There is debate about the need for pilot studies in qualitative research and limited publications on its usefulness as a part of a mixed methods study which includes a qualitative phase. This qualitative pilot study was a part of a multiphase mixed methods research which investigated the nature of assessment in Jamaican secondary schools. The larger study aimed at developing a model for more effective implementation of formative assessment in the teaching of English at the secondary level. This article discusses the value of pilot studies in qualitative research in general and as a part of a multiphase mixed methods research. The qualitative pilot study was valuable in helping me to refine the research protocols, pre-empt possible challenges and increase my training and confidence in conducting qualitative research. Consequently, it added to the legitimation on the overall mixed methods research. Qualitative pilot studies are necessary especially for novice qualitative and mixed methods researchers.


Formative Assessment, English Language and Literature, Pilot Studies, Qualitative, Multiphase, Mixed Methods

Author Bio(s)

Clavia Williams-McBean (PhD) is a lecturer in Education Measurement and Research in the School of Education, The University of the West Indies, Mona with 13 years of teaching experience at the secondary and tertiary levels. Her research interests include research methods, educational measurement, school-based assessment, formative assessment, teacher professional development, English Language learning, gender and performance in English Literature. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: claviawilliams@yahoo.com.

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