Qualitative research has a number of different focal points but in essence attempts to address a perspective of the attitude of people towards their behavioural traits, their value systems, their lifestyle and culture and their needs or desires. The diagram to the right illustrates how these concepts inter-relate with one another. The idea of this research method is to add shape or abstraction to unstructured states. (QSR International, 2011).
In summary qualitative research seeks to answer questions by the collection of evidence and accompanying research in an orderly and systematic way. Such finding not having a pre-determined result and may cover research that extends beyond the immediate bounds of the study. There are a number of different components in terms of how qualitative research studies are conducted but they include: (i) Participant Observation – this is the collection of data or information that occurs from a behavioural context (ii) Interviewing – normally in depth interviews that collect or gather personal data and provide such information as personal experiences, viewpoints or historical data (iii) Focus groups – essentially study groups that tend to elicit data on a broad overview of cultural norm topics. Such data normally takes the form of field notes, audio tapes, transcripts and more recently notes captured on computer tablets. (Family Health International, 2011).
Qualitative Research Design for Test Anxiety
Qualitative research methods are fairly flexible and use such items as interviews, surveys, questionnaires etc. This provides the advantage of comparative analysis between the responses in the data captured but equally the researcher requires an in depth understanding and knowledge of the questions being asked. With qualitative research the relationships between the researcher and the participants is normally very informal. Questions can often be very open ended allowing for exploratory research and as such allowing the research to probe more deeply into the responses.
Develop hypothesis or problem statement to be addressed
Determine the type of data that is to be collected
Select unit of analysis i.e. who, where, obtrusive or unobtrusive
Gather and collect required information or data
Complete qualitative research assessment i.e. Analysis
Complete Ethics Review
Verification of data
Compile Study Report
Three methods for collecting the data are:
Interview – Selected sample group interview in order to determine individual levels of anxiety by asking structured questions. Avoid skews by random samples over different geographical areas. This provides direct feedback from source
Questionnaires – Useful secondary source data asking questions by structured questionnaires, this may include a wider sample size and population and is a useful means of verification over interview data
Observation – Examining the behaviour of students prior to taking a test. Consideration of stressors, behavioural modification etc. The approach to that of qualitative and quantitative research is very different because of the different views on the world. The latter being much more rigid and requiring different skill sets from the researcher. One of the important data collection methods in qualitative research is that of sampling. There are different types of sampling techniques but these include: purposive sampling, quota sampling and snowball sampling. Purposive sampling being one of the most common techniques that is used. Quota sampling is really a subset of purposive sampling and looks at the characteristics of the sample under review. The two approaches are considered to be very similar as they both seek to identify the participant on criteria already selected. (Henderson, L. 2011)
Family Health International. (2011, 11 2). Qualitative research methods overview. Retrieved from Family Health International: http://www.fhi.org/nr/rdonlyres/etl7vogszehu5s4stpzb3tyqlpp7rojv4waq37elpbyei3tgmc4ty6dunbccfzxtaj2rvbaubzmz4f/overview1.pdf
Henderson, L. (2011). Qualitative Research Design. New York: Sage.
QSR International. (2011, 11 2). What is qualitative research. Retrieved from QSR International: http://www.qsrinternational.com/what-is-qualitative-research.aspx