Sampling and Collecting Quantitative and Qualitative Data
It is often not possible or practical to study an
entire population, so researchers draw samples from which they make inferences
about a population of interest. In quantitative research, where generalization
to a population is typically valued, a researcher’s ability to make such
inferences is only as good as the sampling strategy she or he uses to obtain
the sample. Once an appropriate sample has been obtained, data collection
should involve valid and reliable measures to ensure confidence in the results,
as well as the ability to generalize the research outcomes. Although
generalization is typically not a goal in qualitative research, sampling is
just as important in qualitative and mixed methods research, as is obtaining
reliable and valid results. Indeed, for quantitative, qualitative, and mixed
methods research, sampling strategies and accurate data collection methods are
critical aspects of the research process.
Specific methods of data collection (e.g., surveys,
interviews, observations) produce specific types of data that will answer
particular research questions, but not others; so here too, as covered in
previous weeks, the research questions inform how the data will be obtained.
Furthermore, the method used to collect the data may impact the
reliability and the validity of that data.
For this Discussion, you will first consider
sampling strategies. Then, you will turn your attention to data collection
methods, including their strengths, limitations, and ethical implications.
Last, you will consider measurement reliability and validity in the context of
With these thoughts in mind, if your last name
starts with A through L, use Position A. If your last name starts with M
through Z, use Position B.
Assigned Position A: Probability sampling represents the best
strategy for selecting research participants.
Position B: Nonprobability (or purposive)
sampling represents the best strategy for selecting research participants.
By Day 4
Post a restatement of your assigned position on
sampling strategies. Defend your position with examples and support from the
scholarly literature. Next, select a data collection method and briefly explain
its strengths and limitations. Then, identify a potential ethical issue with
this method and describe a strategy to address it. Last, explain the
relationship between measurement reliability and measurement validity using an
example from your discipline.
- Journal Article:Teddlie, C., & Yu, F. (2007). Mixed methods sampling: A typology with examples.Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 1(1), 77–100. doi: 10.1177/2345678906292430
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
- Journal Article:Onwuegbuzie, A. J., & Collins, K. M. (2007). A typology of mixed methods sampling designs in social science research.The Qualitative Report, 12(2), 281–316. Retrieved fromhttp://academicguides.waldenu.edu/researchcenter/dataresources
Download the “Sources of Data for Research: A Research Primer” document.
- Website:Walden University: Center for Research Quality. (2015d). Research resources: Walden University participant pool. Retrieved fromhttp://academicguides.waldenu.edu/researchcenter/resources/participantpool
- Website:Walden University. (2015a). How do I find an article that reports on research that uses a specific methodology? Retrieved fromhttp://academicanswers.waldenu.edu/faq/72633
- Website:Walden University: Writing Center. (2015). Common course assignments: Annotated bibliographies. Retrieved fromhttp://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/assignments/annotatedbibliographies
- Price, S. (2015). Annotated bibliographies [Online webinar]. Retrieved fromhttps://waldencss.adobeconnect.com/p7d6uqxv8g3?launcher=false&fcsContent=true&pbMode=normal