Discussion: Participant Selection
Recall from your previous research classes that creating a sample for a qualitative study is guided by very different principles than for those that guide quantitative study.
To prepare for this Discussion:
- There are â€œrules of thumbâ€ that guide each qualitative approach. Review Pattonâ€™s chapter on sampling types, and study sampling strategies in research articles on the approach you have chosen.
- Review the articles on data saturation and theoretical saturation, and consider which criteria you will follow to estimate â€œhow many.â€ Remember, in qualitative research, one case can be enough. If your phenomenon is complex or you are interested in a range of experiences, then you will need more cases.
- Reflect on your research problem and question. What are the essential characteristics of participants that you want to recruit?
By Day 3
Prepare a Discussion post in which you address the following:
- Present the most current version of your research question and state the phenomenon of interest.
- Describe the criteria for inclusion and exclusion.
- Describe in detail the choices for sample size, data saturation, and theoretical saturation. Justify your choices with citations of research studies that use the same strategy and/or of methodological articles that describe the rationale.
- Put yourself in the participantâ€™s position, and consider the assurances you would want to hear to ensure that your privacy is respected and that your identity will not be revealed when the study is published. Include those assurances in your invitation.