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Title: Qualitative Research Quality: A Collaborative Inquiry Across Multiple Methodological Perspectives
Abstract Background

The field of engineering education research is adopting an increasingly diverse range of qualitative methods. These developments necessitate a coherent language and conceptual framework to critically engage with questions of qualitative research quality.


This article advances discussions of qualitative research quality through sharing and analyzing a methodologically diverse, practice‐based exploration of research quality in the context of five engineering education research studies.


As a group of seven engineering education researchers, we drew on the collaborative inquiry method to systematically examine questions of qualitative research quality in our everyday research practice. We used a process‐based, theoretical framework for research quality as the anchor for these explorations.


We constructed five practice explorations spanning grounded theory, interpretative phenomenological analysis, and various forms of narrative inquiry. Examining the individual contributions as a whole yielded four key insights: quality challenges require examination from multiple theoretical lenses; questions of research quality are implicitly infused in research practice; research quality extends beyond the objects, procedures, and products of research to concern the human context and local research setting; and research quality lies at the heart of introducing novices to interpretive research.


This study demonstrates the potential and further need for the engineering education community to advance methodological theory through purposeful and reflective engagement in research practice across the diverse methodological approaches currently being adopted.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Engineering Education
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 398-430
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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