Presentation on theme: "Collecting data Chapter 5"— Presentation transcript:
1 Collecting data Chapter 5 Action Research: Improving Schools and Empowering Educators (4/e)Craig A. Mertler SAGE Publications, 2014
2 Qualitative Data Collection Techniques Qualitative data are narrativeVariety of techniques:Observations—carefully watching and systematically recording what you see and hearStructured observationsSemi-structured observationsUnstructured observationsRecorded using field notes, videotapesShould include observer’s comments in the field notes
3 Qualitative Data Collection Techniques Interviews—directly asking people questions (as opposed to watching them); conversations between teacher-researcher and participantsPrepare an interview guide (may be specific or general)Several types:Structured interviewsSemi-structured interviewsUnstructured (open-ended) interviewsFocus groupInformal (spontaneous) interviews
4 Qualitative Data Collection Techniques Journals—means of gathering data to provide insight into workings of a classroomTypes of data journals:Student journalsTeacher journalsClass journalsExisting documents and records—schools are filled with existing sources of dataClassroom artifacts—classrooms are, too!Reflective teaching—diagnosing areas in need of improvement
5 Qualitative Data Collection Techniques Quality of qualitative dataValidity of research data—extent to which data collected accurately measure what they purport to measureValidity of qualitative data: concern lies with trustworthiness of data; must examine:Credibility—must establish that results are believable from perspective of a participantDependability—must ensure that research responded to ever-changing context of the study
6 Qualitative Data Collection Techniques Quality of qualitative data (cont’d.)Trustworthiness of data is enhanced through:Triangulation—use of multiple data sources, multiple data-collection methods, and multiple teacher-researchers (if possible)Member checking—sharing data and analyses with participants to check for accuracyProlonged engagement and persistent observation—more time spent “in the field,” more you get to know participants, culture, behaviors, etc.
7 Quantitative Data Collection Techniques Quantitative data are numericalVariety of techniques:Surveys, questionnaires, rating scales—verbal or written administration of set of questions or statements to sample of peopleOpen-ended questions or closed-response rating scalesLikert and Likert-type scalesChecklistsFollow guidelines and suggestions for developing instrumentsWeb-based data collectionSurveyMonkey, Checkbox, Zoomerang, Poll Everywhere, others
8 Quantitative Data Collection Techniques Variety of techniques (cont’d.):Formative and summative classroom assessmentsFormative—administered during instruction; used to determine what sort of adjustments should be made to instruction (while it is still going on)Summative—administered following instruction; used for more administrative decision makingStandardized tests (and other formal instruments)Although typically no one’s favorite—can serve as important additional source of data
9 Quantitative Data Collection Techniques Quality of quantitative dataValidity—extent to which you actually measured what you intended to measureMust be appropriate and accurate for your purposesSeen as a unitary concept, combining content, concurrent, predictive, and construct validity (focus should be on evidence based on instrument content)Reliability—refers to consistency of collected dataDetermined statistically
10 Quantitative Data Collection Techniques Quality of quantitative data (cont’d.)ReliabilityDetermined by correlating results with themselves or with another quantitative measureThree methods:Test-retest reliabilityEquivalent forms reliabilityInternal consistency reliabilityKR-21 formula (uses mean, SD, number of items)“A valid test is always reliable, but a reliable test is not always valid.”Not appropriate for teachers; requires two administrations of instrument (not practical in classrooms)
11 Ethics and data collection Must obtain permission—especially if data collection is outside of normal, routine activities that occur in a classroom or schoolFrom students, parents, and others you might collect data fromRequirement for seeking formal permission can also be guided by potential audience of action researchData must be kept secure and confidential
12 Data collection template Planning for Data Collection
13 Action research checklist 5 Developing a Data Collection Plan for Action Research☐ Revisit your research question(s) and your previous decisions about whether you will use a qualitative, quantitative, or mixed-methods design for your action research.☐ If you intend to collect qualitative data, decide which of the following you will use:☐ Observations (structured, semi-structured, or unstructured?)☐ Interviews (structured, semi-structured, or unstructured?)☐ Journals☐ Existing documents☐ Other sources of qualitative data?☐ If you intend to collect quantitative data, decide which of the following you will use:☐ Surveys, questionnaires, or rating scales (what types of scales—Likert, Likert-type, or other—or open-ended questions?)☐ Checklists☐ Formative and/or summative classroom assessments☐ Standardized test scores☐ Existing numerical data☐ Other sources of quantitative data?☐ If you intend to use anything original (i.e., self-developed) such as interview guides, surveys, or formative assessments, develop drafts of your data collection instrumentation.☐ Engage in appropriate processes (depending on the type of data collection instrument you are using) to ensure that you will collect good, quality data.