Enid Schmidt on Three Free Qualitative Methods Resources to Elevate Your Inquiry

Friends and colleagues, I am Enid Schmidt and I have been conducting qualitative and quantitative research for over twenty years both as a consultant and as an internal evaluator. Ironically, I find that there are relatively few qualitative online resources, at least when compared to the myriad quantitative offerings. Here, I share three of my favorites and invite you to add your own via the comments section of this post on aea365.

Rad Resource – the Qualitative Report: The qualitative report is a “weekly online journal dedicated to qualitative research since 1990.” This open access online journal offers well researched articles that span the gamut of qualitative inquiry, including an extensive host of reviews of current qualitative texts. Bogged down by an awful search function, I recommend using the article index to get a feel for the journal’s scope.

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Rad Resource – the Listening Resource: I was introduced to Susan Eliot’s blog when she wrote about it on aea365 in December of 2011, back when it was called the Qualitative Research Blog. This is my “go-to” resource for ideas that I can apply immediately in my own work. You can tell that Susan is conducting qualitative research in her day to day practice and she offers grounded advice on how to improve the down and dirty doing of qualitative inquiry. Don’t miss the very useful set of free downloadable guides on everything from “Information Rich Sampling” to “Recording Focus Groups” that can be found on her Free Downloads page.


Rad Resource – Research Design Review: The counterpoint to the Listening Resource, RDR proclaims that “if it is not already obvious, this is not a how-to blog.” Authored by Margaret Roller, it asks the question “is it good research” and digs deep into research design of all types. Here, there is thoughtful examination of qualitative research, never giving it short-shrift to its quantitative cousin. Roller examines everything from bias and transparency to measurement error and meaning finding, and does so both articulately and succinctly.


Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

4 thoughts on “Enid Schmidt on Three Free Qualitative Methods Resources to Elevate Your Inquiry”

  1. I would like to (modestly) suggest resources about online interview research, including interviews using text-based, videochat/videoconference, web conference tools and/or virtual worlds/games. Both Online Interviews in Real Time and Cases in Online Interview Research are available as Kindle e-books on Amazon as well as from Sage Publications and other booksellers. Additional resources and information about free webinars etc. can be found on my website: http://www.vision2lead.com and at #einterview.

  2. Good resources, thanks Enid, FYI our consultancy Audience Dialogue has developed two unique qualitative research methods, one being a practical alternative to focus groups called consensus group method, you can learn more about them at the links below, may be of interest to blog readers and indeed, planners and evaluators everywhere. Look forward to your comments.

  3. Thanks Enid for your endorsement–I’m flattered! You’re right, I have been in the qualitative trenches a bit and have figured out a few things there. I have quite a list of experiences still to write about but I’d love to hear what folks are struggling with in the field. Maybe I can help.

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