want to address in the
interview, but adapt to the interview (ask in circles)

Aim: To collect facts
Interviewer: A miner that uncovers hidden metal

A few guidelines
Write the exact questions and the order in which you want to pose them.
Pose the questions by reading them to the interviewee
Do not improvise new questions
Do not pose follow up questions, only if something is not clear
If the interviewee do not understand the question, reformulate the question
If the interviewees' answer illustrate that it is misunderstood - get her back on track
Interviewer construct the question

Based on research aim and theory
Based on own presumption and knowledge about the interviewee
Based on expectation to how the interviewee will reply
Based on expectations to how the interviewee will perceive the question
Based on ideas of how the interviewee interpretate the interview-setting

Interviewee decodes the question
Based on how the interviewee perceives the setting
Based on the interviewees' perception, knowledge presumption about the interviewer
Based on what the interviewee expect to be the interviewers' presumptions
Based on previously experiences with interviews
Based on the positioning (as expert, victim...)
Interviewee construct an answer
Based on how the interviewee perceives the setting
Based on the interviewees' perception, knowledge presumption about the interviewer
Based on what the interviewee expect to be the interviewers' presumptions
Based on previously experiences with interviews
Based on the positioning (as expert, victim...)
Interviewer decodes the answer
Based on how the interviewee perceives the setting
Based on the interviewees' perception, knowledge presumption about the interviewer
Based on what the interviewee expect to be the interviewers' presumptions
Based on previously experiences with interviews
Based on the positioning (as expert, victim...)
‘I’m convinced that I would kill the children before I got to teach them anything (laughs). I don’t think I would fit that well as a teacher. […] Now that I think about it, I don’t think I could stand becoming a teacher’.
(Christine in upper secondary school, May)
I have a dream of opening my own business. I am looking forward to working with
management. How to manage craftsmen when building something (...) People don't think engineers work with humans, but I think they just do it in another way, they work with management (Simon, studying Engineering, October 2009)

Steiner Kvale (1996): InterViews. An Introduction to Qualitative Research Inviewing
Making Interviews
1. What did you found most useful in the workshop

2. Feedback and suggestion for improving the workshop

3. What would you like more of?
Please write down:
Good Luck with your research
Please feel free to contact me during the Summer School if you want to continue our talk - or if later contact me on: hh@ind.ku.dk
Semi structured
Epistemology: Different ideas of what knowledge is
leads us to different ways of interviewing.
Most interview methods in the field of educational research are situated between a semi-structured and an open approach

These theories share world-views. They think that learning, student identities, teaching etc. are ongoing constructed in relation between various actors and the surrounding cultural context. They do not find the world to be stable, and it can therefore not be studied as such.

Mason 1996, see Graham R. Gibbs on youtube:
[Such an approach] will, in line with the traveler metaphor of the interviewer, emhasize the constructive nature of the knowledge created through the interaction of the partners in the interview conversation
" (Kvale 1996, p. 11)
Reserach in education
Positivist criteria: Does it measure what it claims?
Qualitative criteria: Transparent research process

Analytic approach elaborated
Thick descriptions of data
Show the variation of data/ analytic categories
Researchers reflection of how she is situated in the work
Frank about problems in the process
Coherent research process; Alignment between theory
and method and analysis
Discuss analytic categories and findings with
colleagues/ participants.

(Butler-Kisber, 2010)

Positivist criteria: The selected group of
respondents represent the general population
Qualitative criteria: Maximum variation

The selected group of participants are pointed out to represent various ways of experiencing the world they are in. To capture a
maximum variation
within the population.

(Flyvbjerg, 2011)

Positivist criteria: The results can be applied to the
general population
Qualitative research: Not consensus

Some do not bother about this criteria, but are more interested in the learning potential of the study
Some argue that as human behavior are mediated through cultural contexts the meta-level of an analysis will offer knowledge-potential that will be interesting for others as well.
Other argue that the extend of the transferability must be discussed by contrasting literature and in the end be a question of decision of the readers

This issue is discussed in particular by
feminist researchers (Søndergaard, 1996)

To understand Danish students’ choices of what to continue studying after upper secondary school and in particular how their perceptions- and expectations of STEM higher education relate to their choices.
To explore the relation between students’ STEM-choices, their experiences of the transition process into higher education and their considerations of leaving and staying.
‘I have started at teacher-education [to become a primary and lower-secondary school teacher with mathematics as speciality]. I have always wanted to become a teacher’.
(Christine, September)

My professor says: ‘Don't focus too much on management. It is too arrogant to enter the labour market as a new engineer and say ‘I want to be a leader’. Get some more clear-cut engineering skills instead’. My conclusion is to study energy and then combine with some management later. It is an important challenge for the world to face in the future (...) I also began recognising that management is also tough and hard work (…)

(Simon, studying Engineering, November 2009)
When did you begin thinking about energi?
Well.... I think (puhhhhh). I really think I been into
that for many years actually. When I was a kid I found motors to be really cool, right? And motors are also energy-making machines right? Once I
found nuclear power to be really awesome - so
it's kind of really many many years ago ....

(Simon, Sep 2010)
Read more
Adriansen; Madsen (2009): Implications of doing insider interviews:
studying geography and geographers. Norwegian Journal of Geography 93, 3: 145-153.
Clandinin; Connelly (2000)
Narrative inquiry: Experience and story in qualitative
research, Jossey-Bass
Creswell (2009): Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods
Approaches, Sage
Creswell; Miller (2000): Determining validity in qualitative inquiry, Determining
validity in qualitative inquiry; Theory into Practice, 39 (3), 124-130
Denzin; Lincoln (2000): The Handbook of Qualitative Research, Sage
Holloway; Jefferson (2000): Doing Qualitative Research Differently: free
association, narrative and the interview method, Sage Publications
Holmegaard (2012): Students' Narratives, Negotiations, and Choices - A
longitudinal study of Danish students' transition process into higher education science, engineering and mathematics, Thesis, Department of Science Education, Copenhagen
Holstein; Gubrium (2001): Handbook of Interview Research: Context and Method,
Sage Publications
King; Horrocks (2010): Interviews in qualitative research, Sage
Kvale (1996) InterViews. An Introduction to Qualitative Research Interviewing,
Sage Publications
Kvale (2006): Dominance Through Interviews and Dialogues, Qualitative Inquiry, 12
(3), p. 480-500
Mishler, Elliot (1986 (paperback: 1991)). Research Interviewing. Context and Narrative.
Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.
Rapley (2007): The Sage Qualitative Research Kit. U. Flick (Ed.). Sage.
Tanggaard, (2007). The Research Interview as Discourses Crossing Swords The
Researcher and Apprentice on Crossing Roads. Qualitative Inquiry, 13(1), 160-176.
Symbolic interactionism
The Quality of Qualitative Research. Part 2 of 3 on Research Quality and the Research Process
Discuss pros and cons for applying the two methods 10 min

Did you gain the same outcome by applying the two interview-methods? (Compare evaluation-notes and write down on post it's what characterised the structured (orange) vs. the open narrative approach (pink)).

What should one pay attention to as a open narrative vs. a structured interviewer? Write down on post it's (orange/pink).

Consider when each method will be appropriate (which kind of research purpose are they suitable for?). Write down on post it's (orange/ pink).

Put your post it's in the wall
Full transcript