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Case Reports How to avoid anecdotes Prof. Chuck Huff Research Methods with lab, 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Case Reports How to avoid anecdotes Prof. Chuck Huff Research Methods with lab, 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Case Reports How to avoid anecdotes Prof. Chuck Huff Research Methods with lab, 2014

2 Overview What is a caseWhat is a case Importance of theoryImportance of theory importance of triangulating among data sources,importance of triangulating among data sources, Rival explanationsRival explanations challenge of generalizing from case studies.challenge of generalizing from case studies. AdministriviaAdministrivia Annotated bib due Oct 3(this Friday) at 11:59 PM. Upload it AND your timesheet to the your group’s Google drive folderAnnotated bib due Oct 3(this Friday) at 11:59 PM. Upload it AND your timesheet to the your group’s Google drive folder Lab Report due next Monday at 11:59 PMLab Report due next Monday at 11:59 PM

3 What is a case? A systematic empirical inquiryA systematic empirical inquiry That is rich in detailThat is rich in detail About a single thing (person, event, institution, etc.)About a single thing (person, event, institution, etc.) That takes process and context into accountThat takes process and context into account It may be, but need not be, exploratoryIt may be, but need not be, exploratory

4 What kind of case? Single vs multipleSingle vs multiple Same vs different contextSame vs different context Uni-vocal or multi-vocal?Uni-vocal or multi-vocal?

5 How theory helps It shapes what cases and contexts you chooseIt shapes what cases and contexts you choose It focuses what you look at (case & context)It focuses what you look at (case & context) It limits what you look atIt limits what you look at

6 How to collect data Direct observationDirect observation InterviewsInterviews Archival recordsArchival records Documents (e.g. )Documents (e.g. ) Participant observationParticipant observation Can be both quantitative and qualitativeCan be both quantitative and qualitative

7 Rival Explanations Care about themCare about them They need not be rival (exclusive), they can simply be alternative (additional)They need not be rival (exclusive), they can simply be alternative (additional) Theory and local knowledge help here too. Therefore you need your literature review.Theory and local knowledge help here too. Therefore you need your literature review. This requires a devil’s advocate approach early on in selection of cases and design of the data collection method.This requires a devil’s advocate approach early on in selection of cases and design of the data collection method.

8 How to Generalize Statistical generalization is about expected quantitative values in the population, with confidence limitsStatistical generalization is about expected quantitative values in the population, with confidence limits Analytical generalization is about using the theoretical framework and findings of the study to establish a logic/story that might be applicable to other situations.Analytical generalization is about using the theoretical framework and findings of the study to establish a logic/story that might be applicable to other situations. Think creatively about the dimensions on which you want to generalize.Think creatively about the dimensions on which you want to generalize. Courage and humility are required.Courage and humility are required.


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