Qualitative research paradigm
A design for distance education researchers
A number of researchers have commented on the death of substantive research within the field of management, education, social science and other related disciplines. The plea to use experimental type of research has interestingly been the major area of concentration by most modern researchers. This paper outlines an alternative methodology known as the qualitative research paradigm. More recently an overview of distance education research showed that more than 80% are identified as having used qualitative methods. The qualitative research is seen as a research methodology that engages in research that probes for deeper understanding and insight rather than examine surface features. This paper outlines the key characteristics of the qualitative research methodology and further discusses the reasons for its selection by most students in distance open learning. There is a growing body of literature devoted to qualitative research and some of which is synthesized in this paper for the benefit of researchers and educational practitioners. The goal of this desktop research is to elaborate on and present on the major reasons for using qualitative methodologies and also to provide a basic introduction to the features of this type of research which is commonly used by distance education students.