Walden University Week 1 Qualitative Research Workshop Note on Weekly Workshops: This course has been designed as an ongoing workshop in which you and your

Walden University Week 1 Qualitative Research Workshop Note on Weekly Workshops: This course has been designed as an ongoing workshop in which you and your classmates work collaboratively to develop and refine your qualitative research plans. You may already be familiar with Discussion threads that focus on one topic and are limited to one week’s worth of commenting. In this course, in addition to participating in typical week-long Discussions, you will create a unique thread for your research question that will remain active throughout the course. You will return to this thread each week to post new content and refinements. Your classmates will all do the same. Your Instructor will also review and comment on your process.
As you build on your unique thread, you will also be asked to visit your classmates’ threads and share your perspective, advice, feedback, and critiques of their work. You and your classmates will be encouraged to use the Workshop threads as a sounding board for new ideas and for activity related to the formal weekly Workshop assignments. Keep in mind that the more you participate, the more you and your classmates will get out of the course experience.

In this week’s Workshop, you will introduce yourself to your classmates and reflect on where you are in the preparation for your capstone.

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In this Workshop you will describe the following:

The topic as your passion
Your topic as a research problem, purpose, and question as it stands right now
Challenges you are experiencing in developing a good research problem, purpose, and question (or, if you are happy with them, share the research problem, purpose and research question)

Use the “Litmus Test” document found in the Learning Resources to guide your self-reflection.

To prepare for this Workshop:

Review the criteria outlined in the research “Litmus Test,” which can be found in this week’s Learning Resources.
Review the qualitative checklist for Chapters 1 through 3. You can find the appropriate checklist in the Learning Resources through the links to the PhD dissertation program and EdD doctoral study web pages, as applicable to your program.

Create a unique Discussion thread for yourself. In the thread, submit your current prospectus and a brief reflection of your progress, including a proposed research question derived from your existing prospectus, as well as any changes and redirections you have identified.

Be sure to include responses to the following:

Reflect on how well your research problem meets the “Litmus Test.” At this point, you recognize that this is a work in progress, so identify what could be done to better reveal a research gap.
Summarize the skills and subject matter areas you will need to master to expertly respond to the qualitative checklist for Chapters 1 through 3.
Propose a research question to be developed throughout the rest of this course. Qualitative Dissertation Checklist

The following provides guidance for reporting on qualitative studies.
All items may not be relevant to your particular study; please consult with your chair for guidance.
The checklist items may not necessarily be in the order that works best for your dissertation. Please consult with your
committee; however, the checklist should work well in the absence of other considerations.
Instructions for Students:
o Indicate on the checklist the page number (use the actual document page number, not the MS Word pagination)
where the appropriate indicator is located.
o Respond to comments from the chair and/or URR comments in the comment history box. Do not delete previous
comments⎯just add your response and use some means to clearly identify your remarks (different

