Rad Resource –The focus of my blog is applying qualitative methods in real life situations. As evaluators, most of us have taken a course or two on the “How To’s” of conducting qualitative studies, but actually pulling it off in the field is usually another story. I write from my own experiences and occasionally feature interviews I’ve conducted with other qualitative researchers. My blog is the only one I’m aware of that focuses exclusively on qualitative methods. On average, I publish two articles per month.
Hot Tips – favorite posts: I blog about a variety of qualitative methods—two-person interviews, telephone focus groups, evaluation stories, etc.—but also explore the universal aspects of qualitative methods—everything from information-rich sampling to reverence in qualitative work. Here are a few examples:
- David Morgan on the Two-person Interview: I’m lucky enough to share the same city with qualitative expert, Dr. David Morgan of PSU. This blog features an interview I conducted with David on his two-person interview methodology.
- Using Excel for Qualitative Data Analysis: This is the blog post that generates the most traffic. It includes links to a PowerPoint and handouts I developed on the topic.
- Great Student Stories and Great Student Stories, Part Two: This two-part series describes in detail how I developed a story-telling evaluation strategy to help a school district demonstrate hard-to-measure outcomes.
- Reverence in Qualitative Work: This is my favorite blog. Maybe it’s because, in writing it, I uncover what t I really love about being a qualitative researcher.
Lessons Learned – why I blog: I started blogging a little over a year ago right after seeing the movie, Julie and Julia, and haven’t stopped since. I was inspired by Julie’s fervor to blog about her latest creation no matter how tired she was at the end of the day. It’s the same for me. When you’re passionate about something, blogging about it becomes a compulsion (for me and Julie anyway!).
Lessons Learned – a public service: Although, my undercurrent to blogging is marketing my services, that’s not my primary purpose. I want to share what I’ve learned with students, new researchers and others who I think may benefit from my experience. There’s so much about implementing qualitative strategies that can’t be taught from a textbook or in a classroom.
Lessons Learned – continuous learning: Blogging allows me to have a more examined practice—one in which I can discover what it is I’m actually thinking and to unpack what I intuitively do. It also stimulates me to read and talk to others more, which causes me to learn more.
This winter, we’re running a series highlighting evaluators who blog. 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 email@example.com. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.