Why Lee’s sub-questions are or are not good sub-questions? Select ONE sub-question that you think you could improve and rewrite it.
The article titled as ‘ The impact of belonging to a high school gay/straight alliance’ by Camille Lee (2002) examines the impact of being a part of such an alliance on the academic performance of the student. To determine this relationship, Lee (2002) formulates several sub research questions which would guide him to carry her research. Since this is a qualitative study, the sub-questions of this research aid the data collection procedure conducted by the researcher. For this reason, these questions are supposed to more descriptive, precise and open ended instead of being stated as assumptions. On the basis of this criterion, many of these questions are good as they guide the researcher in conducting a systematic study. One such example is of the following research question: How does the involvement in the alliance affect academic performance? (Lee C, 2002) This question clearly points out at the several variables which could be analyzed to examine the academic performance of the alliance member. In other words, the mentioned sub-question is fine because it does not lay any assumptions such as stating the idea that higher involvement would decrease class participation and result in lower grades. However, some of the sub-questions are either too broad or too specific which makes them predict the research results. One such question is as follows: Will students feel that they can make a difference or contribute positively to society through their involvement in the Alliance? (Lee C, 2002). This is a direct question resulting in answers such as a yes or no. Reframing it would yield better results and help establish a framework for the researcher to work on. This can be re-written as: How has the student involvement in the alliance positively influenced their well-being, goals and outlook towards life and society? Or ‘ What is the impact of student involvement in the alliance on their well being, goals and outlook towards life and society?’
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What types of data does Lee collect?
In order to conduct this research, Lee (2002) collected data from seven students who were involved in the Alliance. Data was collected through individual as well as focused group interviews, grade records, observation as well as the transcripts of media and news reports. This method of data collection is typical and most useful for qualitative studies as it helps in generating wide details. Lee’s (2002) approach to collect focus group interviews was detailed, relevant and time saving as all the members had a common ground to respond. Although Lee (2002) used a structured format for individual interviews, using different probes helped her get in depth knowledge about the areas of concern. Conducting a group interview with seven participants was the right strategy as the researcher was able to obtain collective as well as unique responses about the experience faced by each member in the alliance. Moreover, the researcher also kept logs and noted down her feelings thereby playing the role of a participant as observer. She incorporated the data collection tool of observation efficiently by minimizing the biasness. This was evident from her observation of Kelly’s speech in which she observed her experience of being harassed throughout her school years which was in connection to her interview response of deciding to join college because of the positive impact created by the Alliance (Lee C, 2002). By having another person record the responses, Lee (2002) reduced the biasness of the study and increased the interaction between the participants.
What type of sampling did Lee use to select her participants? Explain why this type of sampling is appropriate in qualitative research.
The method of homogenous purposive sampling was used to collect the data for the study. This sampling technique is adopted in order to obtain rich information from a small sample size to gather detailed information to answer the research questions. This is done by focusing upon the key informants; the seven participants who have been highly involved in the Alliance since the time of its formation. In other words, using purposive sample enabled Lee (2002) to collect in-depth and accurate information to generate results about their academic performance, satisfaction, change and other concerned variables in relation to their involvement with the Alliance.
Briefly summarize her results for this question. How does she triangulate (or does she not triangulate) data to provide stronger evidence for her conclusions?
The results of the first research question; how does involvement in the Alliance affect academic performance (Lee C, 2002), show that academic achievement was not only restricted to getting good grades. Instead, students considered attendance, studying habits and interest in the course as being the criterion for academic performance. Therefore, the participants were of the opinion that their academic performance increased because of their involvement in the Alliance. However, upon analyzing their grade records, it was found that the grades of these students did not show any improvement. In other words, it was their perceived belief of having an improved academic performance because of being a part of the Alliance. Lee (2002) uses a triangular approach to substantiate his results by using the academic records as well as the interview responses to come up to the conclusion of the improvement in academic performance because of the involvement in the Alliance.
How would you evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the research methods used in this study in terms of credibility, dependability, and transferability?
Hence, the Research conducted by Lee (2002) is credible because of using a number of data collection tools such as interviews, observation and records to gather in-depth data. Moreover, the authenticity of the data collected can be seen through the connection between the responses obtained using different methods. The unique experiences of the participants enhance the credibility of the research which could have been further broadened if the tool of observation would have been used more extensively. Furthermore, the demonstration of interview responses along with the record in the form of audios and transcripts increase the dependability of the research. In addition, the rich information presented in the study allows for transferability because similar responses are expected to be obtained from people being a part of such Alliances across the globe. This is because of the fact that LGBT are in minority. The experiences of these participants are the voice of other gays and lesbians present in different parts of the world that face lesser discrimination and higher safety when they become a part of such an Alliance. However, the aspect of transferability is slightly limited as this study does not include students of different race, caste and color.
Lee, C. (2002). The impact of belonging to a high school gay/straight alliance. High School Journal, 85(3). 13-26