While methodologists have advanced qualitative research over the past several decades, some scholars and methodologists continue to perceive it as less rigorous than the quantitative approach. In quantitative methods, we consider two constructs in assessing quality and rigor, namely, validity and reliability. These two concepts developed in the natural sciences. While they are properly suited for natural and hard sciences, the epistemological origins of quantitative research contradict those associated with qualitative epistemology. However, a broader conceptualization of the two terms provided qualitative methodologists with a vehicle to reconstruct a protocol with which to evaluate qualitative research. This means that if we believe reliable to mean sustainable and valid to mean well grounded, then we find the essence of what we now use as the critical metrics for judging rigor in qualitative research.
Researchers must consider several areas of quality in qualitative research including (types of) generalizability (representational, inferential, and theoretical), validity and reliability, validation, and transparency (careful documentation of research execution). These areas are complex and much has been written about each. While some convergence of thought has occurred over time, we still have a need for some flexibility because of a divergence of purpose to conduct qualitative research.
Validity is a term that is often used when discussing and understanding quantitative designs. However, it is an important component of your qualitative design too. As you prepare your research design, it is important to be aware of how the issues are considered in your chosen method. Like quantitative design, general rules guide research design for validity in all qualitative projects. For example, in qualitative research, you must address how you will ensure that you are studying what you intend to study (construct validity) and how you will ensure the credibility, dependability, and integrity of your analysis.
Be sure to review this week’s resources carefully. You are expected to apply the information from these resources when you prepare your assignments.
All resources for this week:
Creswell, J.W. 2013 Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among the five approaches.
Read Chapter 8
Golafshani, N. (2003). Understanding reliability and validity in qualitative research. The Qualitative Report 8 (4) 597-607. http://www.nova.edu/ssss/QR/QR8-4/golafshani.pdf
Qualitative Research Page, Qualitative Validity. Research Methods Knowledge Base. http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/qualval.php
Smith, J. (2004). Reliability and Validity in Qualitative Research. http://srmo.sagepub.com.proxy1.ncu.edu/view/the-sage-encyclopedia-of-social-science-research-methods/n846.xml?rskey=hXFiPB&row=1
Assess Validity Threats of Qualitative Research Designs
Your task this week is to prepare a chart, based on the readings and your research, which provides a solid argument for how you would defend your qualitative research design.
You must cite at least four references overall for this assignment when responding to the validity threats questions. Pay particular attention to those sources that are important to qualitative studies, to issues of sound design and credibility, dependability, and integrity of data analysis. These are typical questions that you may be faced with as you evaluate, discuss, and defend your results.
Your chart should address the following:
Conclude your chart with a summary in which you discuss what question you find most important when it comes to defending the validity of your study.
You will need to support your assignment with at least five references from peer-reviewed journals.
Length: 1-2 page chart, 1-2 page summary
Your chart and paper should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course by providing new thoughts and insights relating directly to the topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards. Be careful to adhere to Northcentral’s Academic Integrity Policy.
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Course Learning Outcomes associated with this assignment:
4.0. Analyze ethics in the researcher-participant relationship.
5.0. Describe the limitations, benefits, and challenges of the five qualitative research designs.
6.0. Apply Validity in Qualitative Designs.