Qualitative researchers assess the qualities of something; if the qualities are measured at all, they do not measure quantity, amount, intensity, or frequency. The data collected is more abstract and express itself in words, and not necessarily numbers.
The benefits of using qualitative methods is the rich and detailed results it can produce. Researchers can use the data to then understand the social impact and influence of the research topic.
Dr. Liz Fitzgerald at the Institute of Educational Technology provides a great explanation of qualitative approaches
Five Types of Qualitative Research
Center for Innovation in Research & Training. (n.d.) Retrieved from https://cirt.gcu.edu/research/developmentresources/research_ready/qualitative/approaches; University of Missouri-St. Louis. (n.d.) Retrieved from http://www.umsl.edu/~lindquists/qualdsgn.html
Types of Research Tools
Qualitative data collection tools, or instruments, are focused on collection the experience, understanding, perspectives, emotions, and/or opinions of their research subjects. As these items are not adequately measured with numbers or stats, the instruments will need to collect word-based data, as opposed to numerical extraction.
Some common qualitative instruments that are utilized frequently by researchers are:
"Data collection methods". (n.d.) Retrieved from https://www.ndcompass.org/health/GFMCHC/Revised%20Data%20Collection%20Tools%203-1-12.pdf; Marczyk, G. R., DeMatteo, D., & Festinger, D. (2005). Essentials of research design and methodology. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley.