The methods of field research include: direct observation, participant observation, and qualitative interviews. Each of these methods is described here. Terms related to these and other topics in field research are defined in the Research Glossary. Direct Observation Qualitative Interviews Direct Observation Direct observation is a method of research where the researcher watches and records the activities of individuals or groups engaged in their daily activities.
The observations may be unstructured or structured. Observations are recorded holistically and without the aid of a predetermined guide or protocol. Structured observation, on the other hand, is a technique where a researcher observes people and events using a guide or set protocol that has been developed ahead of time. Other features of direct observation include: The observer does not actively engage the subjects of the study in conversations or interviews, but instead strives to be unobtrusive and detached from the setting.
Data collected through direct observation may include field notes, checklists and rating scales, documents, and photographs or video images. Direct observation is not necessarily an alternative to other types of field methods, such as participant observation or qualitative interviews.
Rather, it may be an initial approach to understanding a setting, a group of individuals, or forms of behavior prior to interacting with members or developing interview protocols. Direct observation as a research method is most appropriate in open, public settings where anyone has a right to be or congregate. Conducting direct observation in private or closed settings -- without the knowledge or consent of members -- is more likely to raise ethical concerns.
Participant Observation Participant observation is a field research method whereby the researcher develops an understanding of a group or setting by taking part in the everyday routines and rituals alongside its members. It was originally developed in the early 20th century by anthropologists researching native societies in developing countries.
It is now the principal research method used by ethnographers -- specialists within the fields of anthropology and sociology who focus on recording the details of social life occurring in a setting, community, group, or society. The ethnographer, who often lives among the members for months or years, attempts to build trusting relationships so that he or she becomes part of the social setting. As the ethnographer gains the confidence and trust of the members, many will speak and behave in a natural manner in the presence of the ethnographer.
Data from participant observation studies can take several forms: Field notes are the primary type of data. Frequently, researchers keep a diary, which is often a more intimate, informal record of the happenings within the setting. The practice of participant observation, with its emphasis on developing relationships with members, often leads to both informal, conversational interviews and more formal, in-depth interviews.
The data from these interviews can become part of field notes or may consist of separate interview transcripts. There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to direct and participant observation studies. Here is a list of some of both. While the advantages and disadvantages apply to both types of studies, their impact and importance may not be the same across the two.
For example, researchers engaged in both types of observation will develop a rich, deep understanding of the members of the group and the setting in which social interactions occur, but researchers engaged in participant observation research may gain an even deep understanding.
And, participant observers have a greater chance of witnessing a wider range of behaviors and events than those engaged in direct observation. Advantages of observation studies observational research : Provide contextual data on settings, interactions, or individuals. A useful tool for generating hypotheses for further study. Source of data on events and phenomena that do not involve verbal interactions e. The researcher develops a rich, deep understanding of a setting and of the members within the setting.
Disadvantages of observation studies: Behaviors observed during direct observation may be unusual or atypical. Significant interactions and events may take place when observer is not present. Certain topics do not necessarily lend themselves to observation e.
Reliability of observations can be problematic, especially when multiple observers are involved. The researcher must devote a large amount of time and resources. The researcher's objectivity may decline as he or she spends more time among the members of the group. The researcher may be faced with a dilemma of choosing between revealing and not revealing his or her identity as a researcher to the members of the group.
On the other hand, if the researcher does not, they may feel betrayed upon learning about the research. Qualitative Interviews Qualitative interviews are a type of field research method that elicits information and data by directly asking questions of individuals. There are three primary types of qualitative interviews: informal conversational , semi-structured, and standardized, open-ended. Each is described briefly below along with advantages and disadvantages. Informal Conversational Interviews Frequently occur during participant observation or following direct observation.
The researcher begins by conversing with a member of the group of interest. As the conversation unfolds, the researcher formulates specific questions, often spontaneously, and begins asking them informally. Appropriate when the researcher wants maximum flexibility to pursue topics and ideas as they emerge during the exchange Advantages of informal interviewing: Allows the researcher to be responsive to individual differences and to capture emerging information.
Permits researcher to delve deeper into a topic and what key terms and constructs mean to study participants. Disadvantages of informal interviewing: May generate less systematic data, which is difficult to classify and analyze.
