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Qualitative Research: Slides and Content From Creswell http://community.csusm.edu/mod/resource/view.php?id=332

Qualitative Design

jose coll

on 10 September 2013

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Transcript of Qualitative Research: Slides and Content From Creswell http://community.csusm.edu/mod/resource/view.php?id=332

Four considerations for selecting
people/sites to study:

• 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)
What criteria will we use to select a tradition?

• Intent or focus
• Audience
• Personal training/skills
• Personal comfort level with structure
Let’s design the methods for this
qualitative study. What to include:

• Data collection
• Data analysis
• Data representation
• Data interpretation
• Data validation
• The type of qualitative “tradition” we will use in our methods
Avoid words such as:

– “relate”
– “influence”
– ”impact”
– “effect”
– “cause”
Use good qualitative wording for
question development:

• Begin with words such as “how,” “what,”
• Tell the reader what you are attempting to
“discover,” “generate,” “explore,” “identify,” or
• 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
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
Let’s stay away from
quantitative language that
might mislead readers

• What is not included in this statement:
– Not a comparison
– Not relating variables
– Not proving hypotheses
– Not measuring variables
Understanding the central

Quantitative research • Qualitative research

Variables Central Phenomenon
Now we will 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
You have to think about your topic and the
research problem leading to our study!

This requires passion and thought…..

It also requires a little work and an understanding of the literature.
Start with a research topic and a
research problem

• Identify the subject area or topic for the
• Specify the research problem: The practical
issue that leads to a need for your study.
• Complete these sentences:
– “The topic for this study will be…”
– “This study needs to be conducted
Starting our plan

• Let’s provide a title for our project
What do we need to keep in mind
when designing a qualitative

• Focus on process as well as outcomes
• Let the design emerge
• Use inductive reasoning
• Develop a complex picture of the phenomenon
(studying many ideas with few participants and sites)
• Discuss the context of the phenomenon
• Follow the “scientific method”
(e.g., problem, questions, method, results)
Principles of Qualitative
Research: Designing a
Qualitative Study

1) Sites to be studied
2) People to be studied
3) Permissions needed
4) Types of data to be collected
5) Forms needed for data collection
Let’s write down in our plan our data
collection approach
• 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
– participants can voice their experiences and
• If possible, tape record and transcribe for analysis
If we choose to interview, how do
we interview?
• 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 observe, how do
we do it?
Audio-Visual Materials
What types of information can be collected in qualitative research
WHY: Developing an in-depth analysis of a single case or multiple cases.

HOW: Multiple sources including documents, archival records, interviews, & observations.

ANALYSIS: Description, Themes, Assertions

NARRATIVE: In-depth study of a “case” or “cases”
Abrams, Bill. 2000. Observational Research Handbook: Understanding How Consumers Live with Your Product. McGraw-Hill.
Medley, D. M. & Mitzel, H. E. 1963. Measuring Classroom Behavior by Systematic Observation. In N. L. Gage (ed.), Handbook of Research on Teaching (pp.247-328). Chicago: Rand McNally.
Observation references :
Evaluating Programs Through Observation
Structured observation can be evaluated and reported as any other numerical/ statistical data. In our situation, measuring those same behaviors that were previously identified as intended outcomes validates our work.
Evaluating Programs Through Observation
Analyzing and Reporting Observations:
Evaluating Programs Through Observation
Pre- vs. Post-program behaviors.
Program participants with paired non-participants or groups.
Observation Research Tips:
Increase the reliability of observation data by designing an evaluation that compares:
Evaluating Programs Through Observation
Trace Analysis:
Can be inexpensive and used creatively to infer related attributes.
Data collection is based on physical evidence or traces of past behavior, e.g.:
The age and condition of cars in the parking lot were used to assess the affluence of customers.
The amount of hay remaining in the feed bunk was used to assess the adequacy of the feeding regime.
Evaluating Programs Through Observation
Researcher collects data by:
Examining physical records
Conducting an inventory

