Royal Roads Residency

Well, I have completed day one of residency at Royal Roads University and I have to say that I am very impressed how organized the events and classes have been so far.  Everything from the  welcome social to my first classes today on article critiques and research have been illuminating. 

During our classes there was much discussion on qualitative research versus quantitative research.  I thought I had a solid understanding of each research method, but after class I started to think about how important research is to establishing a deeper understanding and knowledge base is my profession.

Prior to class, I hadn’t thought that a qualitative question could illicit a quantitative result.  I had seen them as distinct and different, yet I now know that there are “Multiple Perspectives” to research and as our facilitator, Bill Muirhead, stated

  • The question often defines the perspective
  • There are questions that allow the research to gather qualitative and quantitative information.  Research may be done in a qualitative manner that allow for quantitative results

 After class, I read some articles to help me to better define research and found a table that, in it’s simplicity, was very infomative.

 

“All research ultimately has
a qualitative grounding”
– Donald Campbell

“There’s no such thing as qualitative data.
Everything is either 1 or 0″
– Fred Kerlinger

 Miles & Huberman (1994, p. 40). Qualitative Data Analysis
 

 

Differences Between
Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods 

 

Qualitative Methods

Methods include focus groups, in-depth interviews, and reviews
Primarily inductive process used to formulate theory
More subjective: describes a problem or condition from the point of view of those experiencing it
Text-based
More in-depth information on a few cases
Unstructured or semi-structured response options
No statistical tests
Can be valid and reliable: largely depends on skill and rigor of the researcher
Time expenditure lighter on the planning end and heavier during the analysis phase
Less generalizable

 

Quantitative Methods

Surveys
Primarily deductive process used to test pre-specified concepts, constructs, and hypotheses that make up a theory
More objective: provides observed effects (interpreted by researchers) of a program on a problem or condition
Number-based
Less in-depth but more breadth of information across a large number of cases
Fixed response options
Statistical tests are used for analysis
Can be valid and reliable: largely depends on the measurement device or instrument used
Time expenditure heavier on the planning phase and lighter on the analysis phase
More generalizable

http://www.orau.gov/cdcynergy/demo/content/activeinformation/tools/toolscontent/soc_qual_quant_chart.htm

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Royal Roads Residency

  1. That was a great summary of quantitative and qualitative research methods. I too was surprised that you could mix the two in your research. Going over the differences again and again in my mind is helping me to fully understand the differences and I hope, eventually, I will be better able to determine what type of research I would like to do. I think we are a ways away from that and although, I’ve already learned so much, I think that as we proceed through the program, it will become clearer.

    • Hi Deanne

      Thanks for the feedback on the blog. I really find the difference between the two types of research interesting and I think my “bias” is towards quantitative research. I just can’ t figure out how a sample size of 3 could be considered a large enough data set 🙂

      Shawn

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