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Qualitative Data Collection Tools

Qualitative Data Collection Tools
Design, Development, and Applications

April 2020 | 240 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Qualitative Data Collection Tools is a new and unique supplementary text that will guide students and new researchers to design, develop, pilot, and employ qualitative tools in order to collect qualitative data. An often-omitted subject in general qualitative textbooks, qualitative tools form the backbone of the data collection process. Students and new researchers are frequently left to create their own qualitative tools from scratch, an unnecessary hurdle in the qualitative research design process. Author Felice D. Billups has used her experience as a qualitative researcher, and in teaching and advising students about qualitative research, to develop the templates in this book as a starting point for readers conducting original qualitative research. The author briefly describes each method of data collection and offers readers suggestions for using and adapting the qualitative instrument templates within the text. Templates of interview protocols, focus group moderator guides, content analysis tools, document analysis tools, reflective questionnaires, diary and journal logs, and observational rubrics give the reader either a cut-and-paste solution for their own research or a starting point to design their own personalized qualitative tools.

The first three chapters illuminate the qualitative data collection process and the role each type of qualitative tool plays in that process. The next six chapters provide detailed guides and numerous templates for each qualitative data collection method, covering interviews, focus groups, conversation and discourse analysis, observations, document analysis, field notes, journaling, and other reflective practices. A final chapter pulls together the multifaceted nature of qualitative research design and connects each tool back to the methodology to ensure trustworthiness and rigor in the data collection and instrument development process. Exemplars populate the appendices, offering readers concrete inspiration for ways to use and adapt the tools provided. 

If you have ever puzzled over how to best to design qualitative tools in order to guide and structure your qualitative data collection, or if you are embarking on your first qualitative study, Qualitative Data Collection Tools will give you a practical starting point to help make your qualitative data collection process easier and more organized. 

Read a review of Qualitative Data Collection Tools in Current Issues in Comparative Education, Vol. 23 Iss. 1, Winter 2021.
List of Tables
List of Templates
Glossary of Terms
About the Author
Chapter 1: The Qualitative Data Collection Cycle
What is Qualitative Research?

The Sources of Qualitative Data

Qualitative Data Collection Tools

Chapter 2: Using the Research Question to Guide Qualitative Data Collection Tool Design
The Role of the Research Question in the Design of Qualitative Tools

Connecting Qualitative Designs with Guiding Questions, the Research Purpose, and the Research Questions

Connecting Qualitative Designs with Data Collection Strategies and Tools

Piloting Qualitative Tools

Chapter 3: Conducting the Qualitative Study: Researcher Role, Access, Trustworthiness, and Ethical Concerns
The Researcher’s Role in Qualitative Research

Researcher Bias and the Practice of Bracketing

The Researcher’s Access to Data

Trustworthiness in the Qualitative Study

Ethics in Qualitative Research

Chapter 4: Interview Protocols
Interviewing Defined

Interview Applications

Requisite Skills and Characteristics of the Interviewer

Interview Formats and Types

Getting Started With a Basic Template

Template Variations: Interview Protocols for Specific Qualitative Designs

Piloting the Interview Protocol

Transforming Interview Data for Analysis

Chapter 5: Conversational and Discourse Analysis Tools
Conversational and Discourse Analysis Defined

Conversational and Discourse Analysis Applications

Requisite Skills and Characteristics of the Conversational and Discourse Analysis Researcher

Conversational and Discourse Analysis Formats

Getting Started with a Basic Template

Template Variations and Challenges

Piloting Conversational and Discourse Analysis Tools

Transforming Conversational and Discourse Data for Analysis

Chapter 6: Focus Group Moderator Guides
Focus Groups Defined

Focus Group Applications

Requisite Skills and Characteristics of the Focus Group Moderator

Focus Group Types and Variations

Getting Started with a Basic Template

Template Variations: Focus Group Moderator Guides by Focus Group Type

Piloting Focus Group Moderator Guides

Transforming Focus Group Data for Analysis

Chapter 7: Observation Tools
Observation Defined

Observation Applications

Requisite Skills and Characteristics of the Observer

Observation Formats

Getting Started with the Basic Template

Basic Observation Templates

Piloting Observation Rubrics

Transforming Observation Data for Analysis

Chapter 8: Document and Artifact Analysis Tools
Documents and Artifacts Defined

Document and Artifact Applications

Requisite Skills of Document and Artifact Recorders

Document and Artifact Types

Getting Started with a Basic Template

Template Variations and Challenges

Piloting Document and Artifact Rubrics

Transforming Document and Artifact Data for Analysis

Chapter 9: Reflective Practice Tools
Reflective Practices Defined

Reflective Practice Applications

Requisite Skills of the Reflective Researcher and Participant Reflections

Reflective Format Types

Getting Started With the Basic Templates

Template Variations for Reflective Tools

Piloting Reflective Tools

Transforming Reflective Data for Analysis

Chapter 10: Synthesis: The Qualitative Story
A Multifaceted Enterprise

The Practitioner’s Perspective

The Qualitative Design Process

A Plan for Action



Appendices: A Case Study of Department X
Appendix A Exemplar: Unstructured Interview Protocol

Appendix B Exemplar: Semistructured Interview Protocol

Appendix C Exemplar: Focus Group Moderator’s Guide: Single Purpose

Appendix D Exemplar: Observation Rubric for Formal or Informal Settings

Appendix E Exemplar: Combined Document/Artifact Rubric

Appendix F Exemplar: Single Question Reflective Questionnaire

Appendix G Exemplar: Data Collection Plan

Recommended Qualitative Research Websites

I think that the more exposure that students have to instrumentation the more informed that can be when they build their own research studies.

Tricia J. Stewart
Western Connecticut State University

[This text] offers a rich and much-needed perspective in the field of qualitative research.

Robert T. Palmer
Howard University

A comprehensive guide for the novice and even intermediate qualitative researcher. I highly recommend this easy-to-follow textbook for anyone considering a qualitative study.

P. Bruce Uhrmacher
Morgridge College of Education, University of Denver

This new book fills a dire need in qualitative research--effectively and rigorously designing qualitative interview instruments and observation and artifact rubrics. (The author) has skillfully woven together necessary elements of qualitative design, research strategies, and research question development in order for researchers to operationalize their curiosities into successful, effective, and ethical research studies. I am particularly taken by the tone of the book. (The author) has written a book that challenges yet scaffolds readers to produce qualitative research studies with integrity and rigor.

Karin Lindstrom Bremer
Minnesota State University, Mankato

This is a very practical text for doctoral students learning research, in particular for those doctoral students in professional non-traditional doctoral degree programs who have never been exposed to the process of conducting qualitative research. The text brings students through the journey of qualitative data collection and provides a how-to approach to qualitative methodology.

Emily Martinez Vogt
Nathan M. Bisk College of Business

Practical, clear and concise, and has lots of templates for new researchers

Dr Beth Bukoski
Educational Leadership Dept, Virginia Commonwealth Univ
July 23, 2022

It depends on the students research design- qualitative research design I have recommended it to student

Dr Carine Prinsloo
Health, University of South Africa (UNISA)
November 18, 2020

This is a great resource

Mrs Josephine D Morris
Interdiscipline, Winchester University
December 9, 2020

A valuable text for under and post graduates and for early career researchers. I would have liked to see a little more on the various uses of observations but otherwise a comprehensive text. Thank you.

Mrs Eleonora Teszenyi
Faculty of Education, The Open University
January 7, 2021

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