This study set out to answer the following research questions: 1) How do stakeholders describe their experiences with a professional development program for multimodal composition? 2) What aspects of these professional development experiences are most valuable and significant to participants?
Since the research questions for this study were phenomenological in nature, I used a qualitative approach in designing the study. I used the following data sources to help me answer these questions: 1) two questionnaires (entrance and exit surveys) distributed to WAT Institute participants 2) 19 interviews with WAT Institute participants and coordinators, 3) observations conducted during each institute session, 4) planning documents collected from institute coordinators, and 5) public documents (advertisements, website, etc.) associated with the WAT Institute. (See appendix C for survey and interview designs.)
Since I did not begin this study knowing how participants would represent their experiences or what they would find valuable about them, I used inductive analytic methods (Hatch, 2002) to distill central themes in the interview and questionnaire data. I assigned “open,” descriptive codes (Saldaña, 2015) during an initial round of coding. I used research memos (Charmaz, 2006) and regular consultations with a senior colleague to determine the most salient domains suggested by these initial codes and developed a coding scheme from these domains, refining the coding scheme using a sample of my data before recoding all of the data. Continued research memos and conversations with a colleague throughout this second round of coding helped me to interpret the data and form my research findings.