Qualitative Action Research
This project is qualitative because the discussion and recommendations regarding staff issues are based upon in-person or phone call interviews that we conducted with staff personnel at Davidson College. Action research is a type of research that intends to problem solve; this project was designed with the intention of creating some type of recommendation to address staff-identified issues if the interviews indicated a need—which they did.
Interviews and Anonymity
Interviewees were sought through random sampling of staff personnel, whose names we obtained for every Davidson College department from the college directory. We then emailed participants asking if they would be interested in participating; our project was IRB-Exempt, meaning in respect to interviewees, a consent form was not necessary. However, we provided interviewees with a draft of a consent form anyhow in order to be transparent about the process of the research.
This project rests on the assurance of anonymity by which interviewees shared their stories and experiences of personal difficulty. This project is indebted to the staff who made it possible by being willing to share their voices. However, a larger question should be asked and considered by the college community; why do staff not feel able to share these issues without an assurance of anonymity?
We recorded the interviews and re-listened to them to identify key themes (recurring words, phrases, ideas, experiences, etc.) within particular interviews and similar themes between all interviews conducted. This process is what has informed our thematic reporting on the key findings for this study as well as recommendations for addressing staff needs.