Qualitative and mixed methods for conducting research online, including:

  • Designing, conducting or teaching emerging online methods;
  • Conducting user, market or social research through online questionnaires, interviews and/or focus groups;
  • Evaluating programs;
  • Consulting on research ethics;
  • Teaching methods or training faculty in academic settings; and
  • Getting your research published.

The Internet is transforming scholarly research—and re-shaping the universe of scholarship and the institutions traditionally involved with production of new knowledge. With the advent of rich synchronous and ubiquitous asynchronous online communications  researchers can study and communicate with participants from across the globe to create the knowledge we need to understand our changing world.

What do the attributes of online communication mean to qualitative researchers? Qualitative research approaches and online communication share some characteristics since both place essential value on the significance of human exchange. The working definition I use is:

Qualitative e-research is an umbrella term used to describe methodological traditions for using information and communication technologies to study perceptions, experiences or behaviors through their verbal or visual expressions, actions or writings.

The presence of the Internet in the research design does not necessitate a wholesale redefinition of qualitative inquiry per se. Yet even this subtle shift in definition carries numerous implications for the research design, methodologies and methods, conduct, ethics and reporting. Inter-relationships between technology and design call for a holistic approach to research. To address this need and provide a framework for exploring and developing coherent designs, I created the Qualitative e-Research Framework (c.2010-2016).

e-research framework_JES

The framework is applied to a wide range of qualitative observations, interviews, participatory, visual and arts-based methods in Doing Qualitative Research Online (2016).The framework is applied to interview research in my books Qualitative Online Interviews (2015) and Cases in Online Interview Research (2012).

I use the Qualitative e-Research Framework as the basis for instruction and discussion of the facets of qualitative research design in the digital age.

Experience & Expertise:

  • Author of Doing Qualitative Research Online (2016), Qualitative Online Interviews (2015), Cases in Online Interview Research (2012), and Online Interviews in Real Time (2010), as well as numerous chapters and articles about online research. (See Publications area.)
  • Frequent presenter on topics related to online research design and online research ethics.

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