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Qualitative Research Methods in Education Essay

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Updated: Jul 10th, 2020

Case Study

A case study includes research records with detailed consideration of an entity over a particular time. It offers results of a particular instance of something upon analysis. It can help to demonstrate the functioning of a principle or theory. Case studies can be real-life or fictitious. They pose a problem and provide a solution, before checking whether the solution fits the available alternatives. In other instances, there is a situation and the case study highlights problems and the solutions. No answer is right or wrong, and the case study approach applies to any issue.

Ethnography

It is a study of culture, focusing the investigation on everyday behavior. It focuses on the behavior of members of a culture. It can use written documents, field notes, audiotapes, or videotapes, and the results of other studies (Seadle, 2011).

Phenomenology

It focuses on taking a fresh approach to concretely experienced phenomena in a way that is beyond the influence of any conceptual assumptions. The suspension of belief is sometimes a requirement for using the method. It includes data on sensory experience and non-sensory experiences like relations and values when presented intuitively.

Grounded Theory

It aims to generate theories and is useful for elaborating on other grounded theories as to its primary concern is whether they are congruent with facts. Data collection and analysis go on throughout the study and are sensitive to theory, while the analysis uses open coding, axial coding, or selective coding (Martin & Gynnild, 2011).

Article 1: Grounded theory example

The study by Mahnake, Benlian, and Hess (2015) looks at online shopping and seeks to develop a grounded theory of flow experiences that will be useful in the context of online shopping. The study highlights the theoretical relationships of concrete realizable website design options and the latent constructs that correspond to them, in addition to the flow experience.

The problem investigated

The need for optimizing flow, which is the psychological state of deep focus that one gain when participating in an activity, is a promising approach to online shopping. However, it lacks adequate support in knowledge and advice from a scholarly perspective. Therefore, the study investigates the possibility of creating a theory that fits the facts of optimizing flow to realize optimal user experience and gain motivated behavior, engagement, and loyalty from customers.

How data were collected and analyzed

The study identified the respondents by extending their sampling to reach theoretical saturation. Recruitment of users was through the social network, related forums, and the amazon.de website platform. Individuals participating in the study got brief, widely used, written descriptions of strong flow experiences. They were then asked to discuss flow experiences in detail. Sampling dimensions covered age, gender, education, familiarity with the amazon.de site, and usage frequency. They also provided previous flow experiences of the website. The participants took part in individual interviews to ignite a narration. Data analysis covered concept identification with open coding. The researchers arranged codes in a node structure and focused on uncovering relationships of ideas formed in the initial coding.

The trustworthiness of the data

The study is trustworthy because it uses real experiences, has a structured sampling criterion, and embraces a theoretical approach that considers the existing conceptions.

The key findings

The study was able to derive recommendations on how to redesign online shopping platforms for them to facilitate optimal flow with examples of ways of accomplishing the task. It shows that design thinking as a method and a mindset promotes innovative design solutions that focus on inspiration, ideation, and implementation (Mahnake et al., 2015).

The transferability of the findings

The findings generated advice for operators of online shopping platforms in general, which would be applicable in various online shopping settings.

Article 2: Case study example

In their study, Hall, Achutan, Sollberger, McCleery, and Rodriguez (2013) use a case study approach to conduct exposure assessment. They focus on roofers exposed to silica when installing roof tiles.

The problem investigated

The study seeks to examine whether proper work practices are in place or not and the consequences of being exposed to materials that contain silica beyond the safety exposure limits.

How data were collected and analyzed

A company was selected and real-time particulate sampling was taken in three separate roofing tasks. They were compared in terms of their characteristics and accepted safety values.

The trustworthiness of the data

The research provided trustworthy data. It used information collected without researcher manipulation and in a real roofing setting. It also relied on industry-standard safety information for comparison and analysis.

The key findings

The main findings were that the cement tiles used in the study were having crystalline silica and exposure to workers was beyond the occupational limits. Thus, the study recommended a control system or program for addressing the issue.

The transferability of the findings

The same findings can be used to corroborate other study findings on silica concentration effects because the study followed occupational exposure limits.

Article 3: Phenomenology example

The research on the phenomenology of crystalline polymorphism by Rietveld and Céolin (2015) sought to explore the stability hierarchy of crystalline, a chemical compound.

The problem investigated

The study investigated the reliance on limited calorimetric data as the main resource for determining the stability hierarchy of crystalline polymorphs. It sought another perspective of finding a complete picture of the stability behavior. The compound studied was often problematic for handling in many applications, such as pharmaceuticals.

How data were collected and analyzed

The study used data collected from literature focusing on health-related and work-related data categories. The researchers used the information to perform chemical calculations and derived an alternative perspective, and then analyzed the alternatives.

The trustworthiness of the data

The study was trustworthy, as it used conventional chemistry-based methods of analysis to offer a fresh alternative.

The key findings

The researchers concluded that form B was more stable under particular pressure and temperature compared to form A of the compound analyzed, which showed that monotropic behavior existed (Rietveld & Céolin, 2015).

The transferability of the findings

The findings will be useful for other studies to create fresh approaches to reviewing existing literature.

Article 4: Ethnography example

The study by Rutten and Soetaert (2013) looked at literacy narratives and sought to show them as ethnography.

The problem investigated

The study observed that literacy research has been looking at engagement with language in specific education contexts, with appropriate approaches of literacy, as a process of socialization. Therefore, it is important to have narratives as a focus of culture study, as they represent people’s experiences.

How data were collected and analyzed

The study collected peer-reviewed research and analyzed their discussions and findings to highlight Western ‘popular’ literacy narratives. It then countered them with narratives on how literacy representation as a tool occurs in ‘Third World films’.

The trustworthiness of the data

The researchers relied on existing data. Their analysis was subject to the biases and sampling errors exhibited in any research reports used.

The key findings

Students should know that culture, education, and literacy are cultural and narrative constructions because they are not natural and neutral. It means that students can take a critical stance to denaturalize the obvious.

The transferability of the findings

The findings can be transferred to an experimental approach to determine the validity and other practical implications.

References

Hall, R. M., Achutan, C., Sollberger, R., McCleery, R. E., Rodriguez, M. (2013). Exposure assessment for roofers exposed to silica during installation of roof tiles. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, 10(1), 6-10. Web.

Mahnake, R., Benlian, A., & Hess, T. (2015). A grounded theory of online shopping flow. International Journal of Electronic Commerce, 19(3), 54-89. Web.

Martin, V. B., & Gynnild, A. (Eds.). (2011). Grounded theory: The philosophy, method and work of Barney Glaser. Boca Raton, FL: BrownWalker Press.

Rietveld, I. B., & Céolin, R. (2015). Phenomenology of crystalline polymorphism: Overall monotropic behavior of the cardiotonic agent FK664 forms A and form B. Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, 120(2), 1079-1087.

Rutten, K., & Soetaert, R. (2013). Literary narratives as ethnography. Critical Arts: South-North Cultural and Media Studies, 27(6), 641-654. Web.

Seadle, M. (2011). Research rules for library ethnography. Library High Tech, 29(3), 409 – 411. Web.

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