Over the course of this study, there are several ways by which validity, ethics and integrity will be maintained. Access to the setting will be gained through complete transparency with Defense Language Institute administration and staff. They will be completely apprised of the purpose of the study, and the methods used in conducting it. If they do not consent to the study, it is not performed. The nature of the study does not put people at any physical or mental harm, removing that potential ethics issue.
The setting itself is conducive to a significant level of integrity and validity of the results. The Defense Language Institute currently exists as an operating school in which defense languages are taught to students, who have already signed up for these classes. The study will be focusing on participants of a particular pilot course for a new methodology for teaching Arabic; they are not collected by the researchers, and so there is little to no chance of researcher bias in the selection process. Bias will be diminished by the existing presence of the classroom setting; the goal of the study is to examine the effectiveness of this new methodology in this precise environment (military defense language institute), so questions of external applicability will be minimized. The conducting of the methodology itself will be performed by staff not including the researchers, which will also diminish bias and prevent questions of integrity.
Informed consent letters will be offered to each student before the curriculum begins; those who do not wish to participate in the study will not be recorded or interviewed. During the interview process, spontaneous and open-ended questions will be favored in order to minimize bias and leading on the part of the interviewer. The participants will have little to no interaction with the researchers unless absolutely necessary; while rapport building may be used to a small extent to gain more detailed answers in the interviews, friendship developing will be avoided as that might bias results. Any instances of shared construction of answers or clearly prompted questions will be included in the study and weighed accordingly. All participants will be asked the same questions, and effort will be made to gain insight into each participants' response to the curriculum. All responses will be recorded by audio so as to ensure that the participant's exact words are used in the results. A research diary will be kept to record all potential major decisions made in the conducting of the study for accountability purposes; this offers a complete account of the research process to guarantee integrity.
In conclusion, the study itself will be reasonably protected from ethics and validity issues. The methodology itself is not conducted by the researchers, giving a higher chance that the results gleaned will be viewed objectively. The interview process will be methodical, minimized in terms of bias, and the participants will be kept informed about the overall purpose of the study. No part of the study requires the participant to be uninformed about what the researchers are doing, and so informing them minimizes ethical issues and a potential information imbalance.
Golafshani, N. (December 2003). Understanding reliability and validity in qualitative research.
The Qualitative Report, 8(4), 597-607.
Shank, G. D. (2006). Qualitative research: A personal skills approach Upper Saddle River, NJ:
Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall.
Schram, T. H. (2006). Conceptualizing and proposing qualitative research. Upper Saddle River,
N.J.: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall
Trochim W. M. K., & Donnelly, J. (2008). The research methods knowledge base. Mason, OH: