The first stop on the Doing Qualitative Research Online Virtual Book Tour was the Advanced Digital Research Methods class lead by Aphra Kerr of the Sociology Department in Maynooth University, Ireland. We discussed “Eliciting Data with Online Interviews or Focus Groups.” This class is part of their MA in Sociology (Internet and Society) course.Further information on the course can be found here and you can visit Aphra’s webpage. She is on Twitter at @aphrak and the Department is @MU_Sociology.
I visited the Theory and Methods of Digital Social Research class at the University of Stirling, in Glasgow,Scotland. It is great to exchange ideas with bright and curious students who are looking at the possibilities for using digital methods in social research.
A week-long series of events for educators and students across Africa, through e/merge Africa! Log in to E/merge Africa and access archived materials and recordings. I presented one webinar for faculty who teach research methods or use research activities in their courses: “Getting Started: Teaching Online Research Design Basics.” I presented a second webinar for researchers, “Enacted Approaches for Generating Data with Arts-Based & Participatory Methods.” This webinar focused on the use of creative, interactive online methods.
We discussed creative and arts-based methods. I created a short exercise guide for visual techniques you can use with your group or class.
This session included both an overview of online methods and a focus on eliciting data with interviews.
“Online Research: Holistic Thinking and Qualitative Design” Learn how technology can influence all aspects of the design, whether you collect extant data, elicit responses from participants in online interviews, or generate data with arts-based methods.
Free webinar Wednesday, June 15 at 9 a.m. EST/4 p.m. GMT
Learn how to incorporate research activities into your online or blended class. Join me for a free webinar: Getting Started: Teaching Online Research Design Basics – Monday 4 April 2016 – 3 pm (SAST) Find your time zone here.
Few textbooks have journeyed with me over multiple cross-country moves from student days at Cornell University to my current bookshelf. Models of Teaching is one I kept, and then updated to a more current edition (Weil, Joyce, & Calhoun, 2009, pp. 86-87). The models that have intrigued me all these years focus on creating communities of learners through engaging social-learning approaches. Yes, you could say their work represents a social constructivist perspective. And while I have given a lot of thought to social constructivism in the online world (Salmons, 2009, 2015), here I want to look specifically at inquiry models of teaching and how we can use them online to build deeper levels of comprehension.
What are inquiry models? Inquiry models of teaching and to stimulate students’ and participants’ curiosity and build their skills in finding, analyzing, and using new information to answer questions and solve problems. Instead of transferring knowledge, we aim to build new knowledge. Instead of providing facts, we create an environment where students are encouraged to look for new ways of looking at an understanding problems, discern important and relevant concepts, and inductively develop coherent answers or approaches. As Weil et al. (2009) explain:
Humans conceptualize all the time, comparing and contrasting objects, events, emotions – everything. To capitalize on this natural tendency we raise the learning environment to give test the students to increase their effectiveness. Working in using concepts, and we hope that consciously develop your skills for doing so. (p. 86)
They suggest 3 guidelines for designing this kind of learning experience (Weil et al., 2009):
How can we use inquiry models online? Online research activities can be incorporated into e-learning or hybrid instruction in formal or informal educational settings that reflect the Weil et al.’s guidelines:
Why are inquiry models important today? Educators engage learners when learners are engaged in true inquiry. In the digital age we overwhelmed with information, some of it vetted by editors or reviewers, but much of it made freely available by anyone with a point of view and a smart phone. It is ever more important to develop the skills needed to focus on specific questions and discern relevant and credible evidence as needed to address them. Research activities invite students to build critical thinking skills at the analysis and synthesis level of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Whether students or participants are preparing to be scholars or professionals, research skills are essential and modern life. By integrating research experiences into content courses across the curriculum (rather than offer them in methods classes exclusively), students can learn to research and research to learn.
Where can I learn more? Join me for a free webinar: Learning to Research, Researching to Learn on February 5. Enroll here for the Connecting Online for Instruction and Learning Conference to participate in this and other sessions with educators from across the globe. See Doing Qualitative Research Online (2016) and Qualitative Online Interviews (2015), and companion websites, for more assignment suggestions you can adapt to your class.
