Thursday, 28 June 2012

Don't Be a Messenger Boy/Girl: Independence in Research Relationships

Was involved in a meeting today to design a new project that made us all think about the need for independence when conducting research...the project is one instigated by a large well known branded treatment group who want to look at whether or not their approach will be suitable across cultures..

The project has the potential to do so much good and those instigating it demonstrate a sound commitment to improving lives and a prolific entrepreneurial ability but what emerged was the need for us to bracket off design, recruitment, data collection and dissemination in a way that maximises our independence from their interests, be them imagined or otherwise....

Many qual researchers will find themselves involved with branded treatments at some point in time...often qual researchers can do a great job latching on to RCT's for example, to uncover the subjective experience of participants, thus enriching and triangulating quant findings..we need to be careful though that these studies are truly exploratory rather than allowing for any bias unconsciously seeping in from the juggernaut of an established branded treatment..(see prior post on Situational Analysis)

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Are we storytellers and artist-scientists?

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the
source of all true art and science.
—Albert Einstein

I love coming a cross an inspirational article and today it was Intuition and Creativity: A Pas de Deux
for Qualitative Researchers by Valerie J. Janesick of Roosevelt University (Qualitative Inquiry, Volume 7 Number 5, 2001 531-540) (LINK)

At the heart of her argument is , I am trying to shift the conversation about qualitative research methodology and design from the “McDonaldization” or “Disneyfication” of method and design to an understanding of the intuitive and the creative.

Technique is one thing but if we are really going to discover something novel we need to go beyond the technique and be creative....

Heres another great one...Creativity within Qualitative Research on Families: New Ideas for Old Methods by Sharon A. Deacon +The Qualitative Report, Volume 4, Numbers 3 & 4, March, 2000 (LINK)

She puts forwards art, poetry, timelines, writing exercises, photo projects to gather data..

Here is an excerpt..

Writing Exercises

When we think of using writing as a method of qualitative research, we usually think of open-ended questions on a survey. However, there are other writing activities researchers can use that are not ordinary or monotonous to gather information from participants. Researchers can ask participants to keep journals of their daily activities or feelings, and then use these journals as one way to understand and describe participants' and their lives (Symon, 1998). Researchers can also request that participants keep logs of certain activities, memories, or dreams as a way to gather information.
Incomplete prompts are words or beginnings of sentences or stories ("prompts") that researchers can ask participants to finish with their own ideas. With incomplete sentences, researchers ask participants to fill in their thoughts for a list of unfinished sentences that relate to the topic of study. For example, "When I was in the hospital, I felt. . ."; "The hardest time in my life was. . ."; "The turning point was when. . .". Researchers can also give participants topics to write on or titles for stories and then ask participants to use their creative writing skills to write the story. In studying rural farm families, a researcher might ask the family to write a story on "The challenges of farm life that most people never realize." Or, to study reactions to a devastating flood, a researcher might ask participants to tell a story titled, "Lessons for Recovering." Finally, researchers can ask participants to write about headlines in newspapers that reflect current events ("The Future Direction of Our Community" , "One Family's Reaction to the Tragedy"), or classified ads for specific desires ("Perfect Parent Wanted: Qualifications:. . .", "Perfect Job. . .", etc.). 

This paper is chockers full of practical ideas

Sneak Peak: Can Talking About Your own Childhood Make You a Better Clinician?

Just sending of a new paper, based on research conducted by a Doctorate student and many other collaborators..the study basically aims to answer the question as to whether or not reflective supervision, based on the clinicians family of origin, containing NO case material, helps make for better clinicians? This a pretty important debate given our tradition of giving psychoanalysts massive therapy vs the competency-based focus on much on clinical psychology training. There is certainly a push, especially in the Uk for personal development to be included in Clin Psych training, but we are lagging here downunder in this respect..

Family of Origin Coaching for Clinicians in a Tertiary Adolescent Mental Health Service

Background. The role of the therapist as a person rather than only as a technician has become increasingly important in family therapy since the post-modern turn. Despite this there is a paucity of research exploring supervision models that focus on self-reflection, as opposed to clinical competence. Method. This study documents the experience of a Family of Origin Coaching group, conducted with six clinicians and one supervisor working in a tertiary adolescent mental health service. A participatory action framework was used, with data analysed using grounded theory. Results. A variety of benefits were reported, including personal development, an enhanced empathy towards clients and an ability to better cope with stressful team dynamics. Conclusion. Family of Origin coaching has the potential to yield benefits for clinicians as a compliment to traditional supervision. Issues of confidentiality and safety need to be addressed carefully, especially during times of organisational change or stress.  

