Introduction to the Qualitative Inquiry Award
The Qualitative Inquiry Award began one afternoon when Robert deKieffer and Andrew Yeaman were discussing the current state of scholarship. Bob was the President of the Educational Communications and Technology (ECT) Foundation and Andrew had been chairing the Young Researcher Award for a couple of years. The ECT Foundation is a non-profit organization for charitable and educational purposes that has made a substantial commitment in support of Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT). These purposes reflect the belief that instruction can be improved with new systems for learning and with assessment of techniques for the communication of information. The Foundation funds leadership-training programs for AECT in addition to awarding scholarships, internships, and fellowships. The ECT Foundation’s Young Researcher Award is presented to the best paper reporting on a quantitative or qualitative study addressing a question related to educational technology. The winning paper receives special consideration for publication in Educational Technology Research and Development (ETR&D), the refereed scholarly research journal published by the AECT. However, a need had become apparent for recognizing and rewarding scholarship apart from quantitative research based in experimental psychology, which is what was being submitted for the Young Researcher Award at the time.