Bloom, B., Engelhart, M., Furst, E., Hill, W., & Krathwohl, D. (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives: Book 1, Cognitive domain. New York: David McKay and Company.
Salmons, J. (2009).E_Social_Constructivism_and_Collaborative_E_Learning. In J. Salmons & L. A. Wilson (Eds.), Handbook of research on electronic collaboration and organizational synergy (Vol. II). Hershey: Information Science Reference.
Salmons, J. (2015). Qualitative online interviews. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
Salmons, J. (2016). Doing qualitative research online. London: SAGE Publications.
Weil, M., Joyce, B., & Calhoun, E. (2009). Models of teaching (8th ed.). Boston Pearson.
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Doing Qualitative Research Online is now available for order from SAGE Publications!
Use this book to think through the options and ethical implications for designing and conducting your own online research using extant, elicited or enacted approaches. Or teach it, and update your research methods course materials. The companion site includes syllabi, articles, media and lots of assignment ideas.
Did you receive the new SAGE catalog of texts on research methods? If you are looking for a cutting-edge qualitative text, search no more!
Help your students broaden and update their ideas about qualitative research. Offer learning experiences that help them learn how to reach across the globe– or across town– to collect data with visually-rich, interactive online interviews.
Find teaching materials including syllabi, videos and worksheets here!
In May I will be offering both full-day training sessions (fee) and half-day seminars (free or discounted for SRA Members) with the Social Research Association in the UK and registration information is now online!
The sessions will be interactive, experiential and substantive. They are appropriate for qualitative researchers and those who teach and supervise research.
May 6: Full-day training in Edinburgh: Digital Methods for Qualitative Research. This session is now full!
May 7: Half-day seminar in Edinburgh: Getting to YES in the Digital Age: Informing Participants and Verifying Their Consent.
May 8: Presenting at the Creative Research Methods conference in London: Seeing the Question, Showing the Answer: Visual Online Interviews.
May 11: Half-day seminar in London: Getting to YES in the Digital Age: Informing Participants and Verifying Their Consent. will be joined by Matt Williams, founder of COSMOS, the Collaborative Online Social Media Observatory, and the session is chaired by Kandy Woodfield, NatCen Social Research and New Social Research, New Social Science.
May 12: Full-day training in London: Digital Methods for Qualitative Research.
The Qualitative E-Research Framework and Typology of Online Visual Methods provide holistic, systems-thinking approaches to considering choices in the context of research design for studies that make use of highly-interactive, visual and mobile communication technologies (Salmons, 2015, 2012).
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See sample exercises: E-Interviews for Active Learning in Class Projects.
Communications technologies allow us to keep in touch with far-flung friends and family, to work remotely, and to teach and learn online. We probably make different choices for the technology we use when we want to see the new baby across the country, versus when we are trying to finish a report we are writing with a colleague who is in another part of the world. Similarly, when we decide to use online communications technologies for research interviews, we need to make numerous decisions about which mode best supports the goal of the exchange. Then, we need to decide how to go about conducting the interview given that technology– how to create trust, develop rapport, and ask questions that will generate rich answers. Even though we may feel comfortable with our skills to communicate online, doing interviews requires another level of thinking and planning. How do we learn such skills? The availability of online communications tools means we can use e-interviews as experiential learning exercises in classes to achieve curricular goals as well as to develop online research skills.
This session will focus on use of online interviews in a) research methods courses to give students practice in planning and conducting interviews and b) in courses on other topics, where instructors want to bring real-world expertise into the discussion by having students interview practitioners. In either case, students are learning scholarly research skills and developing digital literacies in addition to gaining real-world perspectives on course content. Sample exercises will be offered that you can adapt for your own classes.
If you are looking for the resources I discussed in the Politics and Ethics of Qualitative Online Research you have come to the right place!