Instructions for the chair and/or URR
o Provide specific feedback in the comment history column. Do not delete previous comments⎯just add your
response and use some means to clearly identify your remarks (different font/bold/italics/color).
o If you made detailed comments on the draft (using track changes and comments), you can make reference to the
draft rather than restate everything in the checklist comment history section.
Date: (click here and type today’s date →)
Student’s Name:
Student ID (for office use only) -School: (click here and pull down to select school name →)
Committee Members’ Names:
University Research Reviewer
Front Matter
Checklist Items
Title [Insert Dissertation Title]
Most important conceptual issue
Comment History
Qualitative tradition applied.
Participant group to which the
study applies.
Describe the research problem
and why it is important.
Identify the purpose of the study.
State the theoretical foundations
and/or conceptual frameworks, as
Summarize the key research
Describe, concisely, the overall
research design, methods, and
data analysis procedures.
Identify key results, conclusions,
and recommendations that
capture the heart of the research
(for the final study only).
Conclude with a statement on the
implications for positive social
Chapter 1
Checklist Items
Comment History
Describe the topic of the study,
why the study needs to be
conducted, and the potential
social implications of the study.
Preview major sections of the
Briefly summarize research
literature related to the scope of
the study topic.
Describe a gap in knowledge in
the discipline that the study will
End the section on why the study
is needed.
Problem Statement
State the research problem.
Provide evidence of consensus
that the problem is current,
relevant, and significant to the
Frame the problem in a way that
builds upon or counters previous
research findings focusing
primarily on research conducted
in the last 5 years.
Address a meaningful gap in the
current research literature.
Purpose of the study
Provide a concise statement that serves as the connection between the problem being addressed and the focus of the study and contains:
The research paradigm.
The intent of the study (such as
describe, compare, explore,
develop, etc).
The concept/phenomenon of
Research question(s)
State the research questions.
Theoretical and / or Conceptual Framework for the Study
(Studies must include either a theoretical foundation or a conceptual framework section (studies may include both))
Theoretical Foundation
Identify the theory or theories and
provide the origin or source.
State concisely the major
theoretical propositions and/or
major hypotheses with a
reference to more detailed
explanation in chapter 2.
Explain how the theory relates to
the study approach and research
Conceptual Framework
This applies to qualitative and some epidemiological studies (as well as some other quantitative studies)
Identify and define the
concept/phenomenon that
grounds the study.
Describe concisely the conceptual
framework (for qualitative studies,
the contextual lens; for
quantitative studies, description of
the body of research that supports
the need for the study) as derived
from the literature with more
detailed analysis in chapter 2.
State the logical connections
among key elements of the
framework with a reference to a
more thorough explanation in
chapter 2.
State how the framework relates
to the study approach and key
research questions as well as
instrument development and data
analysis where appropriate.
Nature of the study
Provide a concise rationale for
selection of the design/tradition.
Briefly describe the key concept
and / or phenomenon being
Briefly summarize the
methodology (from whom and
how data are collected and how
data will be analyzed).
Provide concise definitions of key
concepts or constructs.
Define terms used in the study
that have multiple meanings (e.g.,
socioeconomic status, educator,
health service professional, etc.).
Do not include common terms or
terms that can easily be looked up
in a dictionary
Include citations that identify
support in the professional
literature for the definition or
operational definition.
Clarify aspects of the study that
are believed but cannot be
demonstrated to be true. Include
only those assumptions that are
critical to the meaningfulness of
the study
Describe the reasons why the
assumption(s) was/were
necessary in the context of the
Scope and Delimitations
Describe specific aspects of the
research problem that are
addressed in the study and why
the specific focus was chosen.
Define the boundaries of the
study by identifying populations
included and excluded and
theories/conceptual frameworks
most related to the area of study
that were not investigated.
Address potential transferability.
Describe limitations of the study
related to design and / or
methodological weaknesses
(including issues related to
limitations of transferability and
Describe any biases that could
influence study outcomes and
how they are addressed.
Describe reasonable measures to
address limitations .
Identify potential contributions of
the study that advance knowledge
in the discipline. This is an
elaboration of what the problem
Identify potential contributions of
the study that advance practice
and/or policy (as applicable).
Describe potential implications for
positive social change that are
consistent with and bounded by
the scope of the study.
Summarize main points of the
Provide transition to chapter 2.
Checklist Items
Pg /NA
Comment History
Restate the problem and the
Provide a concise synopsis of the
current literature that establishes
the relevance of the problem.
Preview major sections of the
Literature Search Strategy
List accessed library databases
and search engines used.
List key search terms and
combinations of search terms
(with more detailed search terms
located in an appendix if
Describe the iterative search
process by explaining what terms
were used in what database to
identify germane scholarship.
In cases where there is little
current research, and few(if any)
dissertations and/or conference
proceedings, describe how this
was handled.
Theoretical Foundation (as appropriate)
Name the theory or theories.
Provide origin or source of the
Describe major theoretical
propositions and/or major
hypotheses, including delineation
of any assumptions appropriate to
the application of the theory.
Provide a literature and research
based analysis of how the theory
has been applied previously in
ways similar to the current study.
Provide the rationale for the
