3 squares Glossary

IntroductionSearch REx 1Glossary

Action research: A form of practical, classroom- or community-based research motivated by a desire for improvement, social action, and/or social change; often synonymous with teacher or practitioner research and associated with collaboration, participation, and self-reflection.

Analytical induction: Originating in sociology, analytical induction moves from interview or observational data toward hypothesis through a step-by-step, case by case process of analysis.

Archival research: A form of textual study associated with (but not limited to) historical inquiries into past individuals or events based on extant documents accessible via physical archives or text repositories and, increasingly, online databases and publications.

Autoethnography: A type of participant observation, autobiographical ethnographic research centers on a researcher's personal experiences with and observations of particular group or phenomenon.

Case study: Strongly associated with qualitative research, case studies are in-depth, oftentimes longitudinal studies of individual subjects or groups of subjects examined through analysis of quantitative and /or qualitative data.

Content analysis: A form of textual study used to analyze large bodies of text based on the patterns and frequencies of word use.

Discourse analysis: A broad term used to describe some of the ways people analyze communication or language in use, especially (but not limited to) writing and speech.

Ethnography: Rooted in anthropology, ethnography generally involves descriptive cultural analysis of specific individuals, groups, or places based on different forms of fieldwork, such as observation, interviews, and case studies.

Experimental research: Focused on understanding causal relationships between identified variables, experimental research tests hypotheses in carefully controlled situations.

Grounded theory: Theory built (rather than tested) through inductive analysis and a detailed and methodical recursive process of coding or marking and tracking units of data (e.g., words, phrases, and ideas) across materials such as field notes and interviews or interview transcripts.

Interviewing: Engaging another person, series of people, or group (e.g., a focus group) in talking or answering planned questions about a particular topic; interviews may structured (e.g., highly planned and formally conducted), semi-structured, or unstructured (e.g., very loosely framed or organized), and they are generally recorded through note taking or audio or audio-visual taping.

Linguistic analysis : Collection of elicited or corpus-gathered data in order to analyze language behavior on the levels of phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and/or pragmatics.

Longitudinal research: Observational studies that track particular phenomena over time by following an individual or group for a set period, by examining a cross-section of individuals whose experiences range across extended period, or by looking back retrospectively over particular data for past patterns or trends.

Narrative inquiry: Research reported through narrative or storytelling and conducted primarily through interviews, observations, and texts such as autobiographies and letters.

Quasi-experimental research: Hypothesis-driven research designed to identify and examine causal relationships over time and/or in settings like classrooms, where researchers cannot control all the variables as they might in a strictly experimental research situation.

Questionnaire: A systematic means of gathering quantitative and/or qualitative information from a large group or population, questionnaires are surveys, generally conducted anonymously or confidentially, and they are administered in writing, online, or orally in conversations more formally structured than most interviews.

Rhetorical analysis: Textual analysis conducted in order to understand how a text works through close analysis of an author's persuasive strategies and motives.

Sampling: deliberately choosing, out of a larger group, specific examples to analyze. Some types of sampling used independently or in combination include convenience sampling, cluster sampling, random selection and random assignment, stratified sampling, and systematic sampling.

Statistical analysis: Mathematical analysis of numerical data for a variety of purposes, including summary or description, hypothesis testing, and prediction of future outcomes or behaviors.