In order to establish veracity , qualitative researchers frequently rely on member checks to insure credibility by giving participants opportunities to correct errors, challenge interpretations and assess results; however, member checks are not without drawbacks. This paper describes an innovative approach to conducting member checks. Six members of a learning organization participated in two group interviews to examine the use of poetry as a method to promote individual and organizational learning. Several weeks later, participants received a copy of their transcripts and were asked to create a “found poem” to reflect their thoughts and feelings about using poetry as a learning tool. There was resonance between the interview themes produced by traditional open coding methods and those using participant - created found poems. However, the found poems added an emotional depth and connect ion that was missing from the traditional approach of coding qualitative data. This suggests that participant - created found poems can provide an agentic alternative to the usual method of member checking and also expand the notions of aesthetic approaches within qualitative research.


Arts - Based Research, Found Poems, Member Checks, Trustworthiness, Crisis of Representation


I would like to acknowledge and thank Terry Kyle, Erika Bailey, Rhonda deBeaupre, Sergio Rodriguez, Vandna Sethi, and Sharon Taylor for their assistance in this project, and for their courage in opening themselves up and sharing their poems with me.

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.




Submission Location


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.