MA TESOL Research Methods W3 Qualitative Quantitative Debate

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Qualitative and quantitative research


<ul><li><p>THE QUALITATIVE QUANTITATIVE DEBATE Le Hoang Dung, PhDVietnam National University-HCMUniversity of Social Sciences &amp; Humanities Faculty of English Linguistics &amp; Literature</p></li><li><p>BA-Research MethodsI. BASIC vs. APPLIED RESEARCHMostly Students are expected to engage with an applied research or problem solving research project.</p><p>Basic research Applied research Primary aim: to improve knowledge generally, without any particular applied purpose in mind at the outset.Designed from the start to apply its findings to a particular situation</p><p>BA-Research Methods</p></li><li><p>BA-Research MethodsThe research philosophy can impact on the methodology adopted for the research project. The term methodology refers to the overall approaches &amp; perspectives to the research process as a whole and is concerned with the following main issues:Why you collected certain dataWhat data you collectedWhere you collected itHow you collected itHow you analysed it(Collis &amp; Hussey, 2003, p.55).(A research method refers only to the various specific tools or ways data can be collected and analysed, e.g. a questionnaire; interview checklist; data analysis software etc.). POSITIVISTIC(can also be referred toQuantitative, Objectivist,Scientific, Experimentalist orTraditionalistPHENOMENOLOGICAL(can also be referred to asQualitative, Subjectivist,Humanistic or Interpretative</p><p>II. TWO MAJOR RESEARCH PHILOSOPHIES</p></li><li><p>RESEARCH METHODOLOGIES</p><p>Positivistic Phenomenological Surveys Experimental Studies Longitudinal Studies Cross-sectional Studies Case Studies Action Research Ethnography (participant observation) Participative Enquiry Feminist Perspectives Grounded Theory</p></li><li><p>*Nature of research: another classification</p><p>ExploratoryDescriptiveAnalyticalPredictive- Undertaken whenfew or no previousstudies exist- Aim: to look forpatterns, hypothesesor ideas that can betested and will formthe basis for further research</p><p>- Typical techniques: observation case studies &amp; reviews of previousrelated studies &amp; data.- Used to identify and classify the elements orcharacteristics ofthe subject, </p><p>- E.g. number of days lost because of industrial action.- Typical techniques: quantitative (used to collect, analyze &amp; summarize data)- Often extends the descriptive approach to suggest or explainwhy or how sth. ishappening</p><p>- E.g. underlying causes of industrialaction.- ImportantFeature: locate andidentify thedifferent factors(or variables) involved - Aim: to speculateintelligently onfuture possibilities,based on closeanalysis of available evidence of cause &amp; effect</p><p>- E.g. predicting when and where future industrial action might take place</p></li><li><p>ExamplesWhat is your research topic?What research approach/method will you apply? Why? *</p></li><li><p>*III. QUALITATIVE RESEARCHNature: exploratoryused when we dont know what to expect, to define the problem or develop an approach to the problem. used to go deeper into issues of interest and explore nuances related to the problem at handseeks to determine the causes of human behaviorsE.g. life choices which result in shortened lives and unhappy marriages complex behaviors related to wars and other conflicts. Qualitative research is all about getting to the root of the problem and trying to determine what causes these kinds of destructive behaviors.</p></li><li><p>Tools: focus groups, in-depth interviews and questionnaires. The data collected using these methods are then analyzed and studied in an attempt to determine why people act the way they do. The reports generated by qualitative research may touch on abstract concepts like metaphors, symbols and other descriptive language. **</p></li><li><p>**The Assumptions of Qualitative Designs Qualitative researchers are concerned primarily with process, rather than outcomes or products. interested in meaning how people make sense of their lives, experiences, and their structures of the world. The qualitative researcher is the primary instrument for data collection and analysis. Data are mediated through this human instrument, rather than through inventories, questionnaires, or machines. </p></li><li><p>**Qualitative research involves fieldwork (The researcher physically goes to the people, setting, site, or institution to observe or record behavior in its natural setting) is descriptive (The researcher is interested in process, meaning, and understanding gained through words or pictures)The process of qualitative research is inductive (The researcher builds abstractions, concepts, hypotheses, and theories from details) (Merriam (1988) &amp; Creswell (1994)</p></li><li><p>Reasons AGAINST the use of qualitative research Too subjective &amp; susceptible to human error and bias in data collection &amp; interpretation Non-probability sampling Smaller sample size involved (compared to quantitative methods) Nonprojectability of the results to a broader, target population </p></li><li><p>Reasons FOR the use of qualitative research</p></li><li><p>*IV. QUANTITATIVEconclusive in its purpose as it tries to quantify the problem and understand how prevalent it is by looking for projectable results to a larger focused on hard facts and figures and with data which can be objectively analyzed and quantifiedAim: to use mathematical models in an attempt to provide real data, with numbers that can be crunched and results that can be verified</p></li><li><p>BA-Research MethodsQUANTITATIVE vs. QUALITATIVE RESEARCHQuantitative - Emphasizes on collecting and analysing numerical data; - Concentrates on measuring the scale, range, frequency etc. of phenomena. - Harder to design initially, but usually highly detailed and structured and results can be easily collated and presented statisticallyQualitative- More subjective in nature - Involves examining and reflecting on the less tangible aspects of a research subject, e.g. values, attitudes, perceptions - Easier to start, but often difficult to interpret and present the findings; the findings can also be challenged more easily </p><p>BA-Research Methods</p></li><li><p>*V. EXAMPLESInvestigation into poverty in a rural areaThe study may rely on focus groups, interviews and other techniques to determine the main factors that cause those households to be impoverishedA quantitative study may report on the number of Village A households who are living below the poverty lineThe study may identify factors: educational level, intelligence, race and gender in an effort to determine why those workers are earning substandard wagesThe study may report the number of workers whose incomes are more than a third below the average for their communitiesQualitative approachQuantitative approach</p></li><li><p>*Some remindersDont be tempted to only run a couple of focus groups or an online survey and feel you know everything. </p><p>A combination of qualitative and quantitative research techniques will give you in-depth insight and a solid foundation for decision making. </p></li><li><p>LHD-BRM-S6*DEBATE: Qualitative &amp; Qualitative approach to research </p><p>LHD-BRM-S6</p></li><li><p>**Predispositions of Quantitative and Qualitative Modes of Inquiry Quantitative Mode AssumptionsSocial facts have an objective reality Primacy of method Variables can be identified and relationships measured Etic (outside's point of view) Purpose Generalizability Prediction Causal explanations Approach Begins with hypotheses and theories Manipulation and control Uses formal instruments Experimentation Deductive Component analysis Seeks consensus, the norm Reduces data to numerical indices Abstract language in write-up Researcher Role Detachment and impartiality Objective portrayal </p><p>Qualitative Mode Assumptions Reality is socially constructedPrimacy of subject matterVariables are complex, interwoven and difficult to measure Emic (insider's point of view) Purpose Contextualization Interpretation Understanding actors' perspectives Approach Ends with hypotheses and grounded theory Emergence and portrayal Researcher as instrument Naturalistic Inductive Searches for patterns Seeks pluralism, complexity Makes minor use of numerical indices Descriptive write-up Researcher Role Personal involvement and partiality Empathic understanding </p></li><li><p>**Contrasting Positivist and Naturalist Axioms (Beliefs and Assumptions)</p><p>Axioms AboutPositivist Paradigm (Quantitative)Naturalist Paradigm (Qualitative)The relationship of the knower to the knownKnower and known are independent, a dualism.Knower and known are interactive, inseparable.The possibility of generalizationTime-and context-free, generalisations (nomothetic statements) are possible.Only time-and context-bound working hypotheses (idiographic statements) are possible.The possibility of causal linkagesThere are real causes, temporally precedent to or simultaneously with their effects.All entities are in a state of mutual simultaneous shaping, so that it is impossible to distinguish causes from effects.The role of valuesInquiry is value-freeInquiry is value-bound.....Lincoln, Y. S., &amp; Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications. </p></li><li><p>*Research with who?Research with Subjects (Quantitative) 1. What do I know about a problem that will allow me to formulate and test a hypothesis?2. What concepts can I use to test this hypothesis?3. How can I operationally define these concepts?4. What scientific theory can explain the data?5. How can I interpret the results and report them in the language of my colleagues?Research with Informants (Qualitative) What do my informants know about their culture that I can discover?What concepts do my informants use to classify their experiences?How do my informants define these concepts?What folk theory do my informants use to explain their experience?How can I translate the cultural knowledge of my informants into a cultural description my colleagues will understand?Spradley, J. P. (1979). The ethnographic interview. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers.</p></li><li><p>*VI. IN SUMMARYAlthough some social science researchers (Lincoln &amp; Guba, 1985; Schwandt, 1989) perceive qualitative and quantitative approaches as incompatible, others (Patton, 1990; Reichardt &amp; Cook, 1979) believe that the skilled researcher can successfully combine approaches. The argument usually becomes muddled becauseone party argues from the underlying philosophical nature of each paradigm, and the other focuses on the apparent compatibility of the research methods, enjoying the rewards of both numbers and words. the positivist and the interpretivist paradigms rest on different assumptions about the nature of the world, they require different instruments and procedures to find the type of data desired </p></li><li><p>*VI. IN SUMMARYThis does not mean, however, that the positivist never uses interviews nor that the interpretivist never uses a survey. They may, but such methods are supplementary, not dominant.... Different approaches allow us to know and understand different things about the world.... Nonetheless, people tend to adhere to the methodology that is most consonant with their socialized worldview. (Glesne, C., &amp; Peshkin, A. (1992). Becoming qualitative researchers: An introduction. White Plains, NY: Longman. P.9)</p></li><li><p>*VI. IN SUMMARYThe qualitative/quantitative debate is a non-debate. Each functions within different assumptions. Finding fault with one approach with the standards of another does little to promote understanding. Each approach should be judged on its theoretical basis. </p></li><li><p>*ReferencesCreswell, J. W. (1994). Research design: Qualitative &amp; quantitative approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Glesne, C., &amp; Peshkin, A. (1992). Becoming qualitative researchers: An introduction. White Plains, NY: Longman. P.9)Lincoln, Y. S., &amp; Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications. Marshall, C., &amp; Rossman, G. (1980). Designing qualitative research. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Merriam, S. B. (1988). Case study research in education: A qualitative approach. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Spradley, J. P. (1979). The ethnographic interview. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers.</p></li><li><p>**Thank you.</p><p>Be always inspired &amp; interested in doing your research. </p></li></ul>