A researcher carrying out qualitative research has to pay specific attention to credibility and dependability. These two aspects form the validity of the research. It is necessary to note that different scholars have come up with various definitions (Winter, 2000). In simple terms, credibility refers to the accuracy of the data obtained, and dependability refers to the accuracy and replicability of the methodology used. To ensure the credibility and dependability of the study, it is possible to employ a number of strategies.
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When focusing on the credibility of the research, triangulation can be one of the most effective techniques. Triangulation is a method of using several types of sources of data (triangulation of sources), different types of data collection techniques (methods triangulation), various types of analysis (analyst triangulation), and multiple theoretical frameworks or perspectives when interpreting data (theory or perspective triangulation) (Patton, 1999). In this study, the researcher will use methods triangulation and analyst triangulation.
The former type of triangulation will involve the use of interviews and the analysis of the participants’ posts placed on their Facebook accounts. The first data collection method will provide the major bulk of data for the study as the researcher is interested in the participants’ perspectives on particular issues. However, the presence of the researcher during interviews always places certain threats to validity. For instance, the participants may try to conceal some of their ideas and provide socially desirable answers. At the same time, people place some posts to share their experiences as well as ideas. The choice of experiences to display unveils people’s attitudes and opinions concerning various issues. Therefore, the researcher will be able to align the participants’ accounts with their posts.
The other type of triangulation to be used in this study will ensure the interpretative validity of the research. The case study is associated with the identification of themes and patterns (Stake, 1995). The researcher will analyze the participants’ replies and posts and will single out the most recurrent and meaningful themes and patterns. To make sure that these patterns and themes are valid, the researcher will use the QDA Miner Lite. This tool identifies and codes themes.
To ensure the dependability of the study, the researcher will provide as many details concerning the methodology used as possible. Major themes, as well as sub-themes, will be described and interpreted. The list of the interview questions will be provided in an appendix. The use of all the tools (for example, QDA Miner Lite) will be described in detail. The researcher will make sure that all the information for replicating the study is available. The researcher will pay specific attention to the description of the context and setting (Stake, 1995). Clearly, it is impossible to replicate a study since contexts change, which affects the implementation of the research.
In conclusion, it is possible to note that this research can be characterized by a significant degree of credibility and dependability. The major tools to achieve this are triangulation and detailed description. A lot of attention will be paid to the context and setting, which will help identify and address the changes that occurred and could affect the study’s results. The researcher will provide as many details as possible to make sure that peers will be able to repeat the same study and obtain similar results. The description of themes and sub-themes will help the researcher to validate their interpretation.
Patton, M.Q. (1999). Enhancing the quality and credibility of qualitative analysis. Health Services Research, 34(5), 1189-1208.
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Stake, R. (1995). The art of case study research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Winter, G. (2000). A comparative discussion of the notion of ‘validity’ in qualitative and quantitative research. The Qualitative Report, 4(3 & 4). Web.