Difference Between Qualitative & Quantitative Evaluation | The Classroom
From Quantitative to Qualitative Assessments of Relationships provide a more candid assessment of the organization-public relationship. The most common. Utilising quantitative and qualitative approaches in impact evaluation. . The difference international aid makes to either indicators or people's lives; and. Two methods of evaluating your students' knowledge and your course They create a great opportunity to link the course content with real life.
These methods are rarely used alone; combined, they generally provide the best overview of the project. This section describes both quantitative and qualitative methods, and Table 7. Surveys may be self- or interviewer-administered and conducted face-to-face or by telephone, by mail, or online. Analysis of quantitative data involves statistical analysis, from basic descriptive statistics to complex analyses.
Quantitative data measure the depth and breadth of an implementation e. Quantitative data collected before and after an intervention can show its outcomes and impact.
The strengths of quantitative data for evaluation purposes include their generalizability if the sample represents the populationthe ease of analysis, and their consistency and precision if collected reliably. The limitations of using quantitative data for evaluation can include poor response rates from surveys, difficulty obtaining documents, and difficulties in valid measurement. Analyses of qualitative data include examining, comparing and contrasting, and interpreting patterns.
Analysis will likely include the identification of themes, coding, clustering similar data, and reducing data to meaningful and important points, such as in grounded theory-building or other approaches to qualitative analysis Patton, There is a debate in the research community about how to judge qualitative methods.
Some say they should be evaluated by the same standards as quantitative methods. Others maintain that, because they are intrinsically different from quantitative methods, qualitative methods need a set of standards that take into account their philosophical base and the kind of information they yield. The British government, for instance, has developed a framework for demonstrating qualitative reliability, which includes a set of 18 questions that a qualitative assessment or study should be subjected to see Tool 1.
Guidelines that can help you argue for the reliability of your qualitative assessment include: Report accurately and completely. The recording of interviews, observations, and other information should be as accurate and nearly complete as possible e.
Frame the right questions, and direct them appropriately. Occasionally, it works to go fishing for information, i. You can quantify how many members of a specific minority live in a particular neighborhood. If you want your findings to be reliable, you have to screen out as much of the subjective as possible from what you find and record.
One way to approach this issue is to have more than one person record and analyze each interview or observation, and then to check on how well they agree, both in their recording of the data and in their interpretation.
Scientists, for instance, aim to be objective, and to understand the way things really are, rather than the way the scientists or others want them to be, or think they might be. A subjective observation, statement, opinion, or research finding, on the other hand, is based on the thoughts and assumptions of the person issuing it. A researcher may be so appalled by the conditions in neighborhoods where violence is rampant that she may begin to feel that violence is in fact the only rational response, and slant her research in that direction.
Especially in community assessment, objectivity is vitally important. Objectivity in looking at the community will help you understand how to most effectively address issues, maximize and use assets, and solve problems. Understanding your own subjective reactions — to difficult conditions, to particular individuals, to cultural practices — will help you to screen them out, thereby increasing the reliability of your findings.
The basic reason to use qualitative methods is that there are some kinds of questions and some dimensions of community assessment that can be better addressed by them than by quantitative methods. Since it may be hard to convince policymakers and others that qualitative methods are useful, however, why bother to use them at all?
Some of the major reasons: Qualitative methods can better answer the how and why questions, and also provide other information in the process. Qualitative methods generally go directly to those sources with more complex questions than quantitative methods. They can get at certain underlying realities of the situation.
In an assessment situation, these can be crucial pieces of information. They can involve the population of interest, or the community at large, in helping to assess the issues and needs of the community.
This participation fosters a sense of ownership and support for the efforts. They often allow for a deeper examination of the situation or the community than quantitative methods do.
Quantitative methods, although helpful, can tend to put people or events in specific categories, ask for yes-no or multiple-choice answers, often eliminating complexity.
They allow for the human factor. While the information obtained through qualitative methods is often subjective, it is also often identified as such, and can be analyzed accordingly. Clearly, there are times when quantitative research will give you the information you need. So when do you use qualitative methods? When what you need is qualitative, descriptive information.
What are the differences in the ways people of different cultural backgrounds respond to services? As mentioned above, much quantitative data can be analyzed using qualitative methods.
Difference Between Qualitative & Quantitative Evaluation
A number of reasons are possible: The community is largely elderly, and people are living in long-since-paid-for houses they bought 40 or more years ago, when their income was higher and housing was less expensive.
One or more local banks have made it a priority to help people buy houses, and provide low-interest mortgages and other subsidy programs to further that goal. While they may be low-income, the members of the community nonetheless scrimp on everything else in order to put away money for a house. This is often the case among immigrants from certain cultures, where people are willing to live very simply for many years in order to save for property and education.
