Fall Week 9 - Data Collection Methods

79 views5 pages
13 Dec 2011
Department
Course
Professor

For unlimited access to Textbook Notes, a Class+ subscription is required.

The concepts in which researchers are interested must be measured, observed, or recorded.
Without appropriate data collection methods, validity of research findings can be questioned.
The data examined can be existing or new
Data Collection Methods
If existing data are unavailable or unsuitable for a research question, researchers must collect new
data.
Self-reports are participants' responses to questions posed by the researcher, as in an
interview. It is the data collection method of choice in qualitative research.
Direct observation of people's behaviours or characteristics is an alternative to self-reports for
certain research questions. It is also often a part of many qualitative studies.
Major types of data for nursing studies:
In qualitative studies, data collection may vary according to the qualitative tradition:
ISSUE
ETHNOGRAPHY
PHENOMENOLOGY
GROUNDED THEORY
Type of
data
Primarily participant
observation and
interviews, plus
documents, artefacts,
maps, photographs, social
network diagrams,
genealogies.
Primarily in-depth interviews,
sometimes diaries, artwork or
other materials.
Primarily individual
interviews, sometimes
group interviews,
participant observations,
journals.
Unit of
data
collection
Cultural systems.
Individuals.
Individuals.
Period of
data
collection
Extended period, may be
months or years.
Typically moderate.
Typically moderate.
Salient
field
issues
Gaining entry, determining
a role, learning how to
participate, encouraging
candour, identification
with group, premature
exit.
Bracketing one's views,
building rapport, encouraging
candour, listening intently
while preparing next question,
keeping "on tack", handling
personal emotions.
Building rapport,
encouraging candour,
listening intently while
preparing next question,
keeping "on tack",
handling personal
emotions.
Key Dimensions of Data Collection Methods
Structure: Can be structured/unstructured. Research data can be collected in a highly
structured manner, but sometimes, it can be more appropriate to be flexible and to allow
participants to reveal information in a naturalistic way.
Quantifiability: data that will be analyzed statistically must be gathered in such a way that
they can be quantified. On the other hand, data that are to be analyzed qualitatively are
collected in narrative form. Structured data approaches tend to yield data that is more easily
quantifiable.
Obtrusiveness: If participants are fully aware of their role in a study, their behaviour and
responses might not be normal. Data collection methods differ in terms of the degree to which
people are aware of their status as study participants.
Objectivity: Some data collection approaches require more subjective judgement than others.
In qualitative research, the researcher's subjective judgement is considered a valuable tool.
Data collection may vary along several important dimensions, regardless of the type of data
collected in a study:
Fall Week 9 - Data Collection Methods
November-28-10
3:24 PM
Research Page 1
Unlock document

This preview shows pages 1-2 of the document.
Unlock all 5 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in
In qualitative research, the researcher's subjective judgement is considered a valuable tool.
Research questions may dictate where on these four dimensions the data collection method will lie.
For example, questions that are best suited for a phenomenological study then to use methods that
are low on structure, quantifiability, and objectivity.
Self-Report Methods
Common method of data collection in nursing studies.
Can vary in structure - from loosely organized that do not have a set of questions to tightly
structured methods involving the use of forms such as questionnaires.
Direct approach to elicit feelings and attitudes
Vary in degree of structure imposed:
Unstructured -----------------------Semi Structured-------------------------------Structured
(conversational) (focus groups) (instrument)
Qualitative Self Report Techniques
Unstructured interviews encourage respondents to define the important dimensions of a
phenomenon and to elaborate on what is relevant to them, rather than being guided by
investigators' agendas. The mode of choice when researchers lack understanding of what it is they
do not know.
Semi-structured (or focused) interviews rely on a list of topics or broad questions that must be
addressed in an interview. Interviewers use a written topic guide to ensure that all question areas
are covered. Participants can talk freely, and the researcher probes when necessary.
Focus group interviews are interviews with groups of about 5-10 people whose opinions and
experiences are solicited simultaneously. The interviewer guides the discussion according to a topic
guide or set of questions.
Diaries have long been used as a source of data in historical research. It is also possible to generate
new data for a non-historical study by asking participants to maintain a diary or journal over a
specified period. Can provide intimate descriptions of people's lives.
Gathering Qualitative Self-Report Data
Researchers gather narrative self-report data to develop a construction of a phenomenon that is
consistent with that of participants.
Communication barriers must be overcome to enhance flow of meaning.
Qualitative interviews are conversational, but not casual. Conversations should be purposeful and
require advanced planning.
Interviews are typically long.
The most accurate way to gather details is to record the interview with the participant's consent.
Qualitative Self-Report Instruments
Appropriate when researchers know what they are looking for and can prepare questions in
advance.
Structured self-report data are usually collected by means of a formal, written document - an
instrument.
The instrument is an interview schedule when the questions are asked orally and is a questionnaire
when respondents complete the instrument themselves.
Question Form
Alternatives may range from a simple yes/no to more complex answers.
The purpose is to ensure comparability of responses and to facilitate analysis.
Pros: easier to administer, more efficient.
Cons: more difficult to construct, researchers may overlook important responses.
Closed-ended questions (a.k.a. fixed alternative questions) are ones in which the response
alternatives are pre-specified by the researcher.
Cons: more difficult to collect and organize data.
Pros: allow for richer and fuller information.
Open-ended questions allow participants to respond to questions in their own words.
Research Page 2
Unlock document

This preview shows pages 1-2 of the document.
Unlock all 5 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in

Get access

Grade+
$10 USD/m
Billed $120 USD annually
Homework Help
Class Notes
Textbook Notes
40 Verified Answers
Study Guides
1 Booster Class
Class+
$8 USD/m
Billed $96 USD annually
Homework Help
Class Notes
Textbook Notes
30 Verified Answers
Study Guides
1 Booster Class