November 12-15, 2018
Would you like to improve your project decision-making?
Do you want to be more engaged and present during qualitative data collection?
Are you feeling stuck as you analyze and write-up your qualitative data?
Join us at ResearchTalk’s Qualitative Inquiry Camp, November 12-15, 2018.
Join us for 3.5 days of focused attention on improving your ability to design and execute qualitative projects. Our mentor team will help you work in a way that keeps you engaged and motivated through the life of your project.
Camp Goals and Description
The main goal of this “grand tour” course of principles, strategies and tips through the life of a qualitative inquiry project is to position you to develop an active and engaged posture toward your work. To accomplish this goal, we will emphasize strategies to employ a posture of openness, flexibility, and responsiveness in the design and execution of your projects. This approach will help you to understand how the conversations and interactions occurring during project design, data collection, analysis and write-up fit with what is currently known about, and practiced in, your field.
To facilitate designing qualitative projects we will work with to ensure that you are hitting 4 key goals for strong qualitative work:
Asking the right questions
- …to the right people (or person, or to yourself, or of content in documents, or information on the internet and social media)
- …at the right time
- …in the right way
To achieve this goal, we will introduce engagement strategies to provide you with a checklist that will help you shape an action plan to use as you design your project and conduct fieldwork.
We will introduce you to the Sort and Sift, Think and Shift qualitative data analysis approach, created by Ray Maietta and his consulting team at ResearchTalk Inc. The approach is an iterative process, where analysts dive into data to understand its content, dimensions and properties, and then step back to assess what they have learned in order to bridge findings with current conversations in their field and to assess implications for practice. This process of “diving in” and “stepping back” is repeated throughout the analytic process. Researchers move from establishing an understanding of what is in the data to exploring their relationship to the data. To conclude, they arrive at an evidence-based meeting point that is a hybrid story of data content and researcher knowledge.
As we move to final stages of a qualitative project, we present writing as our currency; it is how we share the wealth of what we have heard and witnessed in the field. When it is time to share this knowledge with the research community and public audiences, it can be daunting to find and trust our writing voice.
We will help you learn how to speak with, not for, your study participants. Writing exercises will help us organically identify what we already know and what participants are teaching us. We will encourage you to slow down to listen to the data and to the researcher voices in your heads so we can practice how to capture strategically these emerging thoughts informally and refine them later within articles, reports, and chapters.
As we move through the camp we will witness how moving back and forth from fragments (memos on quotations) to holistic writing (comprehensive memos on the entire data collection episode), allows us to tie nuance and meaning together and develop better habits for getting it written down first—and continuing to adjust and evolve content as projects progress.
Featured Topic: Overview of Sort and Sift, Think and Shift Approach
Sort and Sift, Think and Shift: A Multidimensional Approach to Qualitative Data Analysis
created by Ray Maietta, Alison Hamilton, Paul Mihas, Kevin Swartout and Jeff Petruzzelli
The Sort and Sift, Think and Shift qualitative data analysis approach, created by Ray Maietta and his consulting team at ResearchTalk Inc, is an iterative process, where analysts dive into data to understand its content, dimensions and properties, and then step back to assess what they have learned in order to bridge findings with current conversations in their field and to assess implications for practice. This process of “diving in” and “stepping back” is repeated throughout the analytic process. Researchers move from establishing an understanding of what is in the data to exploring their relationship to the data. To conclude, they arrive at an evidence-based meeting point that is a hybrid story of data content and researcher knowledge.
The Sort and Sift approach is defined by two key analytic shifts qualitative analysts must make over the course of their data work.
- Shift 1 occurs when analysts move their analytic plans from being driven by what they knew and thought before they collected and engaged with data to allowing data content to define analytic decision-making and directions.
- Shift 2 occurs as analysts move from processing individual data documents to giving careful thought and attention to what they will present and how this material will be presented to audiences.
Each phase of the Sort and Sift method features a toolkit to facilitate analytic activities. The “Diving In” toolkit features tools to use as you read, review, recognize and record your observations during data review.
- Quotation identification and data inventory – finding powerful quotations in your data and creating an inventory of powerful data segments for each data collection episode
- Diagramming as an analysis tool – using visual diagrams to think aloud about connections in data and ‘bridging’ key ideas in your analysis
- Memoing – writing for discovery
- Episode profiles – using diagrams and memos to create visual and written sketches of data collection episodes
- Topic monitoring – creating and managing topics, themes and attributes
The “Stepping Back” toolkit features tools to use as you reflect, re-strategize and re-orient after your “diving in” phases of analysis.
- Mining – mining through memos, topics, document summaries and episode profiles.
- Bridging – discovering connections within and across data documents.
- Story Evolution Tool – interrogating data to understand better how key actors, places, time periods, actions, attitudes and emotions interact in the lives of our participants.
- Concept Combination Tool – using the Sort and Sift tools to discern shared meaning across developing ideas.
- Reflection Tools – using memoing and diagramming techniques to help discover, understand and document important connections within and across data documents.
The iterative back and forth between these phases allows you to bridge emergent findings and concepts to conversations and practices currently engaged by your colleagues.