Characteristics of qualitative research methods

Not surprisingly, the unique nature o f qualitative inquiry is characterized by a distinctive set of attributes, all of which impact the design of qualitative research one way or the other. The researcher does not acquire this information and knowledge in a vacuum but rather in a context and, in this way, the research data are a product of various situational factors. Whether it be the physical environment or mode by which an in-depth interview IDIgroup discussion, or observation is conducted the outcomes in qualitative research hinge greatly on the contexts from which we obtain this data. Importance of meaning Although the goal of all research is to draw meaning from the data, qualitative research is unique in the dimensionality of this effort.

Characteristics of qualitative research methods

Many important medical education research questions cry out for a qualitative research approach: How do teacher characteristics affect learning? Why do learners choose particular specialties? How is professionalism influenced by experiences, mentors, or the curriculum?

For these why types of questions, qualitative or mixed qualitative and quantitative approaches 5 be more appropriate and helpful. This editorial is the first in a series of two, and it will provide an introduction to qualitative approaches and compare features of quantitative and qualitative research.

The second editorial will review in more detail the approaches for selecting participants, analyzing data, and ensuring rigor and study quality in qualitative research.

Theory and Methodology Good research follows from a reasonable starting point, a theoretical concept or perspective. Quantitative research uses a positivist perspective in which evidence is objectively and systematically obtained to prove a causal model or hypothesis; what works is the focus.

Also, the context in which the observations occur is controlled or assumed to be stable. In contrast, in a qualitative paradigm researchers might interact with the study objects learners to collect observations, which are highly context specific. It attempts to explain a phenomenon or relationship.

Typically, results from qualitative research have been assumed to apply only to the small groups studied, such that generalizability of the results to other populations is not expected. For this reason, qualitative research is considered to be hypothesis generating, although some experts dispute this limitation.

TABLE 1 Open in a separate window When Qualitative Studies Make Sense Qualitative studies are helpful to understand why and how; quantitative studies focus on cause and effect, how much, and numeric correlations. Generally, qualitative research is concerned with cases rather than variables, and understanding differences rather than calculating the mean of responses.

A qualitative study is concerned with the point of view of the individual under study. Similarly, to understand how residents perceive the influence of resident work hour restrictions on aspects of professionalism, a qualitative study would start with the learners rather than by measuring and correlating scores on professionalism assessments.

Interviews and focus groups are usually audiorecorded and transcribed for analysis, whereas observations are recorded in field notes by the observer. Researchers review the observations and report their impressions in a structured format, with subsequent analysis also standardized. Strategies to ensure rigor in data collection and trustworthiness of the data and data analysis will be discussed in the second editorial in the series.

TABLE 3 Open in a separate window In contrast to quantitative methods, subjective responses are critical findings, both in participant responses and observer reactions. The unique or outlier response has value in contributing to understanding the experience of others, and thus individual responses are not lost in the aggregation of findings or in the development of research group consensus.Characteristics of Qualitative Research EDRS Dr.

Kielborn Summer Qualitative Research is an umbrella covering several forms of inquiry that help us understand and explain the meaning of social phenomena with as little disruption to the natural setting as possible. As is the case for qualitative researchers, Creswell () is one of the best sources for some best practices of quantitative studies, and he outlines some basic principles of a .

10 Distinctive Qualities of Qualitative Research. Research Design & Methods and tagged qualitative analysis, qualitative methods, qualitative research design, research design on July 31, by Margaret R.

Characteristics of qualitative research methods

Roller. What Are The Characteristics Of Good Research Design – Qualitative research is an analytical methodology used in many academic disciplines, typically in the social sciences. Also, it is used in fields such as market r-bridal.comative researchers seek to gather a more comprehensive understanding of activities related to .

Usually there is a research problem that frames your qualitative study and that influences your decision about what methods to use, but qualitative designs generally lack an accompanying hypothesis or set of assumptions because the findings are emergent and unpredictable.

Qualitative Research Methods Overview T his module introduces the fundamental elements of a qualitative approach to research, to help you understand and become proficient in the qualitative methods discussed in subse-.

Exploring Characteristics of Qualitative Research