Qualitative Vs. Quantitative Methods of Verification and Evaluation — Class Central
A combination of factors, some of which may not be listed here. Again, this is often the primary purpose of community assessment. How should you design a program or initiative to accomplish a major community goal or deal with an issue? What will people respond to? Qualitative data may give the best information here, or may be used in addition to qualitative information to provide a complete picture on which to base your strategy.
When you want to involve the community in assessment as directly as possible. Involving community members directly leads to ownership and support of initiatives, and is also likely to generate the best and most effective solutions.
Qualitative assessment methods, for the most part, collect information directly from community members themselves, and allow them to fill in the details as much as they can. By and large, being interviewed is more likely to leave someone feeling like part of the process than filling out a survey. Community-based participatory research often relies greatly on qualitative assessment methods. When quantitative data are unavailable or unobtainable. You may not have the proper training, the software or hardware that will make quantitative assessment useful for you, or the time to use quantitative methods properly.
Most of these guidelines hold equally for using quantitative methods as well. Start by deciding what it is you want to know. You may remember that this is also one of the guidelines for qualitative reliability. There are many ways to approach a community assessment, and, consequently, many questions you might choose to start your assessment with.
What is the most serious issue — either general or specific — the community faces i. What services are most needed in the community? Who most needs them? Are people taking advantage of services that currently exist? How can they be strengthened?
Are there forces working against the good of the community that should be opposed? Who ought to be involved in a prospective coalition or initiative? Be aware of what you can do with the resources you have.
In choosing your method, be aware also that, in some cases, quantitative methods may be more appropriate and more likely to tell you what you want to know. Choose the people who will gather the information, and, if necessary, train them. With qualitative methods, where contact is often personal, the question of who carries them out can be very important. Often, it makes more sense to train members of the population or others who are known and trusted by — or at least familiar to, in their behavior, dress, and speech —those who are being asked to contribute their opinions and observations.
Data collectors should be fluent in the language and culture of those they are interviewing. What to record and how: Interview techniques, as well as exactly what purpose an interview serves, and how it fits into the larger assessment picture. Training in other methods: Focus groups, for instance, require specific skills and techniques. Training in how to think of themselves as researchers: Like those engaged in community-based participatory researchinformation gatherers should understand how researchers operate.
Objectivity, attention to detail, curiosity, and the continuous processing of information in order to generate the next question or observation are all part of the investigative mindset, which they should be encouraged to develop. Determine from whom or from where you need to gather information. It may be that you want to hear from all sectors of the community, but some issues or circumstances demand more specific informants.
Some possible interview subjects may be public officials, members of a specific population or cultural group, people from a particular geographic area, or people with certain characteristics parents of young children, individuals with disabilities, malespeople with high blood pressure.
Knowing whom you need to ask extends to any method in which you talk directly to people — focus groups, large community meetings, etc. Focus groups used by marketers are chosen extremely carefully, for example, with age, gender, income, place of residence, and even such factors as favored leisure activities considered. Observation may or may not involve people. If it does, the question may not be whom you want to observe, but rather what activity or situation you want to observe.
Interviews As mentioned above, interviews can be structured or unstructured. In a strictly structured interview, the same questions in the same order are asked of everyone, with relatively little room for wandering off the specific topic. Semi-structured interviews may also be based on a list of specific questions, but — while trying to make sure that the interviewee answers all of them — the interviewer may pursue interesting avenues, or encourage the interviewee to talk about other related issues.
An unstructured interview is likely to be more relaxed — more like a conversation than a formal interview. There are advantages and disadvantages to each approach. A structured interview may make the interviewee focus in on the questions and the interview process, take it more seriously, and thus provide excellent information.
Because everyone is interviewed in the same way, a structured interview may be — or at least may look — reliable. It may also make an interviewee nervous, emphasize the differences between him and the interviewer, and lead to incomplete or less-than-truthful answers. A semi- or unstructured interview may allow the interviewee to be more relaxed, and thus more forthcoming. It also, in the hands of an inexperienced or indecisive interviewer, may allow an interviewee to get sidetracked and never get back to the original questions.
The author has conducted all three types of interviews, and has found that semi-structured interviews — having clear questions and goals for the interview, but conducting it in an informal way, with room for pursuing tangents and some simple friendly conversation — is generally productive.
The following guidelines for interviewing reflect that view. Ask the interviewee to choose the space. The more comfortable he is, the better and more informative the interview is likely to be. Choose your clothes for the comfort of the interviewee. In general, your clothes and hers should be similar: Record carefully the time, place, circumstances, and details of the interview.
Include a general description of the interviewee married Hispanic woman, age 25, three children aged 6, 4, and 1. Memorize your basic questions not necessarily word-for-word, but know what they areso that you refer to notes as little as possible. These are questions that require an "essay" answer, rather than a yes-no response.