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This is a personal blog. Views and opinions expressed here are of author's and not intended to disgrace any religion, institution or individual. The writer(author) also admits that his views may not be necessarily same as those of others.

Sunday, 18 May 2014


(Workshop participants with facilitators; me at extreme right)
Qualitative Research Workshop was held at Gaeddu College of Business Studies from 12 May-16 May 2014. The workshop organized by Department of Research and External Linkages, Office of the Vice Chancellor was intended for the novice researchers of the Royal University of Bhutan. And it was facilitated by Dr. Deki C. Jamtsho (Dean of Academic Affairs, Samtse College) and Dr. Gembo Tshering of Paro College of Education. I am lucky to be one of the participants. 
The following is my reflection of the workshop.

Day one: I felt quite inquisitive in the first day of the workshop yet many of the concepts and terms introduced by the facilitator (Dr. Deki C Jamtsho) were not so comprehensible (it’s not because the facilitator was unconvincing but was due to my limited capacity to understand the concepts). I heard some terms for the first time, for instance “Bracketing” which in research term would mean keeping aside the preconditioned thoughts while gathering qualitative data. Even the explanation of “paradigms” was puzzling to me. Nonetheless, the discussion of characteristics of (qualitative) research made me understand more about it. Also, I have come to know the differences between qualitative and quantitative research. The session concluded with participants (in groups) from each college identifying research topic for writing proposal, which is to be presented in the last session of the last day of workshop. 
Day 2: The second day had been more convincing and the lessons were all delivered in mixed mode: Lecture and activities. The first two morning sessions have been on writing a quality research proposal. We were explained on how to craft topic sentences, write problem statement, purpose statement, research questions and how to choose design and method. The participants shared their individual compositions and discussed in the room. It gave us hands-on practice which we all found useful. After the lunch, we were briefed on the referencing techniques by Ctherine Bennet, lecturer in Academic Skills with Gaeddu College. She also made us to practically use referencing tool from the Microsoft document. I teach referencing to my students but I used the referencing tool for the first time in the workshop. I realized then that, it is much more easy to use the software (which is inbuilt with Ms Document) to prepare reference list rather than doing manually. Finally, the fourth session was totally practice session; in college groups again, we were given task to draft the research proposal taking ideas from what facilitator(s) explained. The second day has been much more informative as I began to understand the concepts clearly from what we have been elucidated.
Day 3: On the third day, we were highlighted on the importance of qualitative interviews. Dr. Gembo Tshering touched on features, threats and recommendations for interviews. We were also trained on how to take notes while interviewing. The hands-on practice in interviewing individual and focal groups was worth it; all did seriously and everyone had inspiring experiences to share. The more informative session was the session on transcribing the recordings of interviews. In fact, after having listened to many clues, rules and recommendations, and practical sessions, my confidence for qualitative interview has increased. At least, I have the clear idea on how to generate data from the interviews. Also, I am now aware of the need to consider ethical issues while conducting qualitative research.
 Day 4: We started analyzing and interpreting the gathered data (transcribed interview) from the fourth day. Participants were introduced to different types of coding: open coding to selective, and methods of interpretation. And then, were asked to code and find the themes, patterns and have axial coding. This task made us aware how the research data interpretation is being done to come up with conclusions. Of the many lessons, I found the coding lesson very important and relevant to me whose interest is on qualitative research. Assuming that we have conducted research, the next topic for discussion was then on how to write good report for information dissemination. Dr. Gembo also talked a little on proposal writing although it was covered in detail by Dr. Deki. Dr. Gembo made interesting by relating his own personal story; how his proposal has been accepted; that was encouraging.
The fourth day was also found resourced by Cathrine Bennet on verifying good sources. Also, two IIM professors joined us to highlight and share their experiences of research. It was good opportunity for us all as we could get ideas from different experts on research.  
Day 5: The first two morning sessions of the last day of the workshop had been completely participant-centered. Each college presented their research proposal in front of two facilitators. Every presentation was then followed by questions, answers and comments. At least five proposals from five colleges have been presented. Also, what was interesting was that, all participants had something to say about the workshop from their daily diary; it was undeniable that each one of us had something to take from the workshop. As a matter of fact, I personally found all participants full of enthusiasms, satisfied and ready to take another extra initiative in carrying research anytime soon. All’s well as we ended well-so as we dispersed ourselves to different destinations, we departed having developed intimacy among ourselves however short the duration could have been.