Faith Communities Study Logo

Faith Communities Study Logo
Faith Communities Study Logo

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Research update #10: Qualitative research training

After another long hiatus, we finally have another update for you! The life of a tenure-track professor is complicated, and sometimes projects fall to the "wayside" when there is not a set deadline or pressure from an external source. So, in order to inject new "life" into the analysis of this project, I decided to attend a workshop on a particular research method. The method is in the family of methods called qualitative methods. These methods are different than quantitative methods in that they focus more on the words and the qualities of what someone said, rather than counting up the number of times someone said something, or giving a score to someone's input based on a survey or a questionnaire. We chose qualitative methods for this project because we felt it was the best way to honor the unique stories that we knew we would hear from you all.

The workshop is offered by a company called ResearchTalk. The session I (Megan) attended was here: I am grateful for this workshop because it gave me time to step back from other demands and just sit with the interview transcripts from your interviews and start to sift through them to find the meaningful themes and results. I look forward to sharing some preliminary results soon!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Research update #9: Data cleaning and preparation

Well, after a busy summer, we are back at it with this study. As of now, we are cleaning and prepping the transcripts of all 30 interviews, then our next step will be to conduct initial coding using the grounded theory techniques of Charmaz. Stay tuned for our next update, when we'll share what emerging themes develop from our analysis of the data!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Research update #8: Data collection complete!

We are excited to announce that we have completed all of our interviews! We did a total of 30, from a wide range of backgrounds. Thank you for sharing your stories with us, it was our pleasure to talk to you! Next step is analysis, which we'll be working on this summer. Stay tuned for what we learn from the data!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Research update #7: Resuming interviews

Hello everyone! We have finished with the initial analyses, and we are pleased with the direction of the study thus far. We are resuming interviews, and will complete the remainder of the interviews before the end of April. We have about 15 more to complete. Again, thank you for your participation, and your interest in this important topic!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Research update #6: Initial analyses underway

For those of you who are research savvy, and qualitative research savvy in particular, you might recognize the term "grounded theory." In this study, we are using Charmaz (2006)'s version of grounded theory. Part of this method involves taking time out during the beginning phases of your data collection to look at the data that you have thus far, and doing what is called "initial coding." Initial coding is basically making a line-by-line summary of what the participant said. It is useful because it keeps the researcher close to the data and using the participant's terms rather than using the researcher's own pre-conceived ideas about the topic under investigation.

So, we have conducted 10 interviews to date, and have transcribed them all. We are now going to do the initial coding process and discover what our data tells us thus far. Once we do that, we'll do another "round" of interviews (probably 10 at a time) to do more digging into the topic. The benefit of doing this "pause and reflect" method is that it gives the researcher the opportunity to revise her interview questions, or to explore a particular topic with future participants. It can help focus the data collection into more meaningful stories. This is essentially what an "emergent design" is intended to do. It helps the researcher see what meaning emerges from the data, and to follow that emergent meaning in subsequent data collection.

We'll post another update once we have completed the initial coding, and start up interviews again! Thanks for staying tuned!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Research Update #5: Interviews starting

We are now in the phase of contacting a handful of people with whom to conduct in-depth interviews. We will select about 30 people out of the 163 who participated in phase 1 (the survey). So, you may or may not hear from us, but if you do, we look forward to speaking with you! We are excited about getting underway with this phase of the research, and look forward to hearing your stories! Thank you for your interest in our research, and we will update the blog again periodically as the study moves forward.


Monday, February 1, 2016

Research Update #4: Survey closed

Greetings! The open period for the initial survey is now closed. We are happy to report that over 225 people responded, and we're excited to move into the next phase of this research! Thank you to each of you for your support along the way. We'll keep you updated on the next steps as they come.