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Understanding Qualitative Assessment

Understanding Qualitative Assessment

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Understanding Qualitative Assessment

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  1. Understanding Qualitative Assessment Skills Session #3 A-Team Training November 13, 2007

  2. Session I Outcomes & Overview What is Assessment Assessment Language Comp Model & Foundation SALDOs Session II Overview of Outcome Design Creating Outcomes Service, Learning, & Development Session III Critiquing Outcomes 3 M’s Intro: Assessment Steps Session IV Assessment Steps (cont) Intro: Assessment Plans Session V Review of Assessment Plans Session VI Assessment Plan Presentation Session Evaluation Foundation Session Outcomes Demonstrate an understanding of “A” language & literature Define and plan an assessment project for your department Increase Technical Skills— Perseus, Report Writing, Qual/Quan Perform 1 + assessment projects Assessment Resource for department and team

  3. What is Qualitative Assessment? • Qualitative research seeks descriptively rich data from a small, purposeful sample with meaning and understanding as it end goals (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). • “The detailed descriptions of situations, events, people, interactions, and observed behaviors; use of direct quotes from people about their experiences, attitudes, beliefs, and thoughts; and analysis of excerpts or entire passages from documents, journals, or case histories…” (Patton, 1990).

  4. Differences from Quantitative Assessment Qualitative -Focus of research on Quality (nature, essence) -Key concepts of meaning, understanding, and description Quantitative -Focus of research on Quantity (how much, how many) - Key concepts of statistical relationships, prediction control, description, hypothesis testing

  5. Why is Qualitative Assessment important to student affairs work?

  6. Outcomes of Qualitative Assessment • Detailed descriptions • Direct quotations • Analysis of documents • Deeply rich content

  7. Key Assumptions in Qualitative Assessment • Meaning Making, understanding • Not interested in applying broadly to situations outside the case being studied • The researcher is the primary means by which data are collected and analyzed • Inductive data leads to a finding/theory • Social reality is constructed by the participants

  8. What kinds of questions would one use as a guide for Qualitative Assessment? • Why • How • Process • Perception • Reflection of experiences, feelings

  9. Common Types of Qual Research • Basic Interpretative Study • Case Study • Ethnography • Phenomenology

  10. Qualitative Techniques • Interviews • Focus Groups • Document Analysis • Observations

  11. Sampling • Key features: not random, smaller than quantitative, provide rich information • Several types: (Patton, 2003) • Homogeneous-common characteristics • Stratified-sample representative of different characteristics of population (i.e. demographics, participants vs. non-participants) • Criterion-based on predetermined criteria • Snowball-ask participants for other potential participants

  12. Data Analysis • Constant Comparative Method (Glaser & Strauss, 1967) • Constantly compare from the get-go • Example: Researcher journal-hunches, interview, transcribe, process is constant • Often Data compared across multiple forms of data (interviews, essays, observations)

  13. Coding • Open Coding-General • Selective Coding-Categorizing • Thematic Coding-Themes

  14. Coding Exercise • Candy Exercise • Interview Coding Practice

  15. Coding Tips • After interviews, write hunches down in journal • Pay attention to what you are hearing as you transcribe, write down hunches • Don’t overanalyze during general coding • Use whiteboard or flip chart to start organizing categories (from general codes) • No formula, but set up in way that best suits your skills (Remember: You are the research instrument )

  16. Ensuring Rigor • Researcher Journal • Hunches • Decisions • Thoughts • Biases, Assumptions • Triangulation • Data triangulation • Researcher Triangulation • Peer Reviewers

  17. Focus Group • Focus group-Interview a small group of participants (10-12 participants) • Advantages/Disadvantages • Permits large amount of data gathered in small amount of time • Challenging to moderate multiple opinions and personalities • TIP: Employ another colleague to take notes! • Read “Creating a Focus Group” p. 12-13 (Joel’s article).

  18. Any Questions? For other resources, please visit our website. http://www.uga.edu/studentaffairs/assess/