To help higher ed professionals broaden their research skills, vice president Bill Hayward and associate Anne Lee will lead a pre-conference workshop at the Association for Institutional Research (AIR) 2012 annual conference in New Orleans. Their half-day workshop will introduce IR professionals to qualitative research methods that can complement and extend the insights gained through traditional survey research.
Many of our clients are planning now to attend the AIR conference which will take place June 2–6 at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel. Our workshop will be offered on the morning of Sunday, June 3, and requires advance registration.
Hayward, who leads Slover Linett’s higher education practice, and Lee, an experienced qualitative researcher who has been with the firm for five years, will explain how higher education researchers can add qualitative methods to their toolkits in order to understand the ‘whys’ behind their survey data and develop a more comprehensive, detailed research picture.
Using participatory techniques and case studies from actual projects at a range of universities, Hayward and Lee will cover focus groups, in-depth interviews, and emerging qualitative approaches. Participants will learn how to design a qualitative study, collect the data, and analyze the findings in ways that are both empirically valid and practically useful. Examples will look at all stages of the student lifecycle, from prospective students to enrolled students to alumni, as well as at important non-student constituents (faculty, staff, and community stakeholders).
Hayward, a veteran of AIR conferences, looks forward to introducing his colleagues to research techniques that are used less often than quantitative methods in the higher ed sector, although they are common elsewhere. “Certain questions about the student experience, for example, or alumni engagement, are just better suited to qualitative investigation,” he says, “because that’s how you get to the thoughts and feelings that really drive behavior. I’m excited about sharing those tools with my peers and friends in the IR field.”
For more information about the June workshop, or to discuss our work in higher education research and assessment, please contact Bill Hayward by email or at (773) 348-9215.
Category: Higher education