ERIC Number: ED455757
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Oct
Exploring Qualitative Methodologies in Online Learning Environments.
Bianco, Mary Beth; Carr-Chellman, Alison A.
Qualitative inquiry is rich in personal interaction between participant and researcher. This research seeks to consider the issues related to conducting qualitative inquiries in online settings and the implications for using electronic means in interview and observation. Consideration needs to be given to the ramifications of online interview techniques. "Face-to-face" may not be "face-to-face" in online environments but may be only available in other synchronous forms, such as telephone or online discussion. Implications for electronic discussion formats for conducting interviews are also discussed. Triangulation, in the most accepted definition, then, may be implausible due to the fact that the interview or observational techniques are not logistically feasible or probable. Observation in natural settings is foundational to the integrity of the observation but should be investigated for workability as well as rectitude (Creswell, 1998). Exploration into the implications for observation by electronic means should be conducted to determine the trustworthiness of this new form of data collection. The methodology issues discussed in this paper are those that relate to the interview and observational legs of triangulation in conjunction with possible avenues for document analysis. Various strategies for testing online qualitative inquiries are considered and discussed related to their potential value to the inquiry process. The inquiry in this case centers on methodological implications for data collection and their impact on the qualitative process in online situations or by electronic means. (Contains 33 references.) (Author/AEF)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Annual Proceedings of Selected Research and Development Papers Presented at the National Convention of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (23rd, Denver, CO, October 25-28, 2000). Volumes 1-2; see IR 020 712.