User research is a core element of the work in the Study, in whatever form: in-depth interviews, online questionnaires, think aloud tests, focus group … In any case, the important thing is to focus the objectives well and not waste time, neither the researcher nor the people who attend the sessions or participate remotely. That also supposes a loss of money and the possibility of obtaining wrong conclusions. We have already talked in this blog of the importance of making a good recruitment of users and also of the need to adjust the research to the needs and requirements of the client, designing tailored plans for each product – digital or physical – that is tested and investigate.
Through qualitative research methods we cannot measure a reality in a completely objective way and without any minimal influence of the researcher, but it is necessary to use these procedures to explore how the world looks from the perspectives of the participants, as well as our interpretation of these tests.
During the information gathering phase of the subjects’ complete discourses, to proceed later to the interpretation, analysing the relationships of meaning that are produced in a certain culture or ideology. The qualitative study takes the point of view of such people who are usually ignored by the society. Qualitative study online have several advantages, some of which are given below:
- Qualitative research methodology provides more independence to the researcher because it focuses more on subtleties on collected data and less on its metrics
- It allows greater freedom of expression: the interviewee feels more free to give an authentic answer since it is not influenced by a group. For example, this type of study is ideal for dealing with sensitive topics or simply preserving anonymity
- The research framework is based on the available data which makes the research process more fluid. However, if the researcher feels that the collected data is not providing the required information, he can easily change gears and try to collect data from some other source
- The data collected in qualitative research is based on people’s perception and opinion. Thus, it is the data which is dependent on participants’ observation and personal experiences
- The administrator may have the opportunity to effectively manage when respondents can intervene. He can re-launch the debate by presenting targeted interactive animations (photos, videos, sounds …) to the participants
- The Internet frees itself from the constraints of time and distance. It allows you to interview people who are geographically dispersed, hard to find or have little motivation to move. On the other hand, the targets must necessarily be connected to the web. For your qualitative online study, you can gather people in focus groups chat (group meetings live) while maintaining a dynamic group
- You can set up forum type discussions with different groups during the period that suits you (Bulletin Board)
- It is possible to trade privately with a respondent or to ban someone who disturbs the qualitative study
- The research process of qualitative research is open ended which makes the process more fluid and easy to follow
- Since it is done online, the cost of sending and collecting the qualitative study is reduced
- Monitoring and collection of responses is faster and easier with data processing tools developed by companies specializing in data implementation and data collection.
The major advantage of “process-product” approaches is that they have highlighted the important role of teacher practice in student progression and identified variables considered as effective. On the other hand, the analyses in these approaches ignore the context of achievement of the teacher’s behaviours and consider that the teaching practice is reducible to certain behaviours.
Indeed, this approach restrict teaching practices to a limited number of variables and give only “an explanation in terms of linear causality”, i.e. that a cause (teaching) causes an effect (learning). In this sense, it is necessary to specify that not all student learning is attributable to the teaching received in class.
In addition to all the above mentioned advantages, qualitative research has some disadvantages also.
First of all the data collected through qualitative research methods are highly subjective. Hence the result of the research is based much on the researcher. It is possible that one thing which is important for one researcher might not be much valuable for the other researcher
The findings of the qualitative research are more valuable; however it is not easy to present these findings.
Another limitation of these approaches is that the role played by the student in teaching-learning is not taken into account.
Finally, another disadvantage of the results obtained by these approaches lies in their use and their generalization. Indeed, “it may be hoped that the application of the so-called effective modality will be generalized, but it remains to question the conditions of this application (ecological validity)”. Thus, the statistical validity of the results does not give them practical validity.