At the 2015 AAPOR conference in Florida, Paul Lavrakas and I taught a short course on qualitative research design. The bulk of the class was spent on applying the unique constructs and techniques associated with the Total Quality Framework (TQF) to five qualitative research methods — in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, ethnography, qualitative content analysis, and case-centered research (i.e., case study and narrative research). But before jumping into the application of the TQF, we began by talking about the distinctive attributes of qualitative research, particularly the emphasis on context and interconnectedness that is inherent in qualitative data. Indeed, we stressed the complexity — the “messiness” — of qualitative data collection and analysis, along with the unparalleled researcher skills (such as flexibility) needed to perform high-quality and ultimately useful qualitative research.
This course was one of a handful of discussions pertaining to qualitative research at a conference that is heavily weighted toward survey methods. As both a Read Full Text