Seminars on Qualitative Methods
Below are recordings of the seminars colleagues and I have hosted on topics such as developing a research question, collecting qualitative data, and qualitative data analysis.
Qualitative and Qualitative Perspectives on Studying the COVID-19 Pandemic
Facilitated by Drs. David Reid and Jason Burns The COVID-19 Pandemic impacted primary, secondary, and postsecondary education in multiple ways. Correspondingly, researchers and practitioners have understandably taken great interest in research that explores the way(s) in which the pandemic shaped how educators provided instruction, student outcomes, and how leaders worked to build and maintain community, among other things. While understanding the effect(s) of the pandemic are of great importance to practitioners and policymakers, there are some important methodological challenges that can impose limits on the extent to which we can fully understand the true impact of the many facets of the pandemic. In this seminar, Drs. Reid and Burns will highlight the factors that researchers will need to consider when designing studies that focus on the pandemic so that valid conclusions can be drawn. This seminar is especially relevant to doctoral students who are considering a dissertation that in some way touches on the effects of the pandemic on students, educators, and leaders.
Triangulation in Qualitative Research
Facilitated by Dr. David Reid Qualitative researchers attempt to better understand specific phenomena through the collection and analysis of in-depth and nuanced data such as field notes, observations, documents, surveys, and interviews, amongst others. Triangulation involves the collection and analysis of multiple data sources in pursuit of a more comprehensive (and credible) understanding of the phenomenon under study (Patton, 1999). The purpose of this seminar is to introduce participants to: (1) the various types of triangulation; (2) the purposes of triangulation; and (3) how to apply triangulation to qualitative research.
Beyond Interviews: Drawing on a Range of Qualitative Data and Methods
Facilitated by Dr. Katie Smith While interviews are an important tool for qualitative inquiry, they are not the only method available! This seminar will provide an overview of non-interview methods that can be used in qualitative research. Methods that will be discussed include focus groups, observations, participant-created materials, and content and document analysis. These methods are especially appropriate for qualitative methodologies such as ethnography, case study, participant action research, and critical discourse analysis. Dr. Smith will share examples from her research to illustrate application of these methods and participants will receive a recommended reading list of peer-reviewed journal articles that employ the methods described.
Developing a Deductive Coding Scheme for Qualitative Data
Facilitate by Dr. Katie Smith Qualitative research frequently draws on data sources such as transcripts from interviews and focus groups or documents. To analyze these data, researchers typically employ a coding scheme in which a word or phrase is attached to a piece of qualitative data to capture or summarize its meaning, which then allows the researcher to identify the most prevalent themes and characteristics of the data as well as examine patterns across it. Coding schemes can be deductive , meaning that they are developed independent of the content of the qualitative data, or inductive , meaning that they are developed based on the content of the data. This seminar focuses on how to develop a deductive coding scheme, paying particular attention to the role of theory and/or a conceptual framework in doing so.
Developing an Interview Protocol and Conducting an Interview
Facilitated by Dr. David Reid Qualitative research aims to uncover knowledge by studying the lived experiences of individuals. A common method of gathering qualitative data on a topic is by conducting interviews with people who have experienced the phenomenon/a that a study investigates. This makes interviewing an important skill for qualitative researchers. To ensure that interviews yield high-quality data, it is important for the researcher to develop a rigorous plan for conducting interviews that aligns with the study’s research question. This seminar focuses on two important aspects of qualitative interviewing: 1) how to develop an interview protocol, the set of questions that will be asked to interviewees and the plan for how the research will approach those questions, and 2) how to use a protocol to conduct an interview.
Developing a Research Topic
Facilitated by Dr. Christopher Tienken A common challenge for graduate students and researchers is in setting a research agenda: identifying a topical area of study and using that to generate a set of research questions that guide future inquiry. In doing so, one must strike a balance between formulating a topic that is narrow enough that it can be studied, but still broad enough that it is relevant to a broader audience. This seminar focuses on practical tips one can use to develop a research topic and discusses how this interacts with the frameworks and methods one may use to explore it.