Essay on Qualitative Research for Instructional Technology

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Qualitative Research for Instructional Technology Background: A trend of the past several years has been the growing use of qualitative research for educational research. Qualitative research, broadly defined, means "any kind of research that produces findings not arrived at by means of statistical procedures or other means of quantification. Where quantitative researchers seek causal determination, prediction, and generalization of findings, qualitative researchers seek instead illumination, understanding, and extrapolation to similar situations. Qualitative analysis results in a different type of knowledge than does quantitative inquiry. " (Hoepfl, 1997, p.13). "During the past several decades, particularly during the 1970s…show more content…
15). 1. Qualitative research uses the natural setting as the source of data. The researcher attempts to observe, describe and interpret settings as they are, maintaining an empathic neutrality. 2. The researcher acts as the human instrument of data collection. 3. Qualitative researchers predominantly use inductive data analysis. 4. Qualitative research reports are descriptive, incorporating expressive language and the presence of voice in the text. 5. Qualitative research has an interpretive character, aimed at discovering the meaning events have for the individuals who experience them, and the interpretations of those meanings by the researcher. 6. Qualitative researchers pay attention to the idiosyncratic as well as the pervasive, seeking the uniqueness of each case. 7. Qualitative research has an emergent (as opposed to predetermined) design, and researchers focus on this emerging process as well as the outcomes or product of the research. 8. Qualitative research is judged using special criteria for trustworthiness. Relevance to Instructional Technology: "One of the keys to in-depth understanding of complex situations is an involvement with context. While quantitative methodologies have, among other things, the advantages of objectivity and generalizability, there are levels of understanding that simply cannot be attained apart from intensive involvement with people, institutions, and situations" (Sutton,
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