Final analysis of every single bit of data; The Use of Qualitative Content Analysis in Case Study Research. 7 (21), p4-7.
The possible strategies for conducting vital research are discussed in Florian’s Journal on qualitative content analysis. It discusses the pro’s and con’s of using either quantitive or qualitative research.
The general deductions that I made from this reading in relation to how I would conduct my own research were;
Although qualitative research techniques are sometimes viewed within a professional context as being less professional than quantitative research, with a greater room for misinterpretation qualitative research is characterised by Cassel et al as being:
“a focus on interpretation rather than quantification; an emphasis on subjectivity
rather than objectivity; flexibility in the process of conducting research; an orientation
towards process rather than outcome; a concern with context—regarding behaviour
and situation as inextricably linked in forming experience; and finally, an explicit
recognition of the impact of the research process on the research situation”
Subjectivity, an opinion or an assumption which can vary day-to-day or between people according to Lland, E (2003) is beneficial in gaining opinion and so could be a useful way of gaining personal feedback about what teachers feel works for them personally rather than ticking a box for what works to a set out criteria. Objectivity, also defined by Lland, as observable or factual data that can be repeated could also be beneficial in assessing the value of my product as it is has the capacity to repeated, and that is ultimately more appealing to an investor than an opinion that may have a volunteer bias.
I therefore decided to use a mixture of both quantitive and qualitative techniques to gather my final and conclusive pieces of data.
Volunteer bias, is something which I have not been able to overcome throughout my research and this is therefore a limit to the validity of my research and can be defined as Volunteer bias which can be defined as the bias that comes from the fact that a particular sample can contain only those participants who are actually willing to participate in the study or experiment (Heiman, 2002). As I have contacted the respondents to my surveys and interviews personally, even via the internet they may still have felt obliged to answer in favour.
To limit the effect of volunteer bias throughout my research, I have only disclosed the details of my innovation after the surveys were completed if requested. Although it does not erase the potential for respondents to answer surveys in a way that would ‘do me a favour’ this technique is talked about frequently within many of the resources referenced below as largely effective.
Other than the volunteer bias, to limit the effects of my own subjectivity I composed a final questionnaire to explore the issues that were initially discussed and their own opinions of my final prototype in relation to these issues discussed in my earlier blogs, so that rather than analysing my own opinions I can at least analyse the external opinions who will be consuming the product, and are not emotionally attached to it.
In the first instance, I took this recurring concern from a primary school teacher about the current teaching of PSHE:
and asked the same group of teachers this, in relation to my final prototype.
I used a multiple choice style question to gain quantitative data for the key piece of information, so that it could therefore be plotted easily visually onto a graph.
80% of the teachers who I sent the folders to and answered the survey replied yes.
The simplicity of a multiple choice answer has both it’s advantages and disadvantages. Whilst the answers are less susceptible to misinterpretation by myself, the person whom will take the answers forward, multiple choice questions do not provide the respondent with the opportunity to explain their answers, and more importantly to ask question of their own to really understand what is being asked of them. (Bjornsson 2012)
To gain qualitative data I used a comment style question so that the respondent was more open to offering their personal suggestions.
These two answers in particular demonstrate both the strengths and limitations of using open ended questions.
Whilst the second answer is useful and clearly suggests an area for improvement for me to further work on, the first answer ‘Not sure’, throws into question whether a qualitative answer with little use or a quantitative answer, with a multiple choice answer which is not truly reflective is preferable. It is arguably a question of ethics, but ultimately I would rather create a product developed because of a genuine need and is therefore innovative rather than one based on false statistics.
That is why, for the next stage of my strategy, I will think about my product contextually in terms of its market value.
Bjornsson. (2012). Pros and con’s of multiple choice. Available: http://www.researchgate.net/post/Pros_and_cons_of_multiple_choice_questions. Last accessed 3rd March 2014.
Doyle,B et al. (2004). http://www.asdatoz.com/Documents/Website-%20Objective%20vs%20subjective%20ltr.pdf. Available: http://www.asdatoz.com/Documents/Website-%20Objective%20vs%20subjective%20ltr.pdf. Last accessed 3rd March 2014.
Heiman, G. W., (2002). Research Methods in Psychology. 3rd Edition. Boston & New York. Houghton Mifflin Company.