choice of this theory.
Describe how and why the
selected theory relates to the
present study and how the
research questions relate to,
challenge, or build upon existing
Conceptual Framework (As appropriate)
Identify and define the
Synthesize primary writings by
key theorists, philosophers, and /
or seminal researchers related to
the concept or phenomenon.
Provide key statements and
definitions inherent in the
Describe how the concept or
phenomenon has been applied
and articulated in previous
research and how the current
study benefits from this
Literature Review Related to Key Variables and/or Concepts
Provide an exhaustive review of the current literature that includes the following information:
Describe studies related to the
constructs of interest and chosen
methodology and methods that
are consistent with the scope of
the study.
Describe ways researchers in the
discipline have approached the
problem and the strengths and
weakness inherent in their
Justify from the literature the
rationale for selection of the
variables or concepts.
Review and synthesize studies
related to the key concepts and/or
phenomena under investigation to
produce a description of what is
known about them, what is
controversial, and what remains
to be studied.
Review and synthesize studies
related to the research questions
and why the approach selected is
Summary and Conclusions
Concisely summarize major
themes in the literature.
Summarize what is known as well
as what is not known in the
discipline related to the topic of
Describe how the present study
fills at least one of the gaps in the
literature and will extend
knowledge in the discipline.
Provide transitional material to
connect the gap in the literature to
the methods described in chapter
Checklist Items
Pg /NA
Comment History
Restate study purpose as
described in chapter 1.
Preview major sections of the
Research Design and Rationale
Restate research questions
exactly as described in chapter 1.
State and define central
concept(s) / phenomenon (a) of
the study.
Identify the research tradition.
Provide rationale for the chosen
Role of the Researcher
Define and explain your role as
observer, participant, or observerparticipant.
Reveal any personal and
professional relationships
researcher may have with
participants, with emphasis on
supervisory or instructor
relationships involving power over
the participants.
State how any researcher biases
and / or power relationships are or
will be managed.
Other ethical issues as applicable
(these could include doing a study
within one’s own work
environment, conflict of interest or
power differentials, and
justification for use of incentives)
and the plan for addressing these
(needs to be described in sufficient depth so that other researchers can replicate the study)
Participant Selection Logic
Identify the population (if
Identify and justify the sampling
State the criterion/a on which
participant selection is based.
Establish how participants are
known to meet the criterion/a.
State number of participants /
cases and the rationale for that
Explain specific procedures for
how participants will be identified,
contacted, and recruited.
Describe the relationship between
saturation and sample size.
Identify each data collection
instrument and source
(observation sheet, interview
protocol, focus group protocol,
video-tape, audio-tape, artifacts,
archived data, and other kinds of
data collection instruments).
Identify source for each data
collection instrument (published or
researcher produced).
If historical or legal documents
are used as a source of data,
demonstrate the reputability of the
sources and justify why they
represent the best source of data.
Establish sufficiency of data
collection instruments to answer
research questions.
For published data collection instruments
Who developed the instrument
and what is the date of
Where and with which participant
group has it been used
How appropriate is it for current
study (that is, context and cultural
specificity of
protocols/instrumentation) and
whether modifications will be or
were needed?
Describe how content validity will
be or was established.
Address any context- and culturespecific issues specific to the
population while developing the
For researcher-developed instruments
Basis for instrument development
(Literature sources, other bases
(such as pilot study).
Describe how content validity will
be / was established.
Establish sufficiency of data
collection instruments to answer
the research questions.
Procedures For Pilot Studies (as appropriate
Include all procedures for
recruitment, participation, and
data collection associated with the
pilot study and the main study.
Describe the relationship of the
pilot study to the main study (e.g.,
what is the purpose of the pilot
Include the IRB approval number
(completed dissertation).
Procedures For Recruitment,
Participation, and Data
Collection (for students
collecting their own data)
For each data collection
instrument and research question,
provide details of data collection.
• From where data will be
• Who will collect the data?
• Frequency of data collection
• Duration of data collection
• How data will be recorded?
• Follow-up plan if recruitment
results in too few participants.
Explain how participants exit the
study (for example, debriefing
Describe any follow-up
procedures (such as requirements
to return for follow-up interviews).
Data Analysis Plan
For each type of data collected
▪ Connection of data to a
specific research question.
▪ Type of and procedure for
▪ Any software used for
▪ Manner of treatment of
discrepant cases.
Issues of Trustworthiness
Credibility (internal validity):
Describe appropriate strategies to
establish credibility, such as
triangulation, prolonged contact,
member checks, saturation,
reflexivity, and peer review.
Transferability (external validity):
Describe appropriate strategies to
establish transferability, such as
thick description and variation in
participant selection.
Dependability (the qualitative
counterpart to reliability): Describe
appropriate strategies to establish
dependability, such as audit trails
and triangulation.
Confirmability (the qualitative
counterpart to objectivity):
Describe appropriate strategies to
establish confirmability, such as
Intra- and intercoder reliability
(where applicable).
Ethical Procedures
Agreements to gain access to
participants or data (include
actual documents in the IRB
Describe the treatment of human
participants including the following
(include actual documents in the
Institutional Review Board (IRB)

