• Introductory workshops

    A quick introduction to the analysis of questionnaire data

    John Richardson, Open University, UK

    This workshop is intended for ISL participants with little or no formal background in the analysis of quantitative data. It will cover:

    • measurement scales
    • central tendency and variability
    • association and correlation
    • reliability
    • factor analysis

    These topics will be illustrated with reference to data obtained using inventories on student learning.

    Manageable and creative ways of evaluating

    Glynis Cousin, University of Warwick, UK

    This workshop is about exploring creative ways of undertaking formative or summative evaluation methods. Through presentation, practical exercises and discussion, the workshop will attempt to do this by addressing:

    • the stance of the evaluator and purposes of evaluation
    • quantitative and qualitative data for evaluation
    • naturally arising and easily reachable data
    • generating thick descriptions for evaluation
    • playful forms of evaluation

    Ethnographic methodology in higher education research: why, how and with what results?

    Duna Sabri, University of Oxford, UK

    This workshop will take as its starting point an examination of the questions that have been researched in higher education through ethnographic methodology. Having delineated some of the features of those questions and the theoretical concepts that underlie their formation we will then consider how participants' own research questions could be framed for ethnographic research. We will finish by looking at the problems and possibilities of conducting ethnographic research, and in particular, explore the role of the researcher as ‘an instrument’ of research and the implications for validity. A further question to consider is what it would mean to construct ethnographically-informed studies that are feasible for those of us who do not have the resources to conduct full-time long-term ethnographies.

    The workshop is aimed at those who are interested in exploring the potential value of ethnographic methods for research questions that they have pursued through other methodologies; and wish to develop their thinking about how they might use ethnographic methods.

    Diversity, inclusivity and equality: revisiting critical issues for the widening participation agenda

    Louise Archer, Institute for Policy Studies in Education, London Metropolitan University, UK

    This workshop will discuss issues relating to qualitative research with ‘diverse’ groups. It aims to help participants consider the range of practical, ethical, political and conceptual issues involved in such research.

    Participants will be invited to consider how issues around ethnicity/race, social class and gender are important considerations throughout the research process and the group will explore a range of strategies through which such concerns might be addressed.

    Themes for discussion will be developed within the workshop in response to participants’ own research interests, but these might include:

    • Constructing appropriate research designs
    • Addressing issues around access/ sampling
    • The choice and role of the researcher (‘matching’ or researching up/across?)
    • Attending to social differences through analysis
    • Authorship, power and control
    • Developing ‘real’ partnerships

    Illustrations will be provided from the facilitator’s own research with British Muslim young men and women, British Chinese young people and ethnically diverse, working class HE students and ‘non-participants’.