Here are a few choice photos to illustrate the point?

Monday, 25 June 2012

Perfectionism Central?

I went to a school HSC prep night tonite for one of my kids and was very interested to hear what the careers advisor had to say about us...basically that when she visited the speakers was so busy telling them that we were the best university in Sydney that all the careers advisers were put off and swore never to return....they really wanted to hear that our uni had its place and how it was unique but they felt all they were getting was a competition where we thought we were at the top... embarrassed :(

I fits in with alot of my thinking recently about academic culture and the messages we can send out to students...are we really interested in their development as individuals? Is the academic narrative superseding the intellectual one? Is space made for the students voice on campus? If all we care about is being the best on a league table rather than pursuing excellence for its own sake arent we risking alot? I know this must be obvious to most but its taking a while for my rose colored glasses to come off..........

On the positive side I confess to being  impressed by the culture of openness in Psychology...we are happy to have qual stand alongside quant, to have psychodynamic thinking stand alongside CBT, reflective practice alongside the scientist practitioner model...im proud of the fact that we are being rigorous, having very high standards but also encouraging our students to think and individuate during the course..

Your thoughts?

Friday, 22 June 2012

Voice of Dissent- Australian Universities: A Portrait of Decline Dr Donald Meyers

AUPOD Cover Image

This book is an insider's account of the current state of Australia's universities. It paints a picture of a system driven by the balance sheet, administered by a mindless and mean-spirited bureaucracy, adrift in a mire of pedagogical pap peddled by Educationalists.
It is the story of the transformation of our higher education system from one that delivered a rigorous education, producing highly competent graduates, many of whom distinguished themselves on the international stage, into two-dollar-shop degree factories. The resultant threat to the broad-scale competence of the professions is obvious.
In spite of policies for everything: Quality Assurance, Graduate Attributes, Personal Performance Plans, KPIs and myriad managerial fantasies, the fall in standards is undeniable and the extent of institutional dysfunction is staggering. Students, parents of students and graduates are scarcely equipped to critically examine the assumptions underlying these "reforms" and the ensuing impact on education. One of the aims of this book is to redress that shortfall.
Not only are university and government education bureaucrats presiding over the destruction of the intellectual fabric of the nation in an era of unprecedented global competition, they are denying a genuine higher education to those Australians with the necessary intelligence, motivation and practical skill to succeed.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Research Farming? Here's a Great Way to Learn N-Vivo!

If you want to learn NVivo, take time out to work on your analysis, meet other researchers  Im highly recommending Dr Pat Bazeley's Research Farm as a great service to consider......(this is unsolicited by the way, i have attended her workshops many years ago)
Located on 10 acres in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, the Research 
Farm is designed as a respite and retreat centre for researchers who need to take time out for concentrated writing or data analysis. It is also ideal for those who just want to spend time 
thinking about, talking through, or working on their research.

“The Research Farm and Pat are an unbeatable combination... Finding an environment that develops my thinking, nourishes my body with superb cooking, and refreshes my spirit with opportunities to pick fresh berries, strawberries and collect the eggs - all while engaging in stimulating conversation and debate - is a blessing. These, combined with Pat's generosity in sharing her time, knowledge, expertise and wisdom make the research farm an invaluable find!” (Susan, after a five day workshop).
  hens strawberries Kooka

Excellent recreational and leisure opportunities exist in the Southern Highlands, should you need a break from work. There is an abundance of good coffee, craft, antiques and bookshops in the area, and opportunities for walking or cycling.
    guest_rooms     NE_house_winter

Ph: +61 2 4862 3026

Mail: 3 Old Bong Bong Way
Burradoo NSW 2576

Monday, 18 June 2012

Constant Comparison Stop Motion Demo

cheers KFEN!!!!

Validity and Reliability for Qualitative Researchers

If you have had any experience with quantitative research you will know that there are strict criteria for establishing the reliability and validity of studies. Depending on your epistemology, however, this can also be the case for qualitative research.

