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  • Ethnomethodology
    Theory Phenomenology Kinesics Characteristics of Qualitative Observational Research Methods of Qualitative Observational Research Steps and Methods used in Qualitative Observational Research Employing Multiple Methods Computer Software for Qualitative Research Commentary on Ethnography Observational Research and Narrative Inquiry Related Links Annotated Bibliography Resources Print Friendly Format About this Guide Contributors Citation Ethnography Observational Research and Narrative Inquiry Ethnomethodology According to Coulon 1995 ethnomethodology is the empirical study of methods that individuals use to give sense to and to accomplish their daily actions communicating making decisions and reasoning p 15 This approach is actually a form of ethnography which specifically studies activities of group members to see how they make sense of their surroundings Usually an ethnomethodologist will see or hear things in a group that participants are not consciously aware of For instance in Ways with Words Heath 1983 notices that in the Black community of Trackton children learn how to become fast thinkers when playfully interacting with adults and other children The participants may not be aware of this teaching and learning process but Heath asserts that the learned wittiness of the children pays off when they have to defend themselves Previous Continue Introduction Tweet HELP SITE INDEX ABOUT THIS

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  • Grounded Theory
    for Qualitative Research Commentary on Ethnography Observational Research and Narrative Inquiry Related Links Annotated Bibliography Resources Print Friendly Format About this Guide Contributors Citation Ethnography Observational Research and Narrative Inquiry Grounded Theory In this approach researchers are responsible for developing other theories that emerge from observing a group The theories are grounded in the group s observable experiences but researchers add their own insight into why those experiences exist In

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  • Phenomenology
    in Qualitative Observational Research Employing Multiple Methods Computer Software for Qualitative Research Commentary on Ethnography Observational Research and Narrative Inquiry Related Links Annotated Bibliography Resources Print Friendly Format About this Guide Contributors Citation Ethnography Observational Research and Narrative Inquiry Phenomenology This approach most often used by psychologists seeks to explain the structure and essence of the experiences of a group of people Banning 1995 A phenomenologist is concerned with understanding certain group behaviors from that group s point of view For instance a researcher might notice that in a certain group all girls wear pink socks on Tuesdays A true phenomenologist would not assume that pink is the girls favorite color and Tuesdays are their favorite day to wear them Instead that researcher would try to find out what significance this phenomenon has Phenomenological inquiry requires that researchers go through a series of steps in which they try to eliminate their own assumptions and biases examine the phenomenon without presuppositions and describe the deep structure of the phenomenon based on internal themes that are discovered Marshall Rossman 1995 Phenomenology does greatly overlap with ethnography but as Bruyn 1970 points out some phenomenologists assert that they study symbolic meanings as they

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  • Kinesics
    Resources Print Friendly Format About this Guide Contributors Citation Ethnography Observational Research and Narrative Inquiry Kinesics Kinesic analysis examines what is communicated through body movement This approach is based on the assumption that all human beings although they may be unaware of it act and react to situations nonverbally as well as verbally Kinesics can be especially useful when employed in conjunction with other qualitative methods such as interviews and

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  • Characteristics of Qualitative Observational Research
    acts is to build up the reputation of the speaker Thus the observer s job is to find out why This could lead to further research into the rhetorical strategies and purposes of BEV Holistic perspective Patton states A holistic approach assumes that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts p 40 In other words almost every action or communication must be taken as a part of the whole phenomenon of a certain community or culture However this characteristic of qualitative observational research can be bothersome because it can lead researchers into taking every little action into consideration when writing a narrative For instance a researcher might notice that many speakers of BEV employ a particular rhetorical strategy in their writing However this phenomenon might not have anything to do with BEV and its traditions or strategies It might be linked to something else in their lives Personal contact and insight The researcher is responsible for becoming a part of a group to get a more in depth study However the researcher also has to be aware of biases both good and bad For example researchers who do not consider BEV a legitimate form of discourse should be aware of and acknowledge that bias before studying BEV In contrast a researcher who speaks BEV might ignore some negative implications of this discourse Dynamic systems Qualitative observational research is not concerned with having straightforward right or wrong answers In addition change in a study is common because the researcher is not concerned with finding only one answer For example a researcher could gain a different perspective on BEV by observing and interviewing a wide range of BEV speakers the researcher could study both male and female speakers and speakers from different educational and geographical locations Unique case orientation Researchers must remember that every study is special and deserves in depth attention This is especially necessary for doing cultural comparisons For instance a researcher may believe that Jive a way of talking in the 1970s and BEV are the same because they both derive from African American culture This is untrue and BEV should be considered a unique form of discourse with its own history conventions and uses contexts Context sensitivity Researchers must realize the different variables such as values and beliefs that influence cultural behaviors For example knowing that the rhetorical strategies of BEV signifying running it down putting down putting on etc are context specific a researcher might examine what values and beliefs influence this context specificity Empathic neutrality Ideally researchers should be non judgmental when compiling findings Because complete neutrality is impossible this characteristic is a controversial aspect of qualitative research For instance it would be difficult for a researcher not to judge students who completely stop speaking BEV upon coming to college since BEV has strong roots in African American culture and is strongly tied to speakers identities This example might illustrate the difficulties in remaining completely neutral Design flexibility Researchers can continue to do

