Jessica Nina Lester is an Associate Professor of Inquiry Methodology in the School of Education at Indiana University. Much of her scholarship is positioned at the intersection of discourse studies and disability studies, and includes a particular focus on the study and further development of langauge-based methodologies. She has published over 60 peer-reviewed journal articles, as well as numerous book chapters and books. Most recently, she co-authored Doing applied conversation analysis: Social interaction in institutional settings (Sage, 2019) and Using naturally occurring data in qualitative health research: A practical guide (Springer, 2019). She is currently co-authoring Doing Qualitative Research with Digital Tools (Sage, 2020) with Trena Paulus.
Digital tools 2020: Frontiers in qualitative research
With the rise of new technologies has come exciting possibilities for qualitative researchers, ranging from new data sources to be explored via online ethnography to the use of artificial intelligence to transcribe recordings of social life to re-envisioning how and where we represent our findings. Nascent digital tools are expanding how participation in qualitative research unfolds, while simultaneously presenting thorny ethical dilemmas. In this talk, 1) we offer a historical overview of the rise and use of digital tools in qualitative research, 2) suggest ways in which technological developments challenge the very nature of research, and 3) highlight ethical quandaries emerging alongside new technologies. From the earliest stages of planning and envisioning a qualitative research project to disseminating research findings in public and accessible ways, we illustrate how digital tools shape and expand the day to day work of contemporary qualitative researchers.