 Guba and Lincoln put forward four criteria for determining the trustworthiness of qual research, as you can see in the table below

Quantitative Research
Qualitative Research
internal validity
external validity

What do these terms mean

Credibility means how much do the findings mirror what the participants actually meant. This can be achieved by respondent validation or member-checking.

    Transferability means how generalisable are the findings to another setting. This is a job done by the researcher in quant studies but in qual studies the researcher must simply describe the study context well and onus is then on the reader

    Dependability means would you get the same results if the study was done again or by someone else. This can be achieved by cross-checking codes with another researcher or collaborative coding with a group.

    Confirmability means can the findings be corroborated by others. It is important to describe how your data was analysed in detail and leave an audit trail that links your results with your interview transcripts 
    Want to read more on this? Here's a great article

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Discovering Mental Toughness

...great paper

Discovering Mental Toughness: A Qualitative Study of Mental Toughness in Elite Athletes [R]
Simon C. Middleton, Herb W. Marsh, Andrew J. Martin, Garry E. Richards, and Clark Perry
SELF Research Centre, University of Western Sydney, Australia

What is mental toughness? This research draws on the experience of elite athletes and coaches to unearth a
conceptualisation and definition of mental toughness. The interviews of 33 elite athletes and coaches (including 25 current or former elite athletes, of whom 15 had achieved an Olympic Gold Medal or World Champion status) were transcribed verbatim and analysed qualitatively to reveal underpinning components of mental toughness. Mental toughness is multi-dimensional and consists of twelve components, including: self-efficacy, potential, mental selfconcept, task familiarity, value, personal bests, goal commitment, perseverance, task focus, positivity, stress minimisation, and positive comparisons. Mental toughness is defined as an unshakeable perseverance and conviction towards some goal despite pressure or adversity. This conceptualisation of mental toughness provides a platform from which instruments of measurement can be developed. 

full paper

Using Video? Here's a Special Issue of 'Qualitative Research'

Some ‘technical challenges’ of video analysis: social actions, objects, material realities and the problems of perspective

    1. Paul Luff
      1. King’s College London, UK
    2. Christian Heath
      1. King’s College London, UK
    1. Paul Luff, King’s College London, Department of Management King’s College London, Franklin-Wilkins Building 150 Stamford Street, London SE1 9NH, SE1 9NH, UK. Email: paul.luff@kcl.ac.uk


    Unlike the wide-ranging methodological debates surrounding the accomplishment and analysis of interviews, fieldwork and focus groups, the discussions concerning the use of video data tend to focus on a few frequently rehearsed issues. In this article we wish to broaden the consideration of methodological concerns related to video. We address the problems faced when collecting data, particularly on how to select the framing for the recordings. We discuss the problems faced by researchers and how these have been addressed, revealing how a conventional solution has emerged that facilitates a particular kind of ‘multi-modal’ analysis. We then suggest some limitations of this framing and describe a number of recent approaches to recording video data that seek to overcome these constraints. While providing opportunities for very distinctive kinds of analyses, adopting these solutions places very particular demands on how data are collected, how research activities are conventionally undertaken, and perhaps more importantly, the nature of the analysis that is made possible. Although seeming to be a practical and technical consideration about recording data, selecting a camera angle uncovers methodological concerns that reveal the distinctive demands that video places on researchers concerned with the detailed analysis of naturally occurring social interaction.

    The use of video to document tacit participation in an emergency operations centre

      1. Giolo Fele
      1. University of Trento, Italy
      1. Giolo Fele, Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Trento, Via Verdi 26, 38122 Trento, Italy. Email: giolo.fele@soc.unitn.it


      This article explores the use of video in qualitative research. In particular, it focuses on the ways video recordings can be used to document cooperative work and tacit participation in a work setting. The article first presents previous research on participation framework, cooperation and multimodal interaction, then examines a single episode of interaction in a medical emergency call and dispatch centre. The article discusses aspects of coordination and collaboration emerging from the interaction between two people; a call taker and a dispatcher, working side by side during the managing of an emergency call. It explores the way in which social interaction can be studied even when there is no apparent correlation between differentcourses of action and how video can be used in order to reveal such subtle interaction work. The article finally examines the way in which video can document back stage practices that are central to much work practice but that are hidden from official documents.