permissions, including IRB
approvals that are needed
(proposal) or were obtained
(for the completed
dissertation, include relevant
IRB approval numbers).

Ethical concerns
related to recruitment
materials and processes and
a plan to address them.

Ethical concerns
related to data
activities (these could include
participants refusing
participation or early
withdrawal from the study and
response to any predicable
adverse events) and a plan to
address them.
Describe treatment of data
(including archival data), including
issues of:
• Whether data are anonymous
or confidential and any
concerns related to each.

Protections for
confidential data (data
storage procedures, data
dissemination, who will have
access to the data, and when
data will be destroyed).
Other ethical issues as applicable
(these issues could include doing
a study within one’s own work
environment; conflict of interest or
power differentials; and
justification for use of incentives).
Summary of main points of the
Transition to chapter 4.
Chapter 4
Checklist Items
Pg /NA
Comment History
Review briefly the purpose and
research questions.
Preview chapter organization.
Pilot Study (If Applicable)
Describe the conduct of the pilot
Report any impact of the pilot
study on the main study (for
example, changes in
instrumentation and /or data
analysis strategies).
Describe any personal or
organizational conditions that
influenced participants or their
experience at time of study that
may influence interpretation of the
study results (for example,
changes in personnel, budget
cuts, and other trauma).
Present participant demographics
and characteristics relevant to the
Data Collection
State number of participants from
whom each type of data were
Describe location, frequency, and
duration of data collection for
each data collection instrument.
Describe how the data were
Present any variations in data
collection from the plan presented
in chapter 3.
Present any unusual
circumstances encountered in
data collection.
Data Analysis
Report process used to move
inductively from coded units to
larger representations including
categories and themes.
Describe the specific codes,
categories, and themes that
emerged from the data using
quotations as needed to
emphasize their importance.
Describe qualities of discrepant
cases and how they were factored
into the analysis.
Evidence of Trustworthiness
Credibility: Describe
implementation of and / or
adjustments to credibility
strategies stated in chapter 3
Transferability: Describe
implementation of and / or
adjustments to transferability
strategies stated in chapter 3
Dependability: Describe
implementation of and / or
adjustment to consistency
strategies stated in chapter 3
Confirmability: Describe
implementation of and / or
adjustment to consistency
strategies stated in chapter 3.
Address each research question
(chapter may be organized by
research question or patterns or
Present data to support each
finding (quotes from transcripts,
documents, etc.).
Discuss discrepant cases/
nonconfirming data as applicable.
Include tables and figures to
illustrate results, as appropriate,
and per the current edition of the
Publication Manual of the
American Psychological
Summarize answers to research
Provide transition to chapter 5.
Checklist Items
Pg /NA
Comment History
Concisely reiterate the purpose
and nature of the study and why it
was conducted.
Concisely summarize key
Interpretation of the Findings
Describe in what ways findings
confirm, disconfirm, or extend
knowledge in the discipline by
comparing them with what has
been found in the peer-reviewed
literature described in chapter 2.
Analyze and interpret the findings
in the context of the theoretical
and/or conceptual framework, as
• Ensure interpretations do
not exceed the data,
findings, and scope.
Limitations of the Study
Describe the limitations to
trustworthiness that arose from
execution of the study. These
should be used to revise what
was written in chapter 1 for the
Describe recommendations for
further research that are
grounded in the strengths and
limitations of the current study as
well as the literature reviewed in
chapter 2.
• Ensure recommendations
do not exceed study
Positive Social Change
• Describe the potential impact
for positive social change at
the appropriate level
(individual, family,
organizational, and
• Ensure implications for social
change do not exceed the
study boundaries.
Describe methodological,
theoretical, and/or empirical
implications, as appropriate.
Describe recommendations for
practice, as appropriate.
Provide a strong “take home”
message that captures the key
essence of the study.
APA Form
Checklist Items
Citations and Referencing
All citations have been
crosschecked to ensure that there
are corresponding references
(and that there are no references
that do not have associated
All sources are cited correctly per
APA f…
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