All research methodology is made up of a combination of qualitative and quantitative constructs. The idea of the qualitative quantitative research continuum, as opposed to a dichotomy, is explored on scientific grounds. What are known as qualitative methods are often beginning points, foundational strategies, which often are followed by quantitative methodologies. Qualitative Research.
The qualitative, naturalistic approach is used while observing and interpreting reality with the aim of developing a theory that will explicate what was experienced. In their Handbook of Qualitative Research, Denzin and Lincoln (1994) acknowledge that “Qualitative research is multi-method in focus, involving an interpretive, naturalistic approach to its subject matter. This means that qualitative researchers study things in their natural settings, attempting to make sense of, or interpret, phenomena in terms of the meanings people bring to them.
Qualitative research involves the studied use and collection of a variety of empirical materials–case study, personal experience, introspective, life story, interview, observational, historical, interactions, and visual texts –the described routine and problematic moments and meanings in individuals’ lives”. (p. 2) Qualitative data are defined by Patton ( 1990) as “detailed descriptions of situations, events, people, interactions, observed behaviors, direct quotations from people about their experiences, attitudes, beliefs, and thoughts and excerpts or entire passages from documents, correspondence, records, and case histories” (p.
22 ). Techniques of qualitative research are Interviews, Observation, Case study, and Action research. Interviews Qualitative interviews have been responsive to the potentially invasive impact of researchers on the research process as the researcher is the primary research instrument. Observation Observation as a design feature is to attain depth of meaning from the data (i. e. , what seems salient in the setting). The researcher focuses in detail on the most pertinent factors in an ethnographic study. Case study The case-study method is one more design approach under the qualitative rubric.
Case studies can be single-subject designs or based on a single program, unit, or school. Merriam (1988) describes that case-study research, begins with translating the research question into more specific and researchable problems, followed by techniques and examples of how to collect, organize, and report case-study data. Action Research Action research is used here to refer to ways of exploring professional experience which link practice and the analysis of practice into a single productive and constantly developing sequence, and which link researchers and research participants into a single community of involved colleagues.
Winter (1996) explains that “action research is seen as a way of investigating professional experience which links practice and the analysis of practice into a single, continuously developing sequence” (p. 13). Quantitative approach The quantitative approach is used while one begins with a theory (or hypothesis) and tests for confirmation or disconfirmation of that hypothesis. Quantitative research is often referred to as hypothesis-testing research (Kerlinger, 1964). Typical of this custom is the following common pattern of research operations in investigating, for instance, the effects of a treatment or an intervention.
Techniques of quantitative research are Surveys, Interviews, Questionnaires, Sampling, and Triangulation. Surveys Data are collected, typically either by interview or by questionnaire, on a group of variables. The objective then is to observe patterns of relationship between the variables. Unlike experimental research, the researcher does not intercede in the organization and observe the effects of the intervention. Information is collected on a number of variables, and the amount to which they are causally linked has to be inferred.
Interviews Quantitative researchers pretest their instruments to reassure the quality of their data. They ransack other researchers’ scales and theories to inform their theoretical understanding of the fundamental factors that may be present. They do long interviews and focus groups to try to get into the points of view of those living through the situations they are analyzing. Questionnaires These are collections of questions that the respondent completes on his or her own. Sampling The sample of subjects is drawn to replicate the population.
After the pretest measures are taken, the treatment conducted, and posttest measures taken, a statistical analysis divulges findings about the treatment’s effects. To support repeatability of the findings, one experiment typically is conducted and statistical techniques are used to establish the probability of the same differences occurring over and over again. Triangulation Triangulation might be looked at as a dependability check–but not always. It is possible that one source of data could be much more significant than other sources in understanding a particular phenomenon.
Generally, though, the more sources one looks at the more expected one is to have a complete perception of the phenomenon. Sampling Techniques: Random or Probability Non-random or Non-probability Random or Probability techniques are Simple random sampling, Systematic random sampling, and Stratified random sampling. Simple random sampling In simple random sampling, all subject within the sampling frame has an equal chance of being selected. This equal chance is consummate through a total randomness of selection.
Systematic random sampling In systematic sampling, instead of drawing sample subjects randomly from the sampling frame, systematic sampling draws subjects at different intervals along the list of subjects in the sampling frame. Stratified random sampling An approach that increases the probability of obtaining a representative sample yet avoids missing an significant subgroup is to draw a stratified sample. With stratified sampling, the sampling frame is first separated into subgroups based on a variable that is considered important.
Non-random or Non-probability is Cluster sampling, Quota sampling, Purposive sampling. Cluster sampling In cluster sampling, instead of individual subjects, logically occurring clusters, or groups, of subjects are used as the essential units of sampling. Purposive sampling With purposive sampling (also known as judgmental sampling), subjects are selected based on the researcher’s knowledge of the population and on the nature of the research. The researcher uses subjects as the sample who are judged as “typical” or “representative” of the population of interest. Quota sampling
This type of non probability sampling is quota sampling. Quota sampling contains features of both stratified sampling and purposive sampling. In quota sampling, variables that are indomitable to be significant to the research question are identified. These variables are usually demographic variables such as gender, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, age, and urban versus rural residency. Conclusion The qualitative-quantitative research methodology is supported scientifically by its self-correcting feedback loops. In each and every research study, the continuum operates.
When one conceptualizes research this way and uses the integral feedback mechanism, positive things happen that are less probable to occur in a strictly qualitative or a strictly quantitative study. Work Cited Merriam S. B. (1988). Case study research in education: A qualitative approach. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Stake R. E. (1981). “Case study methodology: An epistemological advocacy”. In W. W. Welch (Ed. ), Case study methodology in educational evaluation: Proceedings of the 1981 Minnesota Evaluation Conference (pp. 31-40).
Minneapolis: Minnesota Research and Evaluation Center. Denzin N. K. , & Lincoln Y. S. (Eds. ). (1994). Handbook of qualitative research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Patton M. Q. (1990). Qualitative evaluation and research methods (2nd ed. ). Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications. Kerlinger F. (1964). Foundations of behavioral research. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. Winter, R. (1996). Some principles and procedures for the conduct of action research. In Zuber-Skerritt, O. (Ed. ) Action research for change and development. Aldershot: Gower-Avebury.