The components of The Qualitative Report - TQR learning community – including the journal, the conference, and the NSU qualitative research graduate certificate – provide multiple opportunities for scholars to connect and collaborate. This paper is an extension of a moderated panel presentation from TQR 2021 in which we aimed to provide an organic demonstration of how we, as members of the TQR community, aimed to learn from each other through a process of personal construction of understanding, followed by social re-construction of our understanding of the same phenomenon in response to others’ responses. To prepare for the session, five members of the TQR learning community independently developed responses to the question: “To what extent should qualitative inquiry be scientific?” Prior to the conference session, panel members and an invited moderator held periodic virtual meetings to negotiate aspects of the upcoming presentation. This paper consists of re-presented panelist and moderator reflections, comments, and responses, re-ordered to create an engaging narrative that shares commonalities and contrasts revealed through the process of reflection. We begin the multiple dialogue with excerpts which illustrate participants’ reflections to their invitations to participate, continue with excerpts to show thoughts and transitions at key points of the presentation preparation process, and ending with new questions inspired by involvement in this collaborative process.


qualitative inquiry, science, scientific method, learning community

Author Bio(s)

James A. Bernauer, Robert Morris University. Please direct correspondence to bernauer@rmu.edu. Professor of education at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, PA. USA where he teaches undergraduate as well as doctoral students. His areas of interest are teaching, learning, and research methodologies.

Sheryl Chatfield, Kent State University - Kent Campus. Please direct correspondence to schatfi1@kent.edu. Associate Professor in the College of Public Health at Kent State University. She earned her PhD from the University of Mississippi and completed the NSU graduate certificate in qualitative research, both in 2014. Sheryl is on the TQR editorial board and serves as the North American contact for the international Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis interest group.

Robin Cooper, Nova Southeastern University. Please direct correspondence to robicoop@nova.edu. Associate Professor of Conflict Resolution and Ethnic Studies, and Assistant Dean for Strategic Initiatives and Program Development, in the Halmos College of Arts and Sciences at Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Cooper is on the editorial board of The Qualitative Report and teaches in NSU’s Qualitative Research Graduate Certificate Program

Marilyn Lichtman. Please direct correspondence to mlichtma@vt.edu. After teaching statistics, quantitative, and qualitative research at The Catholic University of America and Virginia Tech for more than 35 years, Marilyn Lichtman embarked on writing texts about qualitative research. The 4th edition of Qualitative Research in Education published by Routledge is expected in fall 2022. She serves on the editorial boards of TQR, FQS (Berlin), and Qualitative Research in Education (Spain).

Rikki Mangrum, Vector Psychometric Group. Please direct correspondence to rikki.mangrum@gmail.com. Director, Patient-Centered Research at Vector Psychometric Group, LLC, where she conducts studies investigating how people experience health, illness, and well-being. Her work supports the development and testing of patient-reported outcome measures used to evaluate the efficacy of medical treatments and devices and the quality of health care services and providers. She serves as a senior editor for The Qualitative Report and chairs the Quality Measures committee for The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.

Martha Snyder, Nova Southeastern University. Please direct correspondence to smithmt@nova.edu. Professor in the Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) and the director of faculty professional development in NSU’s Learning and Educational Center. Through her teaching and research, she collaborates with people from various disciplines who are interested in using appropriate technology and effective design to improve knowledge management and learning in formal and informal environments. She completed NSU’s qualitative research certificate program and serves as a reviewer and team lead for The Qualitative Report.

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