Using the Theory of Planned Behavior with qualitative research
Studies adopting the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) mostly use quantitative methods. Sometimes, however, researchers choose to use a qualitative method because of the nature of available data (e.g., interviews) or availability of only a limited number of cases. This paper describes a study in which the TPB was used with qualitative methods to explain differences in university teaching. It focuses primarily on the methods used: qualitative data coding, data analysis and interpretation, and methods for presenting and supporting results. The study explored factors which influence university teachers to adopt teaching models based on online social interaction when an e-learning platform is used to complement undergraduate classroom teaching. Participants were 26 university teachers (15 from Australia and 11 from Italy). They responded to a semi-structured interview based on the TPB. Three approaches to use of e-learning platforms were identified: upload of materials, use of discussion forums, and computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL). Using this approach, it was possible to highlight substantial differences in the attitudes, social influence, and perceived behavioral control among the three groups.
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