Proloog q-meetodi juurde

Siinviidatu leidis oma koha peamiselt kahel põhjusel:
1) Covid-19 mõju ülikoolide majanduslikule olukorrale on märgatav ka minuni jõudvates praktikates ning “võitlus” erinevatel rinnetel – nii organisatsioonides, nende vahel kui vertikaalses dimensioonis – jätab jälgi kõigile ja kõigele;
2) uuringus kasutatav Q-meetod on midagi sellist, mille õpetamisele oleks ehk samuti hea rohkem panustada. Autor Susan E. Ramlo on q-meetodi rakendamisel-arendamisel üks tuntumaid tegijaid ning seetõttu sobib see artikkel ka omamoodi õppematerjaliks.

Pandeemiaga seonduv kontekst:

administrators, trustees, and/or governments, in order to help flatten the curve regarding the spread of the virus, made decisions that created immediate change within their university communities (Shapiro, March 11, 2020). Major (2020) called these unprecedented times for higher education with other pressing crises also impacting higher education including climate change and racial unrest […] public and private university leaders suddenly were on the hunt for budget reductions with numerous possibilities including the elimination of tenured faculty.

Eesmärk:

The purpose of this study was to determine, describe, and compare the divergent viewpoints of university stakeholders, especially faculty and staff, about how to best-address budget shortfalls at universities due to the COVID-19 pandemic with the hope that these stakeholders could provide innovative ideas for appropriate crisis management, especially in relation to finances.

Otsustamisest ja otsustes osalemisest:

universities and colleges sought various solutions to address budget shortfalls and decreases in revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic. Trustees and upper administrators made these decisions, yet it remains unclear what others, including faculty and staff, see as the best solutions to the financial issues related to the pandemic especially when focusing on the education mission of universities

Meetodi valik:

Although Q has existed for over 85 years, its methodology resides within the qualitative-quantitative continuum of mixed methods research resulting in at least a somewhat idiosyncratic status within social and behavioral research communities […] The generalizability in Q is a qualitative type, rather than quantitative type, of generalizability

Osaliste valik:

The P-set represents the set of participants who completed sorts within a Q study. In this study, participants were recruited via snowballing as well as posting requests to participate in the study on social media sites such as Higher Ed and the Coronavirus and Pandemic Pedagogy on Facebook.

Kuidas andmeid koguti:

Q-sorts were collected online using HtmlQ, which uses freeware database hosting coordinated with a cloud computing company that offers hosting for web applications. The pandemic alone did not create the need for online Q-sorting. The researcher wanted to reach a broad, geographic constituency and offering participation online helped ensure that diversity of the P-set.

Muljetavaldav hulk vastuseid:

Eighty-three participants completed the Q-sort using the 40 statements generated from relevant news stories about the effect of the pandemic on higher education as well as actions taken or considered by university governing boards and/or administrators.

Mõned järeldused:

there is agreement that defunding public higher education is problematic and that universities should push the federal and state governments to provide special, additional funding to public higher education during crises such as the pandemic […] In contrast to the consensus as well as the divergent viewpoints from this study, administrators and trustees at a growing number of US universities made the choice to eliminate full-time faculty, sometimes including tenured faculty, to address the expense of the pandemic.

Vastus “so-what”-küsimusele:

This study’s findings are especially important because of the implications for democratizing decision-making in higher education in all countries, not just the US, as well as the ability to describe and compare divergent viewpoints.

Ramlo, Susan E. (2021).  Universities and the COVID‑19 pandemic: Comparing views about how to address the financial impact.  Innovative Higher Education, 46(3).