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Traps for First Time Players… the use of open-ended questions to gather data for qualitative research. Stephanie White Christchurch College of Education New Zealand. The Literature. An open-ended question can catch the authenticity, richness, depth of response, honesty and candor.

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Traps for First Time Players… the use of open-ended questions to gather data for qualitative research

Stephanie White

Christchurch College of Education

New Zealand

the literature
The Literature
  • An open-ended question can catch the authenticity, richness, depth of response, honesty and candor.

( Cohen, Manion & Morrison, 2000)

  • Truly open-ended questions should minimise predetermined responses, so that people can respond in their own words ( Patton, 2002)
the context
The Context
  • 15 adult learners - 11 female / 4 male
  • Enrolled in a week long Certificate in Adult Teaching Course at CCE, 2004
  • Backgrounds in education, health, business, community and unemployed

( White, S. 2004 )

the questionnaire
The Questionnaire
  • Describe what learning is for you
  • What things have you been involved in learning in the last 12 months?
  • Explain your reasons for enrolling in this Course
  • How do you perceive lifelong learning will help you personally / society as a whole in the future?
  • What areas of your life might be enhanced in the future by your current learning?
describe what learning is for you
Describe what learning is for you
  • New ideas, excitement, stepping out of my comfort zone, acquisition of new ideas, skills, knowledge, information, to understand something that was previously a mystery, is a core need, to be regularly exposed to/ and acquire new ideas, methods and information, as well as the stimulation of meeting new people and discovering new places/spaces, a continual process throughout life which enables you to grow as well as empowers you to expand yourself, gaining new knowledge, new ideas, soaking up knowledge like a sponge, changing my ideas, refreshing, solving problems, filling gaps, discovering and growing……..
  • Over 40 responses/phrases to this one question
he manga wai koia kia kore e whitika
He manga wai koia kia kore e whitika
  • It is a big river indeed that cannot be crossed ( make light of the difficulties and they will disappear)
the people s true voices
The people’s true voices
  • It is like “taking a walk in someone else’s shoes”
  • You get a variety of rich, honest and diverse responses
  • It catches the “gems” of information such as shown on the questionnaires themselves
the analysis
The analysis
  • Reviewed the responses initially to get a “feel’ for the data
  • Collated all responses to each question by hand on paper
  • Gave responses a code and then grouped similar responses together
  • Included examples of “true’ responses in the paper and the number of times they were given
capturing the prize
Capturing the “prize”
  • Include raw data of interviews and questionnaires to capture the actual things said by actual people
  • Look for patterns and integrate what is said in one place with what is said in another place
  • Carry out a content analysis according to a classification scheme
  • Allow for the unexpected, seek out the answers and impose order on them
  • Celebrate the dimensions, themes, images, or words people use to describe their feelings, thoughts and experiences
references
References
  • Cohen, L.,Manion, L. & Morrison, K.

( 2000) Research Methods in Education

  • Patton M. ( 2002 ) Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods
  • White S. ( 2004 )What Motivates Them? Adult Learners’ Perceptions of and Reasons for Engaging inLifelong Learning. New Zealand Journal Of Adult Learning. 32(2)