Sampling is the process of identifying who you want to collect data from. In qualitative research, there are different types of sampling including purposive sampling, criteria sampling, and snowball sampling. Your sample may be informed by your methods, for example, Nabreesa recruited her sample through a larger quantitative survey. Leonie used purposive sampling because she was specifically interested in interviewing veterinarians who worked in small animal metropolitan practices
Resources for sampling
- Marshall, M. N. (1996). Sampling for qualitative research. Family Practice, 13(6), 522-526.
- Koerber, A., & McMichael, L. (2008). Qualitative sampling methods: A primer for technical communicators. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 22(4), 454-473.
Methods of data collection need to be described in detail and justified in relation to why and how they are appropriate to answer your research question. There are several methods to choose to collect data. Nabreesa and Leonie chose to conduct in-depth interviews as little was known about their research areas and they were interested in the lived experience of their participants. Cameron chose to use an online survey as a way of reaching participants who were spread across Victoria, and because it allowed participants to maintain some anonymity. Your methods and data collection may vary, especially if you are a small study within a larger study, or have geographic constraints.
Resources for collecting data
- Greenhalgh T., & Taylor, R. (1997). How to read a paper: Papers that go beyond numbers (qualitative research). British Medical Journal, 315, 740-743.
- Mays, N. & Pope, C. (1995). Rigour and qualitative research. British Medical Journal, 311, 109-12.
In depth interviews are used when you want to understand experiences and how people understand something. As a data collection method, in depth or semi-structured interviews are chosen to obtain rich, nuanced and experience-informed data to help you understand a phenomenon and to answer your research question. There are different types of interviewing, including email, telephone and face-to-face, and advantages and disadvantages to each of these methods. When interviewing, you also need to consider how you will record your data- options include audio-recorders or using voice recording software on mobile devices. It is important to ensure that your recorder works prior to the interview, and that you have spare batteries or a back-up option as well.
Resources for interviewing
- DiCicco‐Bloom, B., & Crabtree, B. F. (2006). The qualitative research interview. Medical Education, 40(4), 314-321.
- Kitzinger, J. (1995). Qualitative research. Introducing focus groups. British Medical Journal, 311(7000), 299-302.
- Chrzanowska, J. (2018, May 29). Demonstration qualitative interview - how it should be done [video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNMTJTnrTQQ
- Chrzanowska, J. (2018, May 29). Demo qualitative interview with mistakes [video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4UKwd0KExc
- Curry, L. [Yale University]. (2018, May 29). Fundamentals of Qualitative Research Methods: Interviews (Module 3) [video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PhcglOGFg8
- Mod*U: Powerful Concepts in Social Science. (2018, May 29). Using In-Depth Interviews (IDIs) In Your Research: Qualitative Research Methods [video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pb3UlqAMwKA
Surveys are useful when you know which questions you are interested in asking, perhaps because there is existing literature in your research area. Depending on your ethics approval and available resources, there are different platforms you can use to manage an online survey, including Qualtrics, Survey Monkey and REDCap. Alternatively, you may choose to use a paper-based survey or questionnaire. There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these, some things to consider include: who your sample is (are they familiar with using the internet?), their location (it may be easier to have paper-surveys if they are being recruited in a particular location, e.g. public event or workshop), and the additional work that may be required for data entry and cleaning.
Resources for surveys
- Gideon, L. (2012). Handbook of survey methodology for the social sciences. New York, NY: Springer. Retrieved from https://link-springer-com.ezp.lib.unimelb.edu.au/book/10.1007%2F978-1-4614-3876-2