Having explored the approaches of writing an introduction, the purpose statement, research questions, and data collection forms in the previous paper, this section explores the techniques of data collection used in qualitative methods research. The quality and effectiveness of a research fundamentally depend on the researcher’s ability to collect research data. Monitoring and evaluation need assessment of data collection method to attain evidence-based decision and programmatic learning outcome of the research (Rosenthal, 2016). To achieve this, it is important to analyze data collection techniques, including interviews, observation, focus groups, surveys and questionnaires, documents and records, and textual or visual analysis that suits the research practices and framed by the agenda of the research.
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Interviews are the most common source of data for qualitative research. In this technique, the research utilizes a highly structured technique, in which the questions are pre-determined before interviews. Interviews are more open-ended and less structured and require the researcher to have communication skills and experiences. The success of this technique depends on the establishment of rapport between the interviewer and the respondents. Another technique of data collection in qualitative research focused group. This method is more effective and efficient because the researcher can collect a group of information and data in one session. According to Gill et al., (2008), the focused group can provide quality data because the participants tend to provides checks and balance on one another which in turn curbs false responses or extreme views.
Moreover, observation technique involves the process of taking notes in the field. The researchers are focused on recording notes on what they see in order to help in answering research questions in the subsequent process of data analysis. However, a major drawback of this technique is the obtrusiveness which can entirely affect the process of data analysis in the research (Rosenthal, 2016). Among other sources of data in qualitative research are self-report, documentation and recording keeping among others in which the researchers keep records of their feelings, reactions, speculations and concerns to use in qualitative research.
- Gill, P., Stewart, K., Treasure, E., & Chadwick, B. (2008). Methods of data collection in qualitative research: interviews and focus groups. BDJ, 204(6), 291-295.
- Rosenthal, M. (2016). Qualitative research methods: Why, when, and how to conduct interviews and focus groups in pharmacy research. Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning, 8(4), 509-516.