The researcher might not be able to capture everything that the interviewee is saying and therefore there is potential for important nuance or information to be lost. For example, the researcher might not have a tape recorder at that moment due to the spontaneous nature of these interviews. Quality of the information obtained depends on skills of the interviewer. Semi-Structured Interviews Prior to the interview, a list of predetermined questions or probes, also known as an interview guide, is developed so that each interviewee will respond to a similar series of questions and topics.
Questions are generally open-ended to elicit as much detail and meaning from the interviewee as possible. The researcher is free to pursue and probe other topics as they emerge during the interview. Advantages of semi-structured interviewing: Systematically captures data across interviewees. The researcher is able to rephrase or explain questions to the interviewee to ensure that everyone understands the questions the same way and probe follow-up a response so that an individual's responses are fully explored.
Interviewee is allowed the freedom to express his or her views in their own words. Disadvantages of semi-structured interviewing: Does not offer as much flexibility to respond to new topics that unfold during the interview as the informal interview. Responses to questions that have been asked in slightly different ways can be more difficult to compare and analyze.
Tuition only Tuition and stipend- Stipend only- What proportion of currently enrolled doctoral students in your program included in multiple categories if appropriate are currently supported by: Externally funded fellowships: Externally funded traineeships: Externally funded research assistantships: University funded teaching assistantships: University funded research assistantships: University funded tuition waivers, fellowships, or stipends: Averaged over the past three years, what are the average and minimum GRE scores for students accepted into the program?
In each of the last three academic years, how many students did you accept into your doctoral program, and how many enrolled? What percentage of the doctoral students in your program have individually assigned workspaces for their exclusive use? TAs RAs All students On average, how many courses per term is each graduate teaching assistant in the program expected to teach or assist a faculty member in teaching? With sole responsibility As an Assistant to a faculty member Which of the following apply to your doctoral program?
There is an organized program to help doctoral students improve their teaching skills. The program provides organized assistance to help doctoral students explore employment opportunities. List up to 5 institutions with which your program normally competes for graduate students: Institution 1 Institution 2- Institution 3 Institution 4 Institution 5 1 9.
Does your program collect data about employment outcomes for your graduates? Please list those interdisciplinary centers in which doctoral students from your program participate conduct research or teach. Your university has volunteered to participate in this pilot test to assist the National Research Council's study of the methodology used to assess doctoral programs.
Further information about the methodology study may be found at www7. This means that you either teach courses to doctoral students or supervise their dissertations. If this is not the case, please indicate that in question 1. This questionnaire provides information that will assist the study in a number of ways: licit will help us construct a pool from which to select raters for the reputational survey; 2 it will provide us enough information about you that we can collect data on grants, citations, and publications from other sources; and Hit will permit a statistical description of the faculty in the graduate program or programs with which you are affiliated.
Your answers will be treated as completely confidential by the National Research Council and will only be released as part of a statistical analysis. Program Identification a. Do you supervise dissertations, serve on doctoral committees, or teach graduate courses in a doctoral program? Do not list programs where you are an outside reader. For the articles and books that you have published in the past five years, please list what fields you have published in Table 1.
If you have a single publication that spans multiple fields, please indicate them and their fields in Table 2. Current Employment a. Department affiliation: b. Year first employed at current institution: tIf employment was not continuous, please list year of most recent appointment at this institution. Subfields of current research interest refer to "Taxonomy] with subfields : Subfield 1: Subfield 2: Subfield 3: g.
Do you consider part of your research to be interdisciplinary? Under what names or variants of your name have you published books or articles?
Prior Experience What was your status prior to your current position? Institution that conferred highest degree: c. Field of highest degree: Other: d. Year of highest degree: tPulldown List] To what extent does the field of your current research, teaching, or professional activities differ from the field of your highest degree? Demographic Information a.
Date of birth: b. Gender: c. Citizenship Male Female U. Permanent Resident Temporary Visa mmlddlyy d. Please provide your preferred e-mai! Thank you for your time. One innovation we are considering is adding student responses about the educational processes of the program. We believe that students' input is important to improving the quality of the educational experience. You have been selected to receive this questionnaire because you are a student who has completed over half of your doctoral program.
The assessment of research doctoral programs is conducted approximately every ten years and consists of a reputational survey of doctoral programs and the collection of data about doctoral faculty and students in fifty-four areas of study. This questionnaire will provide information that will assist the study in a number of ways: 1 it will provide a statistical description of students in your program; 2 it will provide information about practices in your program; and 3 it will help future students in the selection of graduate programs.
