“Experts” on Value-Added Models in Education: A Five-Question Qualitative Online Survey


In this case study, two members from a team of a tenured professor, an early career professor, and a doctoral student outline their experiences from conducting an online qualitative survey research study. The goal of the study was to seek the opinion of experts in the field of education, statistics, and economics about the use of value-added models in education and some of the potential issues associated with value-added models' use in consequential and high-stakes decisions regarding teachers. To obtain the experts' opinions, we administered an online survey consisting of five open-ended questions to 67 authors of 28 peer-reviewed articles that were published in four of the highest-ranking American Educational Research Association journals between 2003 and 2014. This case study provides a description of our experiences in conducting this study and introduces readers to some of the benefits and perils of qualitative survey research. Specifically, this account discusses our sampling method, the design and implementation of the survey, and the collection and analysis of the responses using qualitative data analysis techniques.

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