Qualitative research is an explicit, systematic and disciplined model of exploring the meanings and insights of a phenomenon. Qualitative studies are inductive, use purposive sampling, and collect data through various semi-structured and structured interviews. It is integral to begin by identifying a problem or a gap in the study. Next, the researcher develops concise questions which can aid in understanding and exploring the issue. The findings provide insights and provide recommendations for future investigations. This paper aims to analyze qualitative research by Marrero et al. 2010 titled “Live, online short-courses: A case study of innovative teacher professional development.”
- What are the “educators’ views on the efficiency of the professional development model” created by U.S. Satellite Laboratory, Inc.? (Marrero et al., 2010).
- What are the feelings and impressions of the teachers about the strengths and shortcoming of the approach to professional development?
- What are the general belief of the teachers of the teachers about the efficacy of the program?
- How are the teachers implement what they have learned?
Rationale for Importance of the Research Question
It is crucial to commit sufficient time from the conception of an idea to analysis in developing a reasonable inquiry for the study. Notably, 30% of published articles need some rewording of their research question (Fandino, 2019). The primary relevance of the questions is that it guides the data collection process. A good research question should be feasible because it guarantees adequate design, optimizes resources, and allows for the recruitment of the target population. The research question by Marrero et al. (2010) meets the required criteria. Questions for qualitative research methodologies are explorative and seek to establish the “why,” “what,” and “how” of phenomenon, as is the current case (Mohajan, 2018). The question is also important because understanding the program allows for information that will lead to evidence-based practice.
Method with Most Contribution and Rationale
The qualitative method had the most contribution to the study but was not sufficient to be used solely in understanding the status of the program. The literature review guides the current study and helps understand what has been explored and the points lacking in the current study (Kalpokas & Radivojevic, 2021). Looking at the background of Marrero et al.’s article, the issues addressed are reflected in the qualitative data analysis, which implies that it was dominant. Moreover, the research questions used the wording “views of teachers,” which is explorative (Marrero et al., 2010). The qualitative methodology provides a better way of explaining the feelings and lived experiences that the educators have about the program. However, the relevance of the quantitative approach in the study cannot be overlooked. Particularly, it was effective in understanding the demographics, such as the location of the school where the short courses were mostly embraced and the percentage of educators who feel that it helped in their growth.
Possibility of Alternative Methodology
Instead of using a case study with grounded theory and thematic analysis, the researchers could have used phenomenology methodology. Particularly, the approach seeks to deeply understand the fundamental dimensions according to the deep essence and structure of the lived experiences of the population of interest (Urcia, 2021). The phenomenology as a research methodology is rooted in philosophy, which seeks to understand how the participants feel and interact with an issue (the model). Thus, given that the research question was interested in knowing the views of the teachers, this method would still be relevant.
Conciseness and Clarity in Writing
There are many ways that an investigator can use to remain precise and clear in writing a scholarly paper. For instance, their title should be simple, direct, and inclusive of basic information like the objective, design, and the population (Tullu, 2019). Relatedly, Marrero et al. 2010 integrated all these characteristics in writing the subject of the study. Moreover, it has a structured abstract that provides information on the background, objective, methodology, findings, and conclusion. The study is easy to read and does not have any typographical errors as is required for an academic paper (Reddy & Bhadauria, 2019). In addition, the paper is organized into subtopics and uses keywords to enhance clarity.
Possible Questions from other Researchers
Article critique is a common practice among scholars where theorist analyzes and question the works of other researchers to either enhance understanding or raise a point of contention. One of the possible inquiries is: What are the undesirable outcomes of putting “scientific and non-scientific” understanding on the same footing (Marrero et al., 2010)? Secondly, a critic may ask: which theoretical framework guided the quantitative approach since the social constructivism is for the qualitative methodology? Lastly: What criteria were used in choosing the keywords for reframing the themes?
Relevance of Findings in Furthering Research
The findings provide evidence for the effectiveness of the short course program in enhancing the competencies of the teachers. For instance, the information that 70% of the teachers believe that the program has benefits for their growth can be used to study the viability of widespread adoption (Marrero et al., 2010). The results showing that the online nature of the program was convenient can be used as the basis for conducting a comparative study with physical workshops. Moreover, future researchers can replicate the study using a different methodology to see if there will be a difference.
Alternative Way of Exploring the Research Questions
There are many alternative ways that could be used by the researchers to investigate the same questions. For example, a phenomenological approach that conceptualizes the interior of a person’s awareness can effectively get responses to the issues (Mohajan, 2018). Notably, one social reality can have multiple interpretations, hence the need to use an illustrative method that shows the methodology with the best outcome (Ilyana et al., 2020). Using a different population of learners’ experiences after their teacher’s enrollment in the program can show the effectiveness of the program. Researchers can also use quantitative methodology with a Likert scale on the views that teachers have about the short courses is another method of investigating the research questions.
In summary, starting and completing research is a long and tedious process that starts by identifying a problem or gap that needs further probing. The issue and circumstances are then used to coin the objective of the study. The correct wording should be used because all the other parts, including literature review, design, and methodology, depending on the accuracy of the questions. The current study investigated the views that educators have regarding the professional development model that uses online short courses. The researchers depicted high levels of accuracy and preciseness in writing the paper. By just reading the title and abstract, a person gets a glimpse of what the study is about. The study integrated the quantitative and qualitative methodology for understanding the demographics and different themes. The qualitative approach was dominant as it directly responded to the research question. The phenomenological methodology would be an alternative as it is designed to measure the lived experiences in a given context. Despite the high conciseness and use of correct questions, it is helpful to critically analyze the paper and question its approach. The relevance of the study is that it offers evidence-based data to check viability of a wide-scale application. The study can easily be replicated using a different alternative population or methodology.
Fandino, W. (2019). Formulating a good research question: Pearls and pitfalls. Indian Journal of Anesthesia, 63(8), 611-616. Web.
Ilyana, J., Maizam, A., Muhammad, Z., & Muhammad-Sukki Firdaus. (2020). Using illustrations to make decisions on the most appropriate qualitative research methodology: The industry 4.0 scenario. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 19(1), 1-16. Web.
Kalpokas, N., & Radivojevic, I. (2021). Adapting practices from qualitative research to tell a compelling story: A practical framework for conducting a literature review. The Qualitative Report, 26(5), 1546-1566. Web.
Marrero, M. E., Riccio, J. F., Woodruff, K. A., & Schuster, G. S. (2010). Live, online short-courses: A case study of innovative teacher professional development. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 11(1), 81. Web.
Mohajan, H. K. (2018). Qualitative research methodology in social sciences and related subjects. Journal of Economic Development, Environment and People, 7(1), 23-48. Web.
Reddy, P., & Bhadauria, U. (2019). Integral elements of a research protocol. Journal of Indian Academy of Oral Medicine and Radiology, 31(2), 167-170. Web.
Tullu, M. (2019). Writing the title and abstract for a research paper: Being concise, precise, and meticulous is the key. Saudi Journal of Anaesthesia, 13(5), 12-17. Web.
Urcia, I. A. (2021). Comparisons of adaptations in grounded theory and phenomenology: Selecting the specific qualitative research methodology. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 20, 1-14. Web.