Dissertation Chapter 3: Qualitative Method 

 
Introduction
Restate study purpose as described in chapter 1.
Preview major sections of the chapter.
Research Design and Rationale
Restate research questions exactly as described in chapter 1.
State and define central concept(s) / phenomenon (a) of the study.
Identify the research tradition.
Provide rationale for the chosen tradition.
Methodology

(needs to be described in sufficient depth so that other researchers can replicate the study)

Participant Selection Logic
Identify the population (if appropriate).
Identify and justify the sampling strategy.
State the criterion/a on which participant selection is based.
Establish how participants are known to meet the criterion/a.
State the number of participants/cases and the rationale for that number.
Explain specific procedures for how participants will be identified, contacted, and recruited.
Describe the relationship between saturation and sample size.
Instrumentation
Identify each data collection instrument and source (observation sheet, interview protocol, focus group protocol, videotape, audiotape, artifacts, archived data, and other kinds of data collection instruments).
Identify the source for each data collection instrument (published or researcher produced).
If historical or legal documents are used as a source of data, demonstrate the reputability of the sources and justify why they represent the best source of data.
Establish sufficiency of data collection instruments to answer research questions.
For published data collection instruments
Who developed the instrument and what is the date of publication?
Where and with which participant group has it been used previously?
How appropriate is it for the current study (that is, context and cultural specificity of protocols/instrumentation) and whether modifications will be or were needed?
Describe how content validity will be or was established.
Address any context- and culture-specific issues specific to the population while developing the instrument.
For researcher-developed instruments
The basis for instrument development (Literature sources, other bases (such as pilot study).
Describe how content validity will be/was established.
Establish sufficiency of data collection instruments to answer the research questions.
Procedures For Pilot Studies (as appropriate)
Include all procedures for recruitment, participation, and data collection associated with the pilot study and the main study.
Describe the relationship of the pilot study to the main study (e.g., what is the purpose of the pilot study?)
Include the IRB approval number (completed dissertation).
Procedures for Recruitment, Participation, and Data Collection (for students collecting their own data)
For each data collection instrument and research question, provide details of data collection.
·   From where data will be collected?

·   Who will collect the data?

·   Frequency of data collection events.

·   Duration of data collection events.

·   How data will be recorded?

·   Follow-up plan if recruitment results in too few participants.

Explain how participants exit the study (for example, debriefing procedures).
Describe any follow-up procedures (such as requirements to return for follow-up interviews).
Data Analysis Plan
For each type of data collected identify:
§ Connection of data to a specific research question.

§ Type of and procedure for coding.

§ Any software used for analysis.

Issues of Trustworthiness
Credibility (internal validity): Describe appropriate strategies to establish credibility, such as triangulation, prolonged contact, member checks, saturation, reflexivity, and peer review.
Transferability (external validity):  Describe appropriate strategies to establish transferability, such as thick description and variation in participant selection.
Dependability (the qualitative counterpart to reliability): Describe appropriate strategies to establish dependability, such as audit trails and triangulation.
Confirmability (the qualitative counterpart to objectivity): Describe appropriate strategies to establish confirmability, such as reflexivity.
Intra- and intercoder reliability (where applicable).
Ethical Procedures
Agreements to gain access to participants or data (include actual documents in the IRB application).
Describe the treatment of human participants including the following (include actual documents in the Institutional Review Board (IRB) application):
Institutional permissions, including IRB approvals that are needed (proposal) or were obtained (for the completed dissertation, include relevant IRB approval numbers).
Ethical concerns related to recruitment materials and processes and a plan to address them.
Ethical concerns related to data collection/intervention activities (these could include participants refusing participation or early withdrawal from the study and response to any predictable adverse events) and a plan to address them.
Describe the treatment of data (including archival data), including issues of:
·   Whether data are anonymous or confidential and any concerns related to each.
Protections for confidential data (data storage procedures, data dissemination, who will have access to the data, and when data will be destroyed).
Other ethical issues as applicable (these issues could include doing a study within one’s own work environment; conflict of interest or power differentials; and justification for use of incentives).
Summary
Summary of main points of the chapter.
Transition to chapter 4.