Qualitative and Quantitative Research Validity

So I spent a day or two really diving into attitudinal survey validity. Most of the research uses Cronbach’s alpha to determine reliability or validity. Many papers call for alphas .7 or greater to measure reliable or valid. During my qualitative course however, validity is found slightly different. I used saturation and member checking as proposed by Creswell (2007) as measures of validity that more commonly relate to statistical validity. After forming an analysis, I went back and sampled two individual students of whom were not included in the original analysis to see if what I observed and analyzed were true. Questioning during the interview process was very similar however, I had the ability to know more of what I was looking for as students described their experiences learning in the observed class. I was astonished at how well my observations and analyses matched during resampling. Though Creswell describes thick rich description as a way to produce validity, I used this more as a tool to prove robustness in my analysis methodology. Using the word validity in qualitative research is much different than in quantitative (Creswell, 2007). Perhaps the word understanding would be more appropriate for what most qualitative researchers view as reliability or validity.


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