      Videography: analysing video data as a ‘focused’ ethnographic and hermeneutical exercise

        1. Hubert Knoblauch
          1. Technical University Berlin, Germany
        2. Bernt Schnettler
          1. University Bayreuth, Germany
        1. Bernt Schnettler, University of Bayreuth, GW II, 95440 Bayreuth, Germany. Email:schnettler@uni-bayreuth.de


        Visual research methods are becoming increasingly important for qualitative studies. Within this dynamically expanding field, methods for analysing ‘natural’ video recordings have developed considerably over the past decades. In this article we discuss methodological aspects of general importance for any analysis of this type of video data. Being a fundamentally interpretive method, our first argument is that sequential analysis is always a hermeneutic endeavour, which requires methodical understanding. The second refers to data collection. We stress that, in addition to sequential analysis, the ethnographic dimension of video analysis should be taken into account methodologically. Video analysis requires, thirdly, a systematic account of the subjectivity, both of the actors analysed as well as of the analysts. Our arguments are grounded in extensive data from several studies, including the communicative genre of powerpoint presentations, commemoration rituals and public events. Selected data fragments are presented here to support our claims. Building upon this expertise, we propose further improvement of video analysis methodology by reflecting on our own practice of analysing video in data sessions (i.e. the ‘video analysis of video analysis’).

        Thursday, 14 June 2012

        Are You Married to Your Own Ideas?

        I gave a Honours lecture today on qualitative methods and we talked about epistomology and how to approach your own paradigm...should you be married to it or can we afford to respect all of them, both quant, qual, post-structuralist, contructivist and logical positivist....

        My view is one of a pragmatist....no research method really captures the "truth" of psychological experience...who says their version is the truth..just because you have power in a study does that mean its "the truth"? what about the assumption of logical positivism? Isn't this a bias? I know these issues are pretty basic for many but I do think that a para-modern view isn't all that common...

        paramodern - A term introduced by Glenn Larner (2002).  It means to identify the position in which the author speaks but holds his position lightly, knowing that it can be deconstructed. 

        We can afford, i believe, to be generous from our own preferred
        position towards the "other"..qual researchers sometimes need the 
        scepticism and rigourous backbone of empiricists and quant
        researchers need the humanism and interest in meaning of
        qualitative researchers..just like marriage the art of respectful 
        relationships is appreciating difference

        Ultimately even this statement is ridiculous, given it still polarises
        and also given that we each have intelligence to use both methods
        depending on our questions..

        Check this paper out ( Firestone, W. (1987). Meaning in method:
        The rhetoric of quantitative and qualitative 
        research. Educational Researcher)

        The key is to chose the right method for the right question (see
        here: great paper

        Can Research Change Things?

        Spent 2 days this week supporting case managers working in disability services, some in very underpriveleged areas of Sydney and all at the pointy end of difficulty...clients with severe developmental delay living with struggling families coping with poverty, psychosis, violence, drug addiction, trauma histories, etc...been brought in by two senior managers who really want to try and change things for the front-line staff they are responsible for and for these families in distress...

        The aim of the consultations we did with these clinicians is to build hope, help them look for opening of hope where changes can be made, supporting them to believe in their own ability to be agents of change...

        This is work that really focuses the mind about the Ethics of Research...what kind of research should be done in these settings? Can research actually make a difference?

        Lots of ideas came from reflecting on these meetings with these great senior managers and case managers, people who really want to make a difference...

        Narrative Analysis: can researching the narratives of these clients and families, building up a story, documenting it, co-researching it with family members serve to bring together the multitude of service staff trying to help? What kind of narratives would inspire help that builds self-determination? Can stories of success be circulated in the community ? would that help?

        Community-Based Participatory Action?: is there a way to join with families to help them build innovative services, culturally appropriate services? One's that build autonomy and dignity? How can government services best adapt to help them given limited funding? Will improvements ever really work if they dont come from the community themselves? Are their novel ways of providing services that are community driven?How do we get government services to think like this? Can big organisations like this be gradually transformed? Can it be done without jargon and propoganda and be organic rather than managed?

        How do you break cycles of trauma to help clients with disability have a better life? Do case managers need to be trained more formally in family sensitive practice? Would a Narrative or Delphi Study which captured positive experiences of case managers in this regard help? Who are natural leaders in case management in communities? So many questions?