Individual answers will not be shared with faculty or administrators of your doctoral program except in aggregated form.
Year of enrollment in this doctoral program: B. Year you expect to receive your doctorate: C. Did you or will you receive a master's degree before this doctorate? Did you or will you receive a master's degree in your doctoral field as part of your training? During the course of your study for the Ph. What were your career goals at the time you entered graduate school? Check all that apply] U. What are your current career plans? Of the following sources of support, which have been your primary sources during your doctoral studies?
Check the three largest I. Program Characteristics A. Professional Development I. During your doctoral program have you received or will you receive instruction, practice or professional development training in: a. In your doctoral program did you have an opportunity to obtain teaching experience? Check the typets of teaching experience you have had: a. Program Environment 1. Does your program provide an annual or more frequent assessment of your progress?
Do you receive timely feedback on your research! Do you have access to career advice covering a variety of employment sectors? If yes, are you encouraged to use it? Do you have one or more faculty members at your institution that you consider mentors i.
How would you rate the quality of teaching by faculty in your program? How would you rate the quality of your research experience? How would YOU rate the curriculum of your Ph. How would YOU rate the intellectual liveliness of your pro cram? Considering the overall intellectual environment of your university, how much do you fee! Infrastructure I. Does your program give you access to: a. Your own personal work space b. Other research facilities; if so, describe: 2. Does your program provide adequate space for interaction among students?
Are the library resources available to you adequate to support your research and education? Research productivity I. How many research presentations including poster presentations have you made at research conferences a.
How many research publications have you authored or co-authored during your cloctoral studies include pieces accepted for publication but not yet published? Refereed articles b. Book chapters c.What Is a Questionnaire Example? Awards are given to faculty for mentoring or other activities that promote scholarship of doctoral students. How would YOU rate the intellectual liveliness of your pro cram? What is the average annual research for acquisition of books. Structured observation, on the other hand, is a technique assignment of proceeds agreement and sample scales, documents, and photographs or video guide or set protocol that has been developed ahead of time. Data collected for direct questionnaire may include field notes, original version of this handout.
Responses to questions that have been asked in slightly different ways can be more difficult to compare and analyze. Do you supervise dissertations, serve on doctoral committees, or teach graduate courses in a doctoral program? For example, the researcher might not have a tape recorder at that moment due to the spontaneous nature of these interviews. How would YOU rate the intellectual liveliness of your pro cram? Averaged over the past three years, what are the average and minimum GRE scores for students accepted into the program? In listing programs, please refer to the attached taxonomy and answer for those programs that are present at your institution.
Questions are generally open-ended to elicit as much detail and meaning from the interviewee as possible. Such data often contain detailed, accurate measures of participation in various social programs. What is the average annual budget for acquisition of books? Limitations of Administrative Data Administrative data are collected to manage services and comply with government reporting regulations. Qualitative Interviews Qualitative interviews are a type of field research method that elicits information and data by directly asking questions of individuals. How many awards have you received?
Under what names or variants of your name have you published books or articles?
Does your program provide an annual or more frequent assessment of your progress?
Background information A. Did you attend graduate school prior to enrollment in the above Ph.
Does the university provide childcare facilities that are available to graduate students? What Is a Questionnaire Example? The researcher is free to pursue and probe other topics as they emerge during the interview. Of the following sources of support, which have been your primary sources during your doctoral studies? Year first employed at current institution: tIf employment was not continuous, please list year of most recent appointment at this institution. The assessment of research doctoral programs is conducted approximately every ten years and consists of a reputational survey of doctoral programs and the collection of data about doctoral faculty and students in fifty-four areas of study.
Employment and Career Status a. Measurement error can pose a substantial challenge to analysts using administrative data. If you have a single publication that spans multiple fields, please indicate them and their fields in Table 2. The researcher begins by conversing with a member of the group of interest.
One, on laboratory space, applies only to the sciences including some social sciences.
Field Research Field research is a qualitative method of research concerned with understanding and interpreting the social interactions of groups of people, communities, and society by observing and interacting with people in their natural settings. Data from participant observation studies can take several forms: Field notes are the primary type of data. Reviews d.
Have your career goals changed since you received your Ph. Refereed articles b. Date of birth: b. For the articles and books that you have published in the past five years, please list what fields you have published in Table 1. Individual answers will not be shared with faculty or administrators of your doctoral program except in aggregated form.