Since the end of April I (and some fellow EDDE students) are working on a qualitative research methods course. While I've got familiarity with some of the methods of qualitative research under my belt, I thought that it might be fun to work through a review of some methods with fellow doctoral students. The price was right (nearly free!), and I had some time.
The textbook has been read cover to cover, and it's only week 6 our of 13. I am currently working on the more 'mechanical' part of the course, namely working on coding texts with NVivo and running queries to get familiar with the software, however I am keeping an eye toward assignment 2. With Assignment 2 I've decided to work on an alternative option (i.e. not one of the 4 pre-set topics) - with permission of the instructor of course! I've decided to try to work on as much of the methods section for my dissertation proposal over this summer. I know that it's a little backwards in that you work on your literature review and questions first (the first two chapters) before you work on your methods section (the third chapter), but I've already formulated my questions, and I have a bit of background on the topic, so why not work on the methods section now while I can receive some feedback?
One of the things that's had me a bit concerned coming into the dissertation process is that I won't have enough "stuff" (pages of research) if I go with one method. I've been thinking about doing a multimethod approach for this dissertation, but upon reading more of the text, and doing some back-of-the-envelope calculations, doing a multimethod dissertation and I am thinking that it's overkill to do this. The rough estimate is 3 chapters for each of the methods data & results, one chapter each. So a total of about 10 chapters in you include introduction, literature review, a concluding chapter, and a methods chapter for each of the methods (or about 200 or so pages possibly without references).
On the one hand having worked on published research articles prior to the dissertation is nice. I know how to cut something big down. The problem with doing a dissertation now is that it seems that I should be including more information for my evaluators to use in evaluating my work, and sometimes it seems to me that I'm including everything and the kitchen sink. In other words, including way too much unnecessary detail (parsimony will be haunting me!).
I wonder if others out there have had this issue.