Qualitative Research Workshop: Week 9

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Qualitative Research Workshop: Week 9

In this week’s Workshop, you will document your experience of moving from interview to data and compare your experiences of verbatim transcription and summary transcription. You will also conduct a peer debrief of your classmate’s interview while he or she debriefs yours.

  • Qualitative data analysis begins with the onset of the data collection process. This means that your very first interview becomes the launch point for identifying codes (bits of data that have a particular meaning in the context of your research question), categories (groups of codes), and themes (groups of categories that share a specific meaning). The notes that you took during and after your interview will also provide cues and clues as to what the data will reveal about the phenomenon of interest. Remember to identify clearly your “notable” quotes.
  • Consider that the intent of your interview was directed by your chosen approach. So, in your transcription and organization of your data, use the text-processing capabilities (formatting, styles, comments) to consistently indicate across data sources (your interviews, journal notes, audit trails) which question goes with which answer. Highlight the key elements that focus the approach you have chosen. The following are some examples:
Type of Approach

What to Highlight

Phenomenological What is seen/experienced (not interpreted)
Hermeneutics Units of meaning and intention
Narrative Turning points of the story
Ethnography Environmental observations; stated meanings from interactions among culture members
Theory-driven Sensitizing concepts (identifying words and key phrases that epitomize the theoretical or conceptual framework)
Grounded theory Open coding (identifying properties and “dimensions” of concepts)

By Day 4

  • Transcribe your first interview. Use a transcription service or do it yourself.
  • For your second interview, use a summative technique (e.g., Halcomb & Davidson, 2006) of audio tape, interview notes, and journal notes to create a detailed summary.
  • Provide your debriefing partner with the audio (if possible) and transcript of one interview.
  • Write in your unique thread a statement in which you compare and contrast the two ways of turning interviews into data. Consider which approach gets you “closer” to the experience of the participant and which approach gets you “deeper” into seeing potential patterns and categories.

By Day 6

  • Listen to your partner’s audio or read the transcript and provide to your partner’s Workshop space feedback on the quality of the interview. In shaping your feedback, consider the following:
    • What aspects of the interview were well done (e.g., creating rapport, staying neutral staying on purpose, asking follow up and probing questions)?
    • Which questions “worked,” and which “fell flat”? In other words, were there questions the participant was not able to understand or to which he or she could not respond?
    • Did your partner focus on examples and experiences of the phenomenon of interest? Did the participant generate rich, thick descriptions?
    • What would you suggest to improve the quality of the interview?
  • Read about your classmates’ experiences in transcribing interviews. Then, respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts in their unique threads in the following ways:
    • Provide feedback on your classmate’s comparison and preferences for transcribing data.
    • Share insights gained from your experience. What worked for you that might work for your classmate?

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