Choosing Qualitative Research: A Primer for Technology Education Researchers

Hoepfl, M. C. (1997). Choosing qualitative research: A primer for technology education researchers. Journal of Technology Education, 9, 47–63.

The author discusses the difference between qualitative and quantitative research and the differences in the types of findings produced from each.  The qualitative method is discussed in depth as a better research design for educational technology. The idea of using qualitative research is not new, but it is thrust into the forefront because of the nature of qualitative research and the types of questions that we are attempting to answer through educational technology.

This discourse about qualitative research discusses the basis for using a qualitative research method to gain new perspectives and a deeper understanding. The features of the research and the roles of researchers along with strategies of data collection are discussed. The internal and external validity of the research is debated to ensure the reliability of the data of the study, without which it is will not be considered valid.

This article is merely an overview of qualitative research. It discusses quantitative but only to show the differences between the two. While it is meant to show the benefits and possible drawbacks, it seems to be “singing the praises” of qualitative methodologies. The problem of qualitative research is the lack of testing to prove validity and reliability of the research. It is open to the interpretation of the researcher. The difference in sampling strategies between qualitative and quantitative is one of the most intriguing aspects. Qualitative research is looking something in-depth. When you want to know more than just how the research applies to the broad spectrum.

While I have not yet started to figure out my dissertation proposal, I’m leaning toward a study where I can perform qualitative research. I think the more in-depth I can get, the better my outcome will be.

I also found the following articles of value:

This one I am excited about….

Gentry, M., Hu, S., Peters, S. J., & Rizza, M. (2008). Talented students in an exemplary career and technical education school: A qualitative inquiry. The Gifted Child Quarterly, 52(3), 183-198. Retrieved from

This one actually pissed me off a little, nothing like limiting research…..

Gemici, S., & Rojewski, J. W. (2007). Evaluating Research in Career and Technical Education Using Scientifically-Based Research Standards. Career & Technical Education Research, 32(3), 143-159.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s