The School of Graduate Studies (SGS) conducted a Virtual Seminar on Qualitative Research last May 14, 2023 via Zoom. The main participants were teachers of the Department of Education and of Higher Education Institutions in the region such as the Ateneo de Naga University (ADNU), Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA) and the Camarines Sur Polytechnic Colleges (CSPC).

The PSU Graduate School Dean Dr. Bernadette Gumba delivered the opening remarks and gave an overview of the significance of the training. Setting the mood of the participants with the proper perspective for the training was essential in keeping their eyes and ears wide open in interrogating the different phenomena through qualitative research. The use of qualitative approaches is a welcome opportunity as researchers push the frontiers of knowledge across various disciplines. She emphasized that undertaking research is an experience that most students both undergraduate and graduate levels cannot escape. Worries about what topic to investigate, how to go about doing research, and writing at length are common concerns raised by faculty and student researchers. This reality is inevitable. The rigors of doing well-written research demand critical thinking and measured steps to achieve the objectives of a research project.

The resource speaker was SGS faculty Mr. Dennis Gonzaga. He mentioned that there are different designs and approaches to doing qualitative research analysis but he intentionally focused on the four most common approaches. Interconnecting worldviews, designs, and methods using the 4 major approaches: phenomenological, grounded theory, ethnography, and historical were emphasized by the speaker. Since many of the participants have exposure to quantitative data analysis, the qualitative approaches presented were new to most of them.

During the open forum, one of the questions asked was the difference between qualitative and quantitative research and the advantages and disadvantages of each type. Issues and concerns about the possible biases and how to mitigate them in qualitative research were also discussed during the open forum. Further clarifications for each of the major approaches were made for the better understanding and appreciation of the participants.

Dr. Maria Wendy Solomo, the Program Director for the MAED and PhD programs of the SGS gave the closing remarks. The whole seminar was facilitated by SGS faculty Dr. Abelardo Belleza. (BGGumba)


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