When you reach the methods part of your research, you have to choose to go with the qualitative or quantitative method, though some researchers like to mix them. Generally, researchers are in favor of one over another. If you like talking with people, and then exploring their reponses, then qualitative is the one to choose. If you like to work with data, analyze it and find correlations, then you would usually choose quantitative methods. However, it all depends on the research questions that you raise in your research. And the picture that you want to get after you have all the data.
I chose the qualitative, because it was important for me to understand the experiences of learners in online learning. Some of the challenges that I faced were to design an interview questions in order to get answers to my research questions. I was struggling to develop good series of questions for my interviewee to open up, and share his experiences. Also, it might be little demotivating, when you hear that people do not want to participate in your research. That discourages. And we do not like hearing no.
I chose a qualitative method since I wanted to understand experiences of respondents to the research questions. Semi-structured interviews were developed for that. As Creswell (2014) says: “Qualitative research is best suited to address a research problem in which you do not know the variables and need to explore.” In this study, I learned a lot about personal experiences of the participant. However, it would be difficult to extrapolate these findings to the general public.
This small scale study assisted me in practicing how to take interview. I saw that some of questions need to be better written, since the participant did not provide a good enough response for the purpose of my study. From that I need to develop my questions more thouroughly in order to get quality responses.
Creswell, J. (2014). Educational research: Planning, conducting and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research (4th ed.). Boston: Pearson.