Week 8: Qualitative Research Designs, Continued
Traditionally, the constructs of validity and reliability have been tied to the quantitative approach to research inquiry. However, there has been a long running debate among qualitative researchers about whether these constructs are applicable to the qualitative approach (see Chenail, 2010; Merriam, 1995).
For example, some researchers (e.g., see Smith, 1984) have argued that the constructs of validity and reliability should be abandoned in qualitative research because the philosophical assumptions at the core of qualitative and quantitative research are incompatible. Other researchers (e.g., see Maxwell, 1992), however, have identified types of validity that they argue are applicable to qualitative research.
This week, you will have an opportunity to weigh in on the discussion about the criteria for evaluating the quality of qualitative research designs. You will also consider the relationship between quality criteria, philosophical orientations, and discipline standards. You will also consider ethical issues in qualitative research, the implications these issues have on design decisions, and the strategies used to address them. You will also annotate a qualitative journal article on a research topic of your interest.
Chenail, R. (2010). Getting specific about qualitative research generalizability. Journal of Ethnographic & Qualitative Research, 5(1), 1–11. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete.
Maxwell, J. A. (1992). Understanding and validity in qualitative research. Harvard Educational Review, 62(3), 279–299.
Merriam, S. B. (1995). What can I tell you from an N of 1? Issues of validity and reliability in qualitative research. PAACE Journal of Lifelong Learning, 4, 51–60. Retrieved from http://www.iup.edu/templates_old/page.aspx?id=17469
Smith, J. K. (1984). The problem of criteria for judging interpretive inquiry. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 6(4), 379–391.
- Explain criteria for evaluating the quality of qualitative research designs
- Explain relationship between quality criteria and philosophical orientations and discipline standards
- Identify ethical issues in qualitative research
- Explain how ethical issues influence design decisions in qualitative research
- Explain criteria for a research topic to be amenable to scientific study using a quantitative approach
- Apply strategies for addressing ethical issues in qualitative research
- Annotate a qualitative research article
- Apply APA Style to writing
Photo Credit: Thorsten Henn/Cultura/Getty Images
Burkholder, G. J., Cox, K. A., & Crawford, L. M. (2016). The scholar-practitioner’s guide to research design. Baltimore, MD: Laureate Publishing.
- Chapter 7, “Quality Considerations”
The problem of criteria for judging interpretive inquiry by Smith, J. K. in Educational evaluation and policy analysis, 6(4), 379-391. Copyright 1984 by Sage Publications-Journals. Used with permission of Sage Publications-Journals via the Copyright Clearance Center.
Discussion: Designing Qualitative Research
As you recall from earlier weeks, various philosophical orientations hold unique epistemological and ontological assumptions. These assumptions return to the forefront of attention when considering how to evaluate the rigor or quality of various qualitative research designs.
Typically, when speaking of validity, qualitative researchers are referring to research that is credible and trustworthy, i.e., the extent to which one can have confidence in the study’s findings (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). Generalizability, a marker of reliability, is typically not a main purpose of qualitative research because the researcher rarely selects a random sample with a goal to generalize to a population or to other settings and groups. Rather, a qualitative researcher’s goal is often to understand a unique event or a purposively selected group of individuals. Therefore, when speaking of reliability, qualitative researchers are typically referring to research that is consistent or dependable (Lincoln & Guba, 1985), i.e., the extent to which the findings of the study are consistent with the data that was collected.
Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
For this Discussion, you will explain criteria for evaluating the quality of qualitative research and consider the connection of such criteria to philosophical orientations. You will also consider the ethical implications of designing qualitative research.
With these thoughts in mind:
By Day 4
Post an explanation of two criteria for evaluating the quality of qualitative research designs. Next, explain how these criteria are tied to epistemological and ontological assumptions underlying philosophical orientations and the standards of your discipline. Then, identify a potential ethical issue in qualitative research and explain how it might influence design decisions. Finally, explain what it means for a research topic to be amenable to scientific study using a qualitative approach.
Be sure to support your Main Issue Post and Response Post with reference to the week’s Learning Resources and other scholarly evidence in APA Style.