June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Educational Research and Methods
26.1184.1 - 26.1184.20
Narrative Analysis in Engineering Education Research: Exploring Ways of Constructing Narratives to have Resonance with the Reader and Critical Research ImplicationsNarrative research methods are gaining popularity across diverse disciplines and are starting tobecome adopted in engineering education research projects. Many commonly used researchmethods in engineering education, such as grounded theory and phenomenography, involvecoding and categorizing data, and while this is useful in many contexts it does not capture thecomplex, nuanced, and individual story of the participants that can resonate deeply with thereader and lead to different types of insights during analysis. Narrative research provides a wayto understand data by keeping stories intact during analysis (i.e. analysis of narratives) or byconstructing narratives based on the data that is then analyzed (i.e. narrative analysis). Thepurpose of this paper is to explore ways of constructing narratives to be used for narrativeanalysis and the methodological implications of these narratives.Three narratives were constructed in the first person using a common data set that consisted of21 narrative interviews that were conducted with undergraduate engineering students from adiverse range of majors and ranging from freshmen to senior levels. The first narrative wasbased on one interview, used direct student quotes whenever possible, and included connectingwords and phrases as needed to make the story coherent. The next was based on the sameinterview without using direct student quotes, where attention was paid to crafting a story thatinvolved the protagonist having a goal and responding to events. The third narrative was basedon multiple interviews and in this narrative attention was paid to crafting an impactful story thatspans an entire undergraduate engineering experience. After each of these stories wasconstructed, each narrative was analyzed independently to determine the methodologicalimplications and types of impact of each type of constructed narrative.It was found that there are tradeoffs with each type of constructed narrative and in this paper wewill explore how different choices made by the researcher has significant impacts on the project.In conclusion, many people are beginning to conduct narrative analysis in engineering educationand this paper deeply explores this methodology and will help others as they design andimplement a methodologically sound narrative research study that promises to have strongresonance with the reader and critical research implications.
Kellam, N. N., & Gerow, K. S., & Walther, J. (2015, June), Narrative Analysis in Engineering Education Research: Exploring Ways of Constructing Narratives to Have Resonance with the Reader and Critical Research Implications Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24521
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