        I wonder if a meeting of senior managers, including those higher up to discuss this type of innovation would help....would they get behind these kinds of projects, especially if they were externally funded by research grants?

        Wednesday, 13 June 2012

        How many qualitative interviews is enough?

        Click here for this excellent Report

        National Centre for Research Methods Review Paper  
        How many qualitative interviews  is enough? 
        Expert voices and early career reflections on sampling and cases in qualitative research 
        Sarah Elsie Baker, Middlesex University 
        Rosalind Edwards, NCRM, University of Southampton

        Students conducting a piece of qualitative research frequently ask ‘how many interviews is enough?’ Early career researchers and established academics also consider this question when designing research projects. In this NCRM Methods Review paper we gather and review responses to the question of ‘how many’ from 14 renowned social scientists and 5 early career researchers. The riposte to the question of ‘how many’ from most contributors is ‘it depends’. In considering what ‘it depends upon’ however, the responses offer guidance on the epistemological, methodological and practical issues to take into account when conducting research projects. This includes advice about assessing research aims and objectives, validity within epistemic communities and available time and resources

        Tuesday, 12 June 2012

        Why Qualitative? The Power of Stories

        I had a pretty moving day today supervising clinicians who work with clients with developmental disabilities..they presented a young woman with mild intellectual delay, schizophrenia and visual impairment who was de-institutionalised 10 years ago or so....she was living in a Housing Commission Unit on her own, exploited, beaten up, abused sexually by others and the system was failing to respond adequately to her needs....the conclusion we came to was that the only thing that would move people to work with her properly, in a united fashion, was her own story, one of despair, but also one that demonstrated her need for belonging, safety and respect..that effort needed to be taken to compile, it, write it, research it with her so that it could be used to put some humanity back into her care....

        This experience got me thinking about research and how powerful Narratives can be....this is at the heart of Narrative Inquiry as a research technique, and also at the heart of Narrative Therapy, Michael White and David Epston's approach......

        see this paper

        Django (2011)

        Abstract:In this article, I conceptualize ethnographic, qualitative, and social language research with marginalized and oppressed communities as "humanizing research". Humanizing research is a methodological stance, which requires that our inquiries involve dialogic consciousness-raising and the building of relationships of dignity and care for both researchers and participants. I offer evidence that such humanization is not only ethically necessary but also increases the validity of the truths we gain through research. Working from a 2006-2007 study of language, literacy, and difference in a multiethnic high school and youth community, I provide examples from fieldwork that led to research that attempted to humanize rather than colonize the youth I worked with. I draw on the work of others to extend a long line of methodological thinking in pursuit of representation and humanization in interpretive studies in schools and communities. (Contains 8 notes.)

        It also made me think about my own story, how my journey to becoming a researcher has been one that has come from the hardship and turmoil involved in being a therapist for a living and how grateful i am that I have been able to still contribute without continuing to sacrifice my own well-being......being a therapist was a calling at one point in my life, one that had it's cost...s but now i have found something new and i want to try and make this meaningful as well....

        It seems to me that one of the contributions of qualitative research is that it aims to humanise the research endeavor, regardless of which method you chose to use....to make sure that the person isn't forgotten and that their own story is priveleged and considered to be knowledge worth seeking and archiving...

        Lets make sure we continue to do this.

        Sunday, 10 June 2012

        Will there be an Academic Spring?

        It seems that we have our own version of the Arab Spring among academics, known as the Academic Spring, a revolt against the monopoly held by a few publishing companies on the publication of knowledge, behind pay-walls that are becoming increasingly expensive..

        It all grew from this blogpost by mathematician Timothy Gowers which went viral earlier in the year and spread way beyond mathematics..this was picked up by a maths PhD student who created The Cost of Knowledge, a site that enabled other academics and researchers to post their protests..on the site their is a massive list of over 12,000 academics who.....
        • won't publish
        • won't referee
        • won't do editorial work
        The publishing whole machine is pretty bizarre if you think about it...we assess papers, go on committees, write book reviews, even serve as Editors  for the big publishing companies but get paid absolutely nothing..where else would this happen?

        Open Access is gaining ground...the Gold lines below represent normal Open Access Journals, the Green represent publications in University repositories, also open for public view..Green Open Access publications are deposited after publication in traditional journals..

