Qualitative Methods vs. Quantitative Methods. Qualitative Methods? Quantitative Methods?

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  • Qualitative Methodsvs.Quantitative Methods

  • Qualitative Methods?Quantitative Methods?

  • (Some) Qualitative Methods(Participant) ObservationStructural AnalysisCase StudiesInterviewingQuestionnaires/Surveys

  • Surveys and QuestionnairesWhy would you use Questionnaires and how would you create and administer them?

  • Surveys and QuestionnairesWhy? One of the most common ways to gather dataCan be tailored to your needsCan be an effective research source

  • Surveys and QuestionnairesHow?Need to knowDifference between question typesTechniques for question wordingTechniques for overall design of questionnaireFinding a sample populationEffective ways to distribute and enhance the return rate of questionnaires

  • Surveys and QuestionnairesQuestion TypeThe more structured a question, the easier it is to analyzeMany types of questions, but seven main onesVerbal (or Open)ListCategoryRankingScaleQuantityGrid

  • Surveys and QuestionnairesQuestion WordingWhat to watch: Ambiguity, Imprecision, & AssumptionPerceived CommonalityIn-situ example: How much time, on average, do you spend studying? a) a great deal; b) a little bit; c) not at allMemoryKnowledgeDouble Questions: e.g., Do you attend math and chemistry classes?Leading Questions: e.g., Do you agree that mature students earn better grades?

  • Surveys and QuestionnairesQuestion WordingWhat to watch: Ambiguity, Imprecision, & AssumptionPresuming Questions are usually formed by a researchers strong opinions or feelings and not everyone feels that way; e.g., Does the University provide Adequate Counseling?Hypothetical Questions: If you had no family responsibilities and plenty of money, what would you do with your life?Offensive/Sensitive Issues (e.g., specific age, sexual orientation, grades, etc.)

  • Surveys and QuestionnairesQuestion DesignNo matter how perfectly worded, a questionnaire will lose much of its impact if it looks untidySome guidelines:Typed; nice, easy-to-read fontClear instructionsSpacing (white space) between questionsCheck boxes?Order of questions is very importantAllow space for computer scoring (if applicable); make certain of its impression

  • Surveys and QuestionnairesFinding a Sample Dependent on your time and projectLocationShould be representative of population in your project

  • Surveys and QuestionnairesDistribution and Return of Questionnaires Face to face is bestCan explain questionnaire and take-back immediately once completeIf must leave-out/mail, include:Explain the purpose of the studyOutline anonymity, if applicableWhat approvals have been given (and by whom)Indicate what will be done with the information

  • Surveys and QuestionnairesReliability

    How reliable is your test, measurement, or survey?The extent to which a test (or survey or measurement) produces similar results under constant conditions on all occasionsHow to test for reliabilityTest-retestAlternate formsSplit-half

  • Surveys and QuestionnairesValidity Are the parts of your test, measurement, or survey a valid?Makes sure that an item measures what its supposed to measureUnreliable = invalid; BUT reliable does not necessarily = validityExamine your items critically:

  • Example of a Survey: Good or Bad?-------------------------------------------Evaluation of GCU674, Geographic Techniques for Teachers


    Do you still need to talk with your instructor to help clarify information about geographic techniques?

    Would you use any of the information in your future research endeavors? YesNo


    Please rate the following:"Great!""Pretty Good""Just OK""Not Very Helpful""Total Waste of Time"The information presented helped me understand basic techniques used in geographyThe presenter clearly explained the information The handouts were helpful

  • IRBor, is the Survey Harmful?

  • Institutional Review (IRB)An Institutional Review Board is a diverse group of scientific and non-scientific individuals who conduct the initial and ongoing review of behavioral and clinical research studies involving human subjects. It is the responsibility of the IRB to review all material related to a study to be sure standards of ethics are maintained. This is especially important in items that will be viewed by the study patient, such as the Informed Consent document, advertisements, diaries, and informational brochures.

  • (Some) Quantitative MethodsOften follow the scientific methodCreate hypotheses, theories, models Construct instruments and/or methods for measurement and/or testing of hypothesesAttempt to investigate, manipulate, and/or control variables Compile data Replicate/Model and analyze data Assess outcomesStats, models, graphs, charts, tables, etc.

  • Quantitative Data?

  • What is an Index?A way to Quantify the UnquantifiableExamples:From everyday Life?Ranking movies, ranking hotels, ranking restaurants, best schools, best citiesFrom schooling?SAT, your GPA, grading scales in classesFrom geography?Palmer Drought Severity index, Mohs hardness scale, sand mobility index, soil development index

  • Qualitative vs. QuantitativeCan they overlap?Mixed method approachCan use one or the other, or bothMust use each correctlyWhat if no previous research exists?

  • ReadingTufte, Edward. 1983. The Visual Display of Quantitative Information.


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