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Teaching Quality in Qual Research Nollaig Frost & Alasdair Gordon-Finlayson.

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Presentation on theme: "Teaching Quality in Qual Research Nollaig Frost & Alasdair Gordon-Finlayson."— Presentation transcript:

1 Teaching Quality in Qual Research Nollaig Frost & Alasdair Gordon-Finlayson

2 Common strategies taught to students to improve the quality of their own research: Triangulation Trustworthiness Reflexivity Quality checklists 2 Improving Quality

3 Between-method triangulation Methodological triangulation Within-method triangulation Data triangulation Investigator triangulation Theory triangulation 3 Strategies 1: Triangulation

4 Lincoln & Guba (1985) identified four components of trustworthiness: Credibility Transferability Dependability Confirmability This paradigm, while disavowing… postpositivism, sustains, at one level, Strauss & Corbins commitment to the canons of good science (Guba & Lincoln 1998, p.331) 4 Strategies 2: Trustworthiness I

5 AGFs summary of two components: 1. Authority Reader will trust writers expertise as researcher E.g. Methods section showing competent grasp of methodology, correct references, etc. 2. Transparency Reader guided through analysis Writer manages to write reflexively Easier to present as two discrete jobs to students 5 Strategies 2: Trustworthiness II

6 Tindall (1994) usefully differentiates between: Personal reflexivity: Revealing, rather than concealing, our level of personal involvement and engagement Reflexivity allows us critical subjectivity helping to ensure that our findings do not stem from unexamined prejudice Functional reflexivity: Critical examination of the research process itself Monitoring our role as researchers and our impact on the research process 6 Strategies 3: Reflexivity

7 Three examples of quality checklists: Henwood & Pidgeon (1992) Qualitative research and psychological theorizing Elliott, Fischer, & Rennie (1999) Evolving guidelines for publication of qualitative research studies in psychology and related fields Madill, Jordan & Shirley (2000) Objectivity and reliability in qualitative analysis: Realist, contextualist and radical constructive epistemologies See final slide for references 7 Strategies 4: Quality checklists

8 Helping students to move beyond paying lip service to incorporating quality into practice Recognising the place and role of positivist research teaching and learning Helping students to develop and stick to an appropriate timescale for conducting high quality qualitative research Helping student to recognise their role as researcher in enhancing the quality throughout the research process Helping students to find a writing style appropriate to a qualitative research culture 8 Teaching Quality: Challenges

9 What is expected of the write up? Why are you asking students to do it? … Shows decisions made, The data, The people involved, the stories they tell … Invites the reader to become involved in the process Often written in the 1st person Writing up is part of the qualitative research process… because the student chooses what to write and how to write it Therefore REFLEXIVITY becomes an important quality criteria Writing-Up 9

10 Aims to show: Conscious and unconscious impacts on the study of the topic Researcher engagement with the research and its context Is an opportunity for researcher to reflect on the topic and their study of the topic Writing process as opportunity to reflect on what is being written about Writing up to include Reflexivity 10

11 See Chenail (1995)Chenail (1995) Mixing reflexivity, description and detail by considering both the study and the topic under study Creating a space to acknowledge the development of the method and its application, and the impact of the researcher Considering the other : the reader, the participants, colleagues, peers, supervisors etc who have taken part If the reader trusts the writer the work will be considered trustworthy! Openness in writing up 11

12 Chenail, R.J. (1995) Presenting Qualitative Data, The Qualitative Report, 2(3) Elliott, R., Fischer, C.T. & Rennie, D.L. (1999). Evolving guidelines for publication of qualitative research studies in psychology and related fields. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 38 (3), pp. 215-229. Elliott, R., Fischer, C.T. & Rennie, D.L. (2000). Also against methodolatry: A reply to Reicher. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 39 (1), pp. 7-10. Henwood, K.L. & Pidgeon, N.F. (1992). Qualitative research and psychological theorizing. British Journal of Psychology, 83 (1), 97-112. Lincoln, Y.S. & Guba, E.G. (1985). Naturalistic Inquiry. London: Sage Publications. Madill, A., Jordan, A. & Shirley, C. (2000). Objectivity and reliability in qualitative analysis: Realist, contextualist and radical constructive epistemologies. British Journal of Psychology, 91 (1), pp. 1-20. Reicher, S. (2000). Against methodolatry: Some comments on Elliott, Fischer, and Rennie. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 39 (1), pp. 1-6 Tindall, C. (1994). Issues of evaluation. In Banister, P., Burman, E., Parker, I., Taylor, M. & Tindall, C. Qualitative Methods in Psychology: A Research Guide (Chapter 9). Maidenhead: OUP. References 12

13 Any questions? 13

14 The importance of fit The themes or analytical categories offered by the researcher should fit the data Integration of theory The degree to which findings can be integrated or generalised at different levels of abstraction Reflexivity Documentation Theoretical sampling and negative case analysis Sensitivity to negotiated realities The researcher needs to demonstrate awareness of the research context, power differentials and participant reactions Transferability 14 Strategies 4: Henwood & Pidgeon

15 Guidelines for journal editors… 1. Owning ones perspective 2. Situating the sample 3. Grounding in examples 4. Providing credibility checks 5. Coherence 6. Accomplishing general vs. specific research tasks 7. Resonating with readers See also response by Reicher (2000) and E, F & Rs rejoinder (2000), in same journal… teach the controversy?! 15 Strategies 4: Eliott, Fischer & Rennie

16 Realist analysis Reliability, consistency – production of results that are not wildly idiosyncratic! Contextual constructivist analysis Triangulation to flesh out rather than confirm; Reflection on subjectivity Radical constructionism Truth/falsity issues and ideas of reliability all set aside; writer needs to convince the reader of the internal coherence of her analysis 16 Strategies 4: Madill, Jordan & Shirley

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