        File:OA by Discipline.png

        One of the major Open Acess journal is PLos:One

        heres a blurb on their publishing concept..

        Each submission will be assessed by a member of the PLoS ONE Editorial Board before publication. This pre-publication peer review will concentrate on technical rather than subjective concerns and may involve discussion with other members of the Editorial Board and/or the solicitation of formal reports from independent referees. If published, papers will be made available for community-based open peer review involving online annotation, discussion, and rating.[8]

        Articles are still peer reviewed but the main quality control is technical and Editors attempt to avoid baseing publication on perceived importance of the subject or content of research..

        The problem, of course, lies in the fact that if you chose not to publish in traditional journals and publish instead in Open Access are you threatening your career..no Impact Factor, no way of being judged on your performance each year ? ..what do you think?

        Friday, 8 June 2012

        Resources For Writing Up Qualitative Research

        Writing up your thesis or a paper is obviously one of the most critical stages of your research and one that gets too little attention....the key is DONT BE BORING BE CREATIVE!!!  Noone wants to read a list of themes, massive amounts of quotes or unsynthesised analysis.......click on the links more info

        simple introduction to key sections of a write up
        Writing a qualitative research report
        Philip Burnard PhD, RN (Professor of Nursing)
        School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies, University of Wales College of Medicine, Heath Park, Cardiff, UK
        Summary A research project in nursing or nursing education is probably only
        complete once the findings have been published. This paper offers a format for
        writing a qualitative research report for publication. It suggests, at least, the
        following sections: introduction, aims of the study, review of the literature, sample,
        data collection methods, data analysis methods, findings, discussion, conclusion,
        abstract. Each of these sections is addressed along with many written-out examples.
        In some sections, alternative approaches are suggested. The aim of the paper is to
        help the neophyte researcher to structure his or her report and for the experienced
        researcher to reflect on his or her current practice. References to other source
        material on qualitative research are given.
        c 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

        great paper on making it creative

        Presenting Qualitative Data

        by Ronald J. Chenail

        The Qualitative Report, Volume 2, Number 3, December, 1995

        The following are just of the many ways data can be arranged and presented:
        Natural - The data are presented in a shape that resembles the phenomenon being studied. For instance, if the data are excerpts from a therapy session, present them in a sequential order or in an order that re-presents the flow of the session itself.
        Most Simple to Most Complex - For sake of understanding, start the presentation of data with the simplest example you have found. As the complexity of each example or exemplar presented increases, the reader will have a better chance of following the presentation. Erving Goffman's work is a good example of this style.
        First Discovered/Constructed to Last Discovered/Constructed - The data are presented in a chronicle-like fashion, showing the course of the researcher's personal journey in the study. This style is reminiscent of an archeological style of presentation: What was the first "relic" excavated, then the second and so forth.
        Quantitative-Informed - In this scheme data are presented according to strategies commonly found in quantitative or statistical studies. Data are arranged along lines of central tendencies and ranges, clusters, and frequencies.
        Theory-Guided - Data arrangement is governed by the researcher's theory or theories regarding the phenomenon being re-presented in the study. For instance, a Marxist-informed researcher might present data from a doctor-patient interview in terms of talk which shows who controls the means for producing information in the interaction, talk which illustrates who is being marginalized, and so forth. In clinical qualitative research, this approach is quite prevalent as clinicians organize the data in terms of their understandings of how doctor-patient, or nurse-patient, and therapist-client interact.
        Narrative Logic - Data are arranged with an eye for storytelling. Researchers plot out the data in a fashion which allows them to transition from one exemplar to another just as narrators arrange details in order to best relate the particulars of the story.
        Most Important to Least Important or From Major to Minor - Like the journalistic style of the inverted pyramid, the most important "findings" are presented first and the minor "discoveries" come last.
        Dramatic Presentation - This one is the opposite of the inverted pyramid style. With the dramatic arrangement scheme, researchers order their data presentation so as to save the surprises and unforeseen discoveries for last.
        No Particular Order Order - As it sounds, data are arranged with no particular, conscious pattern in mind, or the researcher fails to explain how or why the data are displayed the way they are.

        a creative piece

        Conversations: On Writing Qualitative Research
        Author(s): Donna E. Alvermann, David G. O'Brien, Deborah R. Dillon
        Source: Reading Research Quarterly, Vol. 31, No. 1 (Jan. - Feb. - Mar., 1996), pp. 114-120
        Published by: International Reading Association
        Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/748242
        Accessed: 07/11/2010 17:32

        Resources for Doing Grounded Theory

        Grounded theory is arguably the most common qualitative data analysis and collection method used and it suitable for research that aims to develop a theory regarding a complex phenomenon. It is seen by quant researchers as 'hypothesis generating' but it is a useful stand alone tool for research, often when little is known about a phenomenon....