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  • Methods of Qualitative Observational Research
    Links Annotated Bibliography Resources Print Friendly Format About this Guide Contributors Citation Ethnography Observational Research and Narrative Inquiry Methods of Qualitative Observational Research Qualitative observational research involves more than simply going out into the field and observing a given group or culture Researchers must also consider such issues as their role their research question the theory driving their inquiry how they will collect and analyze information and how they will

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  • Steps and Methods used in Qualitative Observational Research
    they will be studied Identifying the theory that drives the inquiry The qualitative observational researcher must determine what underlying theory or model should inform the research This may mean replicating or building on an earlier study or it may mean formulating a new model or theory by which to conduct the study Either way the theory or model chosen will help the researcher determine how to structure the study i e whether to study participants in the classroom only or to study them outside of the classroom as well and how and when to use interviews Selecting qualitative research tools Selecting how and when data will be collected is an essential step in designing qualitative observational research studies One of the primary tools of ethnographic study is the use of field notes Observers may simply begin with a blank notebook and write down everything that goes on Others may use audio and or video tapes Some observers begin with a list of categories of behavior to be noted This works best when the research question is already defined however categories should be flexible and modifiable throughout the study The goals of note taking are to help ensure validity of the data collection and interpretation processes to check data with members of context if possible to weigh the evidence and to check for researcher and subjects effects on both patterned and outlying data Another useful tool journal records may be made by participants researchers or practitioners These records are collected through participant observation in a shared practical setting Written dialogue between researcher and participants is also used in narrative inquiry as a way of offering and responding to tentative narrative interpretations Clandinin 1986 Researchers may look at autobiographical and biographical writing as well as documents such as plans newsletters course materials and student products rules laws architecture picturing metaphors poetry clothing foods rituals physical setting and implements such as musical instruments artifacts logs in short anything within the context of the studied group that speaks of their experience Unstructured interviews may be used to collect data personal stories tell us something of how group members perceive and experience their conditions Structured interviews permit more focused information gathering but may overlook aspects of the group that an unstructured interview might reveal To facilitate truthful responses the interview should be informal or conversational in nature Interviewees may be selected with intent to uncover specific information or to gain a cross section of group members for instance both high achievers and those having difficultly with the material Researchers may need to use stimulation recall to prompt interviewees or participants in informal discussion concerning specific events Another method simulation response presents hypothetical situations to obtain responses from members of the community While these methods are often helpful they are not infallible Members may inhibit access to information by concealing aspects of their lives or by telling researchers what they think they want to hear Analyzing and reporting data The final steps to be taken by

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  • Employing Multiple Methods
    Multiple Methods It is important to underscore that one cannot point to a single clear definition of a qualitative study Oftentimes researchers triangulate data by combining different types of qualitative approaches and even including quantitative elements For example Doheny Farina 1985 conducted a study of the collaborative writing process in a new software company He visited the company for three to five days a week over eight months His visits ranged from one to eight hours His key informants were the company s top five executives two middle managers and two outside consults He took 400 pages of field notes of three types observational theoretical and methodological He tape recorded meetings and he also conducted 30 open ended and discourse based interviews Doheny Farina analyzed the data by reviewing it chronologically and developing a coding scheme as he reviewed From the data he discovered a major theme and sub theme His analysis describes the writing of the company s business plan within its organizational context Essentially his data showed that the organizational context shaped the writing of the business plan while the writing of the business plan shaped the organizational context Although the article Doheny Farina wrote about his study

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