Kohlbacher,Florian. (2006). Qualitative social forum . The Use of Qualitative Content Analysis in Case Study Research. 7 (21), p4-7.
Using the data from the surveys I sent to 10 different primary school teachers, I have gathered the qualitative data into a quantitive word cloud to highlight the themes which were most consistently apparent.
The general feedback I received was very reassuring, the most commonly used words show up the largest on the word cloud that I created and as you can see the general feeling towards by folder is that it is clear and helpful. The areas that I need to work on according to this data is letting the reader know a little more about how the technology behind the product works, in an easy to understand way.
The disadvantages of the research that I have conducted through surveys, according to Prof. David Taylors introduction to research methods is that surveys are cold and there is no opportunity to easily ask follow up questions. Especially with doing my surveys via the internet and in a short space of time this is a significant disadvantage to the validity of my research. However, assuming the data to be accurate representations of the general publics opinion, developing a short note for the teacher to see what the technology is behind the product, as requested, is a helpful place for me to start.
Using Allard,J et al’s journal on 3D modelling I have since put together this note detailing the use of technology such as markers for teachers. If I had more time, and I will in the future for the development of my business I would like to return my folders to the peer group as previous and ask them specifically about the effectiveness of this information. This would also confirm the effectiveness of my current strategy into market research.
Allard,J et al. (2010). Marker-less Real Time 3D Modeling for Virtual Reality. Available: http://artis.imag.fr/Projets/Cyber-II/Publications/IPT04.pdf. Last accessed 3rd March 2014.
Watching other video pitches has given me many ideas as to how an engage an audience in an idea you feel passionate about. I particularly liked the use of animation and moving graphs to demonstrate ideas and will likely utilise this technique in the future. The pitches which I felt were less engaging were ones in which the pitch lacked market research into its competition, the feedback I received was mostly favourable in terms of this and I completely agreed with everything that was said. I was happy with the way in which I discussed the need of the resource within my pitch but I should have managed my time better to give more detail into the actual product itself.
Over the next couple of days this is an area I am going to work on.
Using the networking I talked about in my last blog, Ive started to get some interesting research on where to go next. This survey, targeted specifically at teachers is currently being distributed around twitter, facebook and TES amongst other niche communities. Here are the results I’ve had so far and some comments which stood out.
“It’s often hard to find the school’s own PSHE resources – I’d have to search the internet for resources, but it’s hard to know what’s reliable.”
Do you consider PSHE to be an important part of a students education?
“Absolutely, we want to produce kind and caring individuals who treat others with respect and know how to face the challenges that they will face in the future.”
I’ve previously come across a lot of worksheets…. the kids get bored, the teachers get bored, PSHE becomes sidelined.
we need to incorporate life skills i.e money understanding, first aid.
An element of where pupils could get involved would be relevant.
I feel this is an outdated approach
If used appropriately the IWBs can help to engage children with visual, active and auditory stimulus – however, they can also be used for dull powerpoints.
The only issue with these can be monitoring the conversations/content within these worlds – Teachers aware of the risks of cyber bullying may avoid the use of this when pupils are able to type freely to one another.
At the end of the survey I have a place for teachers to stay in contact throughout the rest of this research, As although I have had some noteworthy feedback such as the overwhelming approval of modern resources the respondents may feel more obliged to answer in a certain way with such a technique.
After pitching my 3 ideas for this module today I have decided to take forward the interactive white board app into further development. I intend to, even after this module is complete, sell the finished prototype to schools as an enhancement, for PSHE lessons in particular.
The basic principle of this innovation is that it takes a real life approach to learning about real life lessons. Using the kind of webcam technology already apparent in console games, the interactive worlds which I will create will allow the student to think about consequences in a life like virtual reality starring them rather than from a book.
I chose this idea to take forward partly because of the research I have undertaken below in my interview with the consumers, although not the investors, teacher and student. Whilst PSHE is considered an important part of the curriculum it seems that measures need to be taken to engage its students again and to incorporate the subject properly which is considered so essential. That is where I feel my gap in the market lays.
I am going to further this research with what these interviews have taught me and also extend on my existing creative ideas before contacting benefice’s and ultimately the head teacher or specific purchasers of resources for schools around my area, and see whether it is worth developing this into more than a prototype.