        It is arguably superior to content or thematic analysis because it embraces the complexity of a phenomenon but many criticize it because a. It chops people up into themes/doesn't preserve the persons story b. Assumes the researcher can get out of the way while a theory emerges from the data.....

        Here's a nice diagram to help you think through stages of coding

        Heres a basic description from socialresearchmethods.net

        Grounded theory is a qualitative research approach that was originally developed by Glaser and Strauss in the 1960s. The self-defined purpose of grounded theory is to develop theory about phenomena of interest. But this is not just abstract theorizing they're talking about. Instead the theory needs to be grounded or rooted in observation -- hence the term.
        Grounded theory is a complex iterative process. The research begins with the raising of generative questionswhich help to guide the research but are not intended to be either static or confining. As the researcher begins to gather data, core theoretical concept(s) are identified. Tentative linkages are developed between the theoretical core concepts and the data. This early phase of the research tends to be very open and can take months. Later on the researcher is more engaged in verification and summary. The effort tends to evolve toward one core category that is central.
        There are several key analytic strategies:
        • Coding is a process for both categorizing qualitative data and for describing the implications and details of these categories. Initially one does open coding, considering the data in minute detail whiledeveloping some initial categories. Later, one moves to more selective coding where one systematically codes with respect to a core concept.
        • Memoing is a process for recording the thoughts and ideas of the researcher as they evolve throughout the study. You might think of memoing as extensive marginal notes and comments. Again, early in the process these memos tend to be very open while later on they tend to increasingly focus in on the core concept.
        • Integrative diagrams and sessions are used to pull all of the detail together, to help make sense of the data with respect to the emerging theory. The diagrams can be any form of graphic that is useful at that point in theory development. They might be concept maps or directed graphs or even simple cartoons that can act as summarizing devices. This integrative work is best done in group sessions where different members of the research team are able to interact and share ideas to increase insight.
        Eventually one approaches conceptually dense theory as new observation leads to new linkages which lead to revisions in the theory and more data collection. The core concept or category is identified and fleshed out in detail.
        When does this process end? One answer is: never! Clearly, the process described above could continue indefinitely. Grounded theory doesn't have a clearly demarcated point for ending a study. Essentially, the project ends when the researcher decides to quit.
        What do you have when you're finished? Presumably you have an extremely well-considered explanation for some phenomenon of interest -- the grounded theory. This theory can be explained in words and is usually presented with much of the contextually relevant detail collected.

        Ive assembled the following resources

        Good introductory slides

        Great article on quality and rigour

        Great book chapter

        Practical 'how to' paper

        .....make sure you also read Adele Clarke's situational analysis which helps you become more aware of your biases...

        oh yeah...why Bowie? well on a completely different note  its Ziggy Stardust's 40th birthday today so...

        Wednesday, 6 June 2012

        Hints on Using Skype for Interviews

        There are many occasions where you will want to interview your research participants by phone, especially when seeking people who live far away from your Uni or study site but how can this best be done? Whats the best way to record interviews done on the phone? How do you get quality without resorting to taping a speakerphone through the air?

        Heres some hints thanks to a Sydney Psych research student PatrickL...

        Skype can be used to make calls to landlines as well as to other Skype users.
        If you use Skype to make a call, I can highly recommend using  Replay Telecorder to record the Skype session.
        The software creates and MP3 or even an avi file if you decide to record video. I having been using it for a long time and it works well.
        Cost is $30.  Skype to Skype calls sound quality is outstanding, but if respondent doesn’t have Skype, you can call their land line from Skype at a cost of 3c per minute.  Min. credit purchase is $16AUS.

        thanks Patrick, this ones just for you!!!!!!!