Written By: Christina Grant
Editor’s note: Throughout the TQ Workshop June 16-20, U of A writing studies instructor, longtime journalist, and Education PhD student Christina Grant blogged about her experiences in “The Lived Experience: A PhD student’s journey through the TQ Workshop.” See: https://iiqm.wordpress.com/
The following is a final feature story on the 13th Annual Advances in Qualitative Methods (AQM) Conference June 23-25 in which she incorporates information and observations from several conference events and speakers—including keynote presenter Dr. Rosaline Barbour.
A Quality Qualitative Conference: Some Highlights From the Floor
“IIQM will be a vital, collaborative and transformative hub for all those who seek to use and advance qualitative inquiry for a better world.” That’s a line from the IIQM’s vision statement, and, as I observed it from participants’ remarks, it captures the 2014 AQM Conference event.
“Here it’s so easy to talk about qualitative methods,” remarked research methodologist Charlene Pope of the Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Centre Center in Charleston, South Carolina. She is principal investigator on a “StoryCall” project mixed methods study with a strong primary qualitative component which explores how caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease patients respond to 60-90 second mobile app stories on specific issues as a means of coping.
At home, she has fewer colleagues to talk with about qualitative methods and mentors other investigators who are developing health services research studies, but are new to qualitative or mixed methods research. But ensconced in the qualitative buzz of Edmonton’s conference, she was buoyant: “Here there’s a whole group of people who understand. I don’t have to provide a rationale or explain it.” She added that 10 years ago she “never would have predicted that grant reviewers would expect to see a qualitative component to research.” However, today, she said, it’s often “seen as a measure” of the proposal’s quality.