Phenomenological Methodologies in the Field of Educational Communications and Technology

Keri D. Valentine, Theodore J. Kopcha, Mark D. Vagle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The purpose of this paper is to clarify the philosophical and methodological variations of phenomenological research methods and their role in the field of educational communication and technology (ECT). Phenomenology is a qualitative research methodology concerned with investigating phenomena as they manifest through lived-experiences. The unit of analysis resides in the intentional meanings of phenomena. Analysis of those intentionalities, however, has evolved over the past century; phenomenologists have viewed intentionality as something that is: described (transcendental phenomenology), interpreted (hermeneutic phenomenology), or resists centering and embraces contexts, situations, and the partial (post-intentional phenomenology) (Vagle 2014, 2018). To conduct phenomenological research, then, one must be able to articulate the specific philosophical underpinnings associated with each approach and the suitability of each approach. To support researchers and practitioners in the field, this paper explicates philosophical and methodological variations of more prominent phenomenological research approaches as well as related issues and affordances. In doing so, this paper offers scholars in the field various perspectives in which to ground future phenomenological research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)462-472
Number of pages11
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Association for Educational Communications & Technology.


  • Intentionality
  • Phenomenology
  • Post-intentional phenomenology
  • Qualitative research


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