Analysis of Grounded Theory Research Article Essay Example

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Analysis of Grounded Theory Research Article

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The article byBrown (2001) is about a study that was conducted to come up with a hypothesis regarding how adults in “computer-mediated asynchronous distance learning classes” (p. 18) form communities. An analysis of the article, based on the CASP Rubric, is detailed next.

CASP Question Exemplary Performance:

1. Relevance of the Research Goal: Brown (2001) makes a clear statement about the aim of the research, which was to come up with a theory regarding the process of community formation as experienced by adults involved in “computer-mediated asynchronous distance education classes” (p. 18). The importance of the research as well as its relevance are also explained by the author under the rationale, where it is noted that the study is important because its adds new research to the literature about distance learning in higher education. This information is supported by various citations. Section Score ____5____

2. Appropriateness of Research Methodology: Although there is no clear section highlighting the research methodology that was used, the suitability of qualitative research methodology in general to the research by Brown (2001) is noted. Specifically, the author notes that “qualitative researchers are concerned primarily with process, rather than outcomes or products, and this study was concerned with the process of community-building in a distance education class” (p. 20). This also shows a link between the qualitative research methodology and the main research question. Supporting citations are also provided. Section Score ____5____

3. Research Design: Brown (2001) has clearly described the research design by discussing why the qualitative paradigm was selected and why the grounded theory was selected for the study. It is indicated that “the purpose of a grounded theory study is to build theory that is both faithful to and illuminates the area of study” (Brown (2001, p. 20). The author goes further to explain that the use of the grounded theory helps in generating and testing the concepts and relationships among the issues that are being investigated. In all these, supporting citations are indicated. Section Score ____5____

4. Participants: Brown (2001) has clearly identified the sampling approach as theoretical sampling, which involves selecting participants “according to their ability to contribute to the evolving theory” (p. 21). The use of this approach is justified since as explained by the author and a supporting citation, theoretical sampling goes hand-in-hand with grounded theory. Therefore, the suitability of using theoretical sampling is justified in accordance with the study’s design. Furthermore, Brown (2001) described the participants, who comprised both students and faculty members, and why they were selected for the study. The identities of the participants are well protected, since no names were mentioned in the study. Section Score ____5____

5. Collection of Data: The article by Brown (2001) clearly describes how data was collected through interview and studying the participants’ archived data that were retrieved from the Lotus Notes software. It also explains how the data were analyzed through “open coding, axial coding and selective coding” (p. 21), which is justified by a supporting source. However, there is no suggestion about who conducted the data collection and processing tasks. Even then, there is justification for the setting of the data collection since reasons have been provided as to why different categories of students and members of faculty were considered for the research. Section Score ____4____

6. Self-Disclosure: The article by Brown (2001) does not mention the relationship between the researcher and the participants. As well, there is no description about whether any bias relating to the researcher arose, nor does the author highlight how such bias, if any, was addressed. However, to ensure internality validity, the researcher used various methods including long-term observation, triangulation of several sources of data, peer review, and member checks among others. This is supported by a citation. Section
Score ____2____

7. Ethical Considerations: Brown (2001) does not describe whether any ethical issues were taken into consideration. There is no explanation of whether the research was explained to the participants; therefore, it is not easy for the reader to determine whether ethical standards were maintained. Additionally, there is no explanation about whether the participants were involved in the research under informed consent. Furthermore, the author does not disclose whether approval for the research was sought from an ethics committee. Section
Score ____1____

8. Data Analysis: Brown (2001) clearly discusses the data coding procedures that were used for analyzing the data and how they relate to the grounded theory. The author also mentions that the coding procedures were “open coding, axial coding and selective coding” (p. 21) and further explains how each procedure was used in relation to the various relationships between the data. Brown (2001) also mentions that various methods were used for verification of the data during analysis, but does not explain how each method was used. Section
Score ____4____

9. Findings: The findings of the research are well stated under various sections based on how the participants responded. These sections are “community defined by participants”, “community-building paradigm”, “three levels of community”, “no community”, “time triangles”, “the process of community-building”, and “propositions” (Brown, 2001, pp. 22-32). However, despite having a long results and discussion section, there is only one citation used to support the assertions made. This means that there is not much analysis and critique of the findings, in spite of the findings relating to the main research question. Section
Score ____2____

10. Implications of the Study: Brown (2001) clearly describes the value of the research, even though this is addressed at the introductory stages of the article under “Rationale”. Specifically, the author notes that the research will add to the existing literature about distance learning in higher education, especially the formation of communities by users of distance learning facilities. Brown (2001) also emphasizes the importance of establishing such communities by highlighting the benefit of doing so to users. Nonetheless, the article does not mention any limitations of the research. Although the article does not suggest new areas in which research is necessary, the author indicates that the findings are not necessarily transferable since the focus of the research was on understanding several contextual factors but not to generalize. Section
Score ____3____

11. Overall Rating