Chapter 2Comprehending Key Concepts in Quantitative and QualitativeResearchSTATEMENT OF INTENTThe purpose of Chapter 2 is to provide students with some basicgroundwork for comprehending the remainder of the textbook. Thefocus here is to acquaint students with basic research terminology andconcepts that recur throughout the text. Students’ firm grounding inthis terminology should help them to grasp more complexmethodologic concepts later in the book. The chapter distinguishesterms used by qualitative and quantitative researchers, for example,subjectversusinformant. A chart summarizing differences interminology is included.As noted in Chapter 1, this edition is more squarely focused thanprevious ones on the need to develop sound evidence for nursingpractice. Thus, this chapter also introduces students to some of themajor challenges of designing and implementing research, as a meansof alerting them early on that there is a lot to think about in doing astudy and that the researcher’s decisions can make a difference to thequality of evidence the study yields. For example, the issue ofbiasisdiscussed, and criteria for evaluating the rigor of a study (validity andreliability in quantitative research and trustworthiness in qualitativeresearch) are briefly noted.Students often struggle to understand the difference betweenindependent and dependent variables. This distinction is crucial, andyou should emphasize the importance of understanding the distinction.In this edition, several classroom exercises are proposed to helpreinforce the concepts. Hopefully, students will not go on to otherIM2-1

chapters of this book until they are totally comfortable with theseconcepts.SPECIAL CLASS PROJECTS1. Assign one group of students to be the “independent variable” (IV)group and have them jointly prepare a list of 5 to 10 possibleindependent variables. Assign another group of students to be the“dependent variable” (DV) group, and have them prepare a list of 5to 10 possible “outcomes” or dependent variables. (If relevant, havethem think of variables relating to their current clinical work). Inclass, have the IV group challenge the DV group to think of as manyDVs or outcomes for each IV on their list within a 30-second period.Then have the DV group challenge the IV group to think of as many“causes” or “influences” for each DV on their list within a 30-secondperiod. The team with the most plausible answers wins. (If studentscannot agree on what is plausible, or if there are many nonplausibleanswers, use this as the basis for a classroom discussion.)2.As a variant on exercise 1, here are 10 variables that could be eitherindependent or dependent variables:

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Have half the class be the IV group and the other half be the DV group. Challenge thetwo groups to come up with as many independent variables (IV group) and dependentvariables (DV group) for each of these variables within a 30-second time frame. Theteam with the highest number of plausible answers wins.

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Term

Spring

Professor

Jane Katz

Tags

Qualitative Research, researcher