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Evaluation: Qualitative Methods

Qualitative research methods are designed to provide insight about aspects of daily life. The goal is typically to identify how members of a particular group collaborate to make meaning of the world around them, or at least some portion of that world. For example, a qualitative researcher might explore how members of a medical ethics board negotiate what is most important in the context of their work. This might involve observing board meetings, studying the e-mails members send to each other, interviewing participants, and noting how the participants dress, behave, arrange their environment, and so on. The researcher might even be part of the ethics board and reflect on the experience from that angle. As this example shows, qualitative research is not defined by one ...

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