"Qualitative Intercultural Assessment" 8 posts Sort by created date Sort by defined ordering View as a grid View as a list

On validity and reliability in Qualitative Research

When one is unfamiliar with qualitative research or when one is trained primarily in quantitative methods, qualitative methodologies may seem fuzzy, obscure and/or biased. Because of a societal focus on numerical or mega-data, it can also often be hard to make the case to upper administration that gathering and analyzing qualitative data is important to institutional research.  Below are links to a few articles that may assist the qualitative neophyte or the institutional researcher wanting to highlight (for example) student voices.

How is validity and reliability realized in qualitative research? (U. of Miami School of Education)

Myths and misconceptions about using qualitative methods in assessment (Harper & Kuh, 2007)

The use of scoring rubrics: validity, reliability and educational consequences (Jonsson & Svingby, 2007)

Is qualitative research more inclusive?  (Santorini, APA Trends Report, 2023)


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All the Rubrics Collection

Some researchers feel that a rubric is not, strictly speaking a qualitative research method. Rather, using a rubric is framework analysis, which is a quantified way of rapidly making sense of lots of textual or qualitative data. Others call it "an inherently comparative form of thematic analysis which employs an organized structure of inductively- and deductively-derived themes (i.e., a framework) to conduct cross-sectional analysis" --in other words, a qualitative methodology. Knowing about framework analysis may become important when you are submitting your research article to a journal that tends to favor quantitative analysis methods. (Look it up in Google Scholar or Web of Science for the latest on this debate.)

In the meantime, the above link will lead you to a collection of the rubrics curated into the HubICL.

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Virtual Exchange Qualitative Toolkit

This comprehensive qualitative toolkit includes a focus group protocol for measuring student satisfaction with a virtual exchange program (also often known as Collaborative Online Intercultural Learning, or COIL) as well as probing their learning outcomes and behavioral change. It also includes a question protocol for understanding one's collaborative partner's perspective(s) and a checklist for observation by an outside observer of a learning activity. Most of these tools would be very easily adapted for use with non-virtual or blended intercultural exchange programs.

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Transculturation Coding Scheme

Created by the Transcultural Pedagogical Research Group, a team of Purdue doctoral students who have all gone on to tenure-track glory, this coding system, which includes examples, stands as a shining way to make sense of qualitative data as revealed in students' efforts to become better writers while working together across cultural differences.

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Intercultura Assessment Protocol

In addition to English and Italian versions of the Rubrica Valutativa della Competenzia Interculturale (see HubICL Tool #467), this toolkit contains a reflection logbook for students, guidelines for a student's capstone presentation about the intercultural learning experience, and a teacher checklist (rubric) for evaluating the presentation. All items available in either English or Italian.


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Focus Group Questions for Study Abroad Returnees

This focus group protocol (question set) was developed to probe the learning outcomes of engineering students who have completed junior year abroad programs; it asks open-ended questions about language skills, intercultural skills, engineering skills and professional skills. Questions can be found in the appendix of the article, between the conclusion and the references. The article exists behind a scholarly paywall, so log-in via a scholarly library account if possible.

Otherwise, a similar focus group protocol, somewhat less engineering-focused but open-source, may be found on the website of the University of Minnesota's Learning Abroad Center.

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Methods Guide: How to run a focus group

While conducting a focus group can appear very similar to sitting around and chatting about something, there are guidelines that make it more effective, valid and reliable as research.  The attached methods guide from the University of Reading (United Kingdom) is a good short introduction and suggests further readings. CILMAR's assessment expert is also very fond of the Focus Group Interviewing website  (and books!) of Drs. Richard A. Krueger & Mary Anne Casey, who have over 40 years of experience & with whom she considers herself extremely fortunate to have studied.

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Focus Group Questions for Global Leadership Development

This article, published by Beatty and Manning-Ouellette in 2022, explores short-term study abroad as a leadership development opportunity.  Notable for its integration of leadership development theory with intercultural development theory, it includes the full focus group protocol (question set) used by the authors on the 6th page of the article. It also includes a good example of how to discuss the validity and reliability of this type of data, when publishing.

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