Qualitative Research Quality

A Collaborative Inquiry Across Multiple Methodological Perspectives

Joachim Walther, Nicola W. Sochacka, Lisa C. Benson, Amy E. Bumbaco, Nadia Kellam, Alice L. Pawley, Canek M.L. Phillips

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    8 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Background: The field of engineering education research is adopting an increasingly diverse range of qualitative methods. These developments necessitate a coherent language and conceptual framework to critically engage with questions of qualitative research quality. Purpose/Hypothesis: This article advances discussions of qualitative research quality through sharing and analyzing a methodologically diverse, practice-based exploration of research quality in the context of five engineering education research studies. Design/Method: As a group of seven engineering education researchers, we drew on the collaborative inquiry method to systematically examine questions of qualitative research quality in our everyday research practice. We used a process-based, theoretical framework for research quality as the anchor for these explorations. Results: We constructed five practice explorations spanning grounded theory, interpretative phenomenological analysis, and various forms of narrative inquiry. Examining the individual contributions as a whole yielded four key insights: quality challenges require examination from multiple theoretical lenses; questions of research quality are implicitly infused in research practice; research quality extends beyond the objects, procedures, and products of research to concern the human context and local research setting; and research quality lies at the heart of introducing novices to interpretive research. Conclusions: This study demonstrates the potential and further need for the engineering education community to advance methodological theory through purposeful and reflective engagement in research practice across the diverse methodological approaches currently being adopted.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)398-430
    Number of pages33
    JournalJournal of Engineering Education
    Volume106
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jul 1 2017

    Fingerprint

    qualitative research
    research practice
    engineering
    Engineering education
    education
    grounded theory
    qualitative method
    narrative
    Anchors
    examination
    Lenses
    language
    community

    Keywords

    • collaborative inquiry
    • qualitative
    • research evaluation criteria
    • research methods
    • research quality

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Education
    • Engineering(all)

    Cite this

    Walther, J., Sochacka, N. W., Benson, L. C., Bumbaco, A. E., Kellam, N., Pawley, A. L., & Phillips, C. M. L. (2017). Qualitative Research Quality: A Collaborative Inquiry Across Multiple Methodological Perspectives. Journal of Engineering Education, 106(3), 398-430. https://doi.org/10.1002/jee.20170

    Qualitative Research Quality : A Collaborative Inquiry Across Multiple Methodological Perspectives. / Walther, Joachim; Sochacka, Nicola W.; Benson, Lisa C.; Bumbaco, Amy E.; Kellam, Nadia; Pawley, Alice L.; Phillips, Canek M.L.

    In: Journal of Engineering Education, Vol. 106, No. 3, 01.07.2017, p. 398-430.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Walther, J, Sochacka, NW, Benson, LC, Bumbaco, AE, Kellam, N, Pawley, AL & Phillips, CML 2017, 'Qualitative Research Quality: A Collaborative Inquiry Across Multiple Methodological Perspectives', Journal of Engineering Education, vol. 106, no. 3, pp. 398-430. https://doi.org/10.1002/jee.20170
    Walther, Joachim ; Sochacka, Nicola W. ; Benson, Lisa C. ; Bumbaco, Amy E. ; Kellam, Nadia ; Pawley, Alice L. ; Phillips, Canek M.L. / Qualitative Research Quality : A Collaborative Inquiry Across Multiple Methodological Perspectives. In: Journal of Engineering Education. 2017 ; Vol. 106, No. 3. pp. 398-430.
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