Data Collection Methods, Qualitative research Quality of Life sub-module Petri Kainulainen EUREKA 2011, Nitra, Slovakia Data collection in general Data Collection Is one of the most important phases of research process Is one of the time consuming phase of a study Has to be planned very carefully and the plan has to be written into the study plan Has to be performed carefully – the second chance is not ofter possible Is a bit more challenging in qualitative research than in quantitative one – researcher is more involved Test and practice Data Collection Forms (quantitative research) must be tested beforehand – preferably with the small sample of actual study population The interviews (qualitative research) must be practiced beforehand Empirical research Research can be categorized into two classes Literature based studies (literature reviews, no real observations) The research based on real observations (empirical research) Empirical research Quantitative Qualitative research Data collection methods: Data collection methods: - Paper questionnaires - Personal interviews - Internet based questionnaires - Group interviews - Systematic observation - Observation with participation - Experimental studies - Documents, video, etc. Numeric data Verbal data Data collection – qualitative research Personal interviews Very common way to gather qualitative data in Finland Interview should be more or less discussion initiated and led by the researcher. Not just question – answer. The interview should be planned very carefully The researcher has sometimes to motivate and give additional questions – quite challenging for interviewer The study subject must be sure that her/his answers are handled confidentially Interview can be very social event Data collection – qualitative research Structured interview All questions are the same for every subject Structure Order Meaning Each question has beforehand built opitions (multiple choices) Method is quite close to quantitative research – filling out the paper questionnaire with the interviewer Semistructured interview All questions (and the meaning) are the for every subject There are no already built options (multiple choices) The study subject gives the answers by own words It’s like open field questions on paper questionnaire – the answers are more detailed by interviews Data collection – qualitative research Interview by themes The themes are pre-selected The questions don’t have strict form and order All of the themes will covered, the extent and order can vary The interviewer can have list of themes and additional questions The method gives the study subjects more freedom to express themselves Open interview Like an interactive discussion between the study subject and the intervewer The topic is pre-selected but the content may vary between the study subjects All themes are not necessarily covered Deep interview More than one interview rounds First interview: get to know each other Second interview: gather the information Third interview: analyze more deeply tha answers with the study subject The research problem and the topic should be large enough Timing can be problematic – several interviews Data collection – qualitative research Group interview Several subjects and/or interviewers present at the same time Can be for example interview by themes You can achieve easily more information compared with personal interviews New ideas The answers can be different or more detailed than in personal interview Easier to remember and understand – others can help Disadvantages The subjects may control each other Dominating subjects can disturb the interview Is very suitable method if the subjects have different opinions and they are willing to share them with others The group should still be homogenous – the questions and terms should understood by same way Suitable group size 4-8 persons The subjects will introduce themselves to make it possible to recognize each other afterwards The recording should be written down quickly after the interview Can be combined with personal interview Timing can be problematic Data collection – qualitative research General issues on interviews Different types of interviews yield different kind of data – the selection of method should be based on the research questions The interviews should be practised and the use of recording device checked – you won’t get a second chance Pre-interview if possible – modify the questions and themes Be prepared for everything (phone is ringing, you run out batteries) Sometimes it’s hard proceed with the interview – make auxiliary questions The recording should agreed with the study subject in advance The place should be selected carefully Phone can also be used The contact between the interviewer and the subject is not so personal How to record? Interview should be totally voluntary basis Trust is everything Data collection – qualitative research Observations without participation The researcher observes the study subjects without any interaction with them The observations can be recorded by the video or collected with paper froms For example the researcher is observing the students’ behavior in the class room Observations with participation The researcher is directly involved with the study subjects The observations will be collected systematically The role of researcher is quite small and she/he tries not to influence on the study subjects Action research Like the previous one except the researcher does have a big role – she/he participates and tries to influence The study process can be cyclic – selection of the objectives, researching, testing, changing the objectives... Other sources of data The data from previous studies Dieries, letters Memos TV/paper commercials, radio programs, movies Etc.
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