Trena M. Paulus and Jessica N. Lester, "Doing Qualitative Research in a Digital World" (Sage, 2021)


Whether you like it or not, the pandemic has pushed us to make many changes in our life, from working from home to following all the mitigation measures. In the previous episodes in New Books in Education, we talked with book authors about how the pandemic has impacted their field, or the particular groups of students and families with whom they work. We look at the new expansion of the use of educational technology, the challenges that students who are learning English as their second language have encountered, and experiences of undocumented immigrant families. In today’s episode, we shift our focus to doing educational research using digital tools. This topic is not new, but during the pandemic, a lot of educational researchers have found a new sense of urgency and relevance to look into it. Our guests for today’s episode are Trena Paulus, Professor in the Research Division of Family Medicine at East Tennessee State University, and Jessica Lester, Professor of Inquiry Methodology at Indiana University. They recently published a book, Doing Qualitative Research in a Digital World, to systematically investigate this topic.

Published by Sage Press in 2021, Doing Qualitative Research in a Digital World is a timely contribution to the field of social research methodology in a period when almost all the social research activities were moved to online. Even though we have gradually resumed our in-person activities, some researchers predict that many of the qualitative research activities will remain in the digital space. What does this mean to research communities and to the wider public? How are researchers going to do research differently? What has the new advancement of technology afforded to the current research practice? Doing Qualitative Research in a Digital World takes a deep dive into these questions. Both novice and seasoned researchers will benefit from the book’s comprehensive and in-depth discussion on digital tools and research methodology, which blends in together theories of technology, methodological theories, practical advice, and empirical cases.

Trena M. Paulus, Ph.D. is a professor in the Research Division of Family Medicine, Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University. 

Jessica Nina Lester, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Inquiry Methodology (Qualitative Research) in the School of Education at Indiana University, Bloomington. 

Pengfei Zhao is a critical researcher and qualitative research methodologist based at the University of Florida. She is currently working on a book manuscript studying the coming of age experience of rural Chinese youth during and right after the Cultural Revolution.

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Pengfei Zhao

Pengfei Zhao is a critical researcher and qualitative research methodologist based at McGill University.
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