If your research question involves exploring how people experience something or what their views are, you probably need to discuss using qualitative methodology.  Qualitative research uses people’s accounts as data and focuses on experience, which cannot be adequately expressed numerically.

Research methods include:

  • Interviews e.g. Discovery Interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Observation
  • Collection of material such as diaries and photographs
  • Collection of narrative e.g. Gathering stories
  • Open-ended questions in questionnaires

Communicating and sharing new knowledge is as much at the heart of research as is its discovery.  Research is now being assessed in terms of its impact.  To be an effective researcher you need to be able to both conduct the research and communicate it.

I take a common sense approach, producing easy-to-read reports which are often written around the actual quotes of research participants who “tell it as it is”.