At the consumer level:
Conduct a pantry audit (inventory of purchases)
Used in conjunction with a survey, some obvious drawbacks are reduced
Evaluating Programs Through Observation
Observational situations:
SITUATION: Machines Watching Phenomena
EXAMPLE: Traffic counting machines monitor traffic flows
Evaluating Programs Through Observation
Observational situations:
SITUATION: Machines Watching People
EXAMPLE: Movie or videotape cameras record behavior as in people watching people example.
Tips for unobtrusive observation:
Observe: be quiet, watch, understand
Don't explain
Don't ask the subject's opinion
Don't defend the design
Don't apologize
Don't suggest
Don't contradict or agree with your subject: stay neutral
Evaluating Programs Through Observation
Evaluating Programs Through Observation
Observational situations:
SITUATION: People Watching Phenomena
EXAMPLE: Observer stationed at the fair counting visitors moving in various directions. 
SITUATION: People Watching People
EXAMPLE: Observers stationed in supermarkets watch consumers check out their groceries. The purpose is to see how much “prepared” vs. “fresh” food is purchased.
Evaluating Programs Through Observation
Quantitative Observation :
non-experimental quantitative design
the independent variable (participation in program) is not manipulated, but is constant
investigator observes both the independent and dependent variables
Evaluating Programs Through Observation
natural or contrived
disguised or undisguised
structured or unstructured
human or mechanical
direct or indirect
Approaches to Observation Research
Evaluating Programs Through Observation
outcome must be overt
motivation & attitudes unobservable
outcome occurs frequently
long waits boring & time consuming
outcome happens quickly
long processes difficult & expensive
Watching for outcomes:
Evaluating Programs Through Observation
Disadvantages of Observation Research:
Observation does not help understand what is happening within a person (e.g. emotions, cognitions and perceptions).
Evaluating Programs Through Observation
Evaluating Programs Through Observation
what they do rather than what they say
actual, not self reporting behavior
doesn’t rely on memory or willingness
real-time research - at time of occurrence
avoids bias
good for observing children
Advantages of Observation Research:
Evaluating Programs Through Observation
Qualitative vs Quantitative Observation:
In quantitative research, the researcher is ideally an objective observer who neither participates in nor influences what is being studied.
In qualitative research, however, it is thought that the researcher can learn the most by participating and/or being immersed in a research situation.
Evaluating Programs Through Observation
Qualitative vs Quantitative Observation:
Qualitative observation is largely unstructured; “participant observation”
Observer immerses himself/herself
It relies on the skills of the observer to recognize, record, and interpret behaviors
Most valuable for case studies
Evaluating Programs Through Observation
Evaluating Programs Through Observation
Observation Research Defined :
Observation research is the systematic process of recording the behavioral patterns of people, objects and occurrences without questioning or communicating with them.
Evaluating Programs Through Observation
“Observation is the process by which facts become data”
Retrieved Paul McCawley
Using Observation to Evaluate Extension Programs
Evaluating Programs Through Observation
When to Use Observation:
Usability testing
Baseline data
Evaluating Programs Through Observation
Content Analysis:
Used when the phenomenon to be measured is communication. It is described as:
The objective, systematic, and quantitative description of the content of a communication.
Includes observation and analysis of:
Evaluating Programs Through Observation
Types of Observation:
Measuring attention
Mystery shoppers
Focus groups--Unobserved (one-way mirror)
Shopping behavior
Scanner panel data
People meters
Product sales (Audits)
Observation can be conducted at each stage
demonstrates new
Target audience
acquires new knowledge or skills
participates in
educational program
Observation Research Hypothesis:
Evaluating Programs Through Observation
Disadvantages of Observation Research:
cannot infer what caused behavior
public behavior only
limited future projection
time consuming (infrequent actions)
labor intensive
Evaluating Programs Through Observation
Advantages of Observation Research:
Although often costly and time-consuming, observation methods help to avoid the problems of relying solely on self-report measures.
Evaluating Programs Through Observation
Qualitative vs Quantitative Observation:
Quantitative observation is structured
Observers are trained to count, record, and summarize data about pre- determined behaviors
Better suited to program evaluation
Evaluating Programs Through Observation
Evaluating Programs Through Observation
Qualitative vs Quantitative Observation:
In qualitative research, a hypothesis is not needed to begin research.
However, all quantitative research requires a hypothesis before research can begin.
Evaluating Programs Through Observation
Evaluating Programs Through Observation
This discussion will cover:
What is observation research and when is it valuable?
Decisions about observation research.
Examples of measuring observable behaviors
People Watching People:
Personal Observation
Researcher observes actual behavior as it occurs
No attempt to control or manipulate, just make records of what happens.
Evaluating Programs Through Observation
Check the tape and go over notes to uncover areas of ambiguity or uncertainty

Write down observations about the interview itself
After the Interview
An Example 2/3
Asking truly open-ended questions
Minimize imposition of predetermined responses when gathering data

Not enough to merely leave out structured response categories, but also remove implicit and disguised categories

Whatever direction and whatever words to represent what they have to say
Wording of Questions
Knowledge questions
Factual information the respondent has/considers factual

all knowledge is merely a set of beliefs rather than facts”
from philosophical point of view

Sensory questions
What is seen, heard, touched, tasted, and smelled

Demographic/Background questions
Identifying characteristics
of the person being interviewed of routine nature
Locate respondent in relation to other people
Age, education, occupation, residence/mobility .
Contents of Interviews 2/2
Experience/Behavior questions
What a person does or has done:
Experiences, behaviors, actions and activities

Opinion/Values questions
Cognitive and interpretive processes of what people

think about some issue

Feeling questions
Emotional responses to experiences and thoughts
Distinction between opinion and feeling must be made!
Analytical, interpretive, and opinion statements are not answers to questions about feelings
Contents of Interviews 1/2
Informal conversational interview
Spontaneous generation of questions
Natural flow of interaction

General interview guide approach
Outlining a set of issues to be explored
Wording not determined in advance
Common information from each person interviewed
Adaptation to context of interview

Standardized open-ended interview
Carefully worded questions
Same to all interviewees

Closed, fixed-response interview
Response categories defined in advance
Types of Interviews
Qualitative Interviewing
Use quotation marks only to indicate full and actual quotations
Develop some mechanism for indicating interpretations, thoughts, or ideas that may come to mind during the interview
Keep track of questions asked as well as answers received.
Notes During Interviews
Capture actual words of the person being interviewed

Tape-recording interviews
Accuracy of data collection
More attentive to the interviewee

Transcribing interviews
Typical ratio 4:1
Full transcriptions desirable data to obtain
High technical quality tapes
See checklist

Taking notes during interviews
Needed also when tape-recording
Key phrases, list of major points, key terms, interviewee language
Recording Responses
An Example 3/3
An Example 1/3
Questions and response categories are determined in advance
Responses are fixed
Respondent chooses from among these fixed responses

Data analysis is simple
Responses can be directly compared and easily aggregated
Many questions can be asked in short time

Respondents must fit their experiences and feelings into researcher’s categories
May be perceived as impersonal, irrelevant and mechanistic
Can distort what respondents really mean or experienced by so completely limiting their response chooses
Closed, Fixed-response Interview
Topics and issues to be covered are specified in advance

Interviewer decides sequence and wording of questions in the course of the interview

The outline increases ystematic for each respondent
Logical gaps in data can be anticipated and closed
Interviews remain fairly conversational and situational

Important and salient topics may be inadvertently omitted
General Interview Guide Approach
Questions emerge from the immediate context and are asked in the natural course of things:

No predetermination of question topics or wording

Interviews are built on and emerge from observations
Interview can be matched to individuals and circumstances

Different information collected from different people with different questions
Less systematic and comprehensive if certain questions do not arise naturally
Data organization and analysis can be quite difficult
Informal Conversational Interview
Find out what is in and on someone else’s mind
a. Avoid putting things on someone’s mind

Find out things that we can not directly observe
b. Feelings, thoughts, intentions
c. Previous point of time

Quality of the information obtained during an interview is largely dependent on the interviewer

Genuine interest in perspectives of other people
d. Must be fascinated by the rich variation in human experience
Inner Perspectives
Present, past and future tense
A matrix of 18 different types of questions
Time Frame of Questions
Respondents answer the same questions, thus increasing comparability of responses
Data are complete for each person on the topics addressed in the interview
Reduces interviewer effects and bias when several interviewers are used
Permits evaluation users to see and review the instrumentation used in the evaluation
Facilitates organization and analysis of data
The exact wording and sequence of questions are determined in advance
All interviewees are asked the same basic questions in the same order
Questions are worded in a completely open-ended format

Little flexibility in relating the interview to particular individuals and circumstances
Standardized wording of questions may constrain and limit naturalness and relevance of questions and answers
Standardized Open-ended Interview
Different types of interviews

Contents of interviews

What to ask
Phrasing of questions

Recording responses
Full transcript