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Informed Grounded Theory: A symbiosis of philosophy, methodology, and art

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>10/11/2023
<mark>Journal</mark>Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research
Issue number7
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)1086-1099
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date12/09/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The methodological paper illustrates the informed grounded theory (informed GT) methodology by briefly demonstrating a case study about synchronous video communications and teacher presence in distance education. Unlike Glaser and Strauss' (1967) GT, the literature review is not delayed until the end but is ongoing and integrated throughout the research activity. After the research, the literature review could revisit the theory to make the findings transferable and sustainable. The power of informed GT as a methodology is that it is heterogeneous, combining inductive, deductive, and abductive reasoning in an iterative research process with an initial and ongoing literature review. This process created the theory of tele-proximity and an explanatory model
storyline. The storyline can change and improve by integrating more data and literature in the future. Deduction started with the sensitising concept of proximity found in the literature, mapping the territory, identifying criticisms, and formulating research questions. Induction was used to construct the findings from informants' perceptions to create a theoretical frame with categories that expanded on the Community of inquiry model and its concept of teacher presence. Abductive reasoning was used when plausible reasons were generated from interdisciplinary literature on the value of social cues and embodied cognition in synchronous video communications. Finally, a grounded theory of
tele-proximity was constructed with the concept of tele-teacher presence. In practice, this process was messy. The main challenge was staying grounded and moving between abductive, inductive and deductive reasoning to avoid getting stuck in crude deductions, making wild guesses during abductive reasoning or generating explanations that were not a good fit for the data.