The Qualitative Research Approach

Jemmott

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The qualitative research approach excludes the use of data that involves numbers. In this case, no mathematical calculations are required to deduce relevant information (Formplus, 2019). The qualitative research method is premised on non-quantifiable elements. Notable ones include the feelings, emotions, or beliefs of the researcher. Such methods gain precedence when answering questions relating to meaning, experience, and perspective, mainly from the participant’s viewpoint. Consequently, examples of tools used for qualitative data collection include Web survey chats, group discussions, online interactions through communities, and in-depth interviews (Formplus, 2019). Therefore, the common denominator among these tools is that they are typically unamenable to measuring or counting.

 

The approach applicable in quantitative research requires mathematical calculation. This outcome is justified because the methods are usually represented in numbers (Formplus, 2019). As such, they focus on objective measurements as well as statistical analysis of data. Another aspect to note about the approach is that it emphasizes collecting numerical data and subsequently generalizing it across a particular population. In addition, such information may be utilized to expound on a specific phenomenon. Examples of quantitative data collection tools include face-to-face interactions, online surveys, mail, and phone calls (Formplus, 2019). Other notable instances entail utilizing a questionnaire with close-ended questions and applying mean, mode and median methods.

Instruments applicable in mixed-method research comprise questionnaires, interviews, and observation (classroom). These diverse approaches supplement each to the degree that it boosts the validity and dependability of the information. In this regard, questionnaires can be structured, unstructured, or mixed; meaning, closed-ended, open-ended, and a mixture of both, respectively (Fàbregues, Paré & Meneses, 2018). The other instrument is interviewing, which is famous and widely utilized to collect mixed method data. In this case, a researcher is usually predisposed to firsthand information from participants. Finally, observations also provide firsthand information since they purposefully reflect on the posed research questions and objectives. It can be actualized through events and interactions, as they naturally culminate.

Validity refers to the degree of utility, trustworthiness, and dependability of mixed research methods. It can manifest in two ways, including content and internal validity. The former refers to the adequate and effective measurement of the various elements, while the end deals with the congruence of the research outcomes with the reality (Fàbregues, Paré & Meneses, 2018). Therein, to enhance validity, one must gather data from various sources and subject them to member checks. On the other hand, reliability refers to the dependability, consistency, and replicability of mixed research methods. To enhance the reliability of the instruments, several tools must be used, the various processes should be explained explicitly, and audit trials may be utilized (Fàbregues, Paré & Meneses, 2018).