Journal of College & University Student Housing Volume 50, No. 2 - 41

Improving Praxis in Residence Life
Research highlights the overall decrease in mental well-being
during the pandemic. . . . Residence life staff struggled to balance
caring for students with protecting their own health and safety-
all while managing frequently changing policies.
Data Collection
The first author collected data via semi-structured, individual interviews that were 45-
60 minutes long. During these interviews, the first author engaged in conversations
with participants about their experiences during the pandemic, in hope of gaining the
rich, thick descriptions needed for qualitative research (Merriam & Tisdell, 2016). Conversations
revolved around participants' work experiences, their well-being, and how
their work may have impacted their well-being. Their responses to follow-up questions
provided insights into the context of each participant's situation (i.e., departmental and
institutional responses to the pandemic, operating procedures and changes to those)
and revealed more about the strategies and support that they utilized to cope with
challenges encountered at work.
The first author hosted and, with the permission of participants, recorded interviews
via a virtual platform (i.e., Zoom or Microsoft Teams). Interviews were transcribed
using a professional transcription service. Data for this study consisted of these interview
transcripts, along with demographic information collected as part of the survey.
Data Analysis
We used a constant comparative approach to data analysis (Merriam & Tisdell, 2016).
Throughout the analysis, we moved back and forth between original data, codes, and
themes to get an in-depth understanding of our data (Merriam & Tisdell, 2016). Specifically,
we conducted three rounds of coding utilizing the Dedoose software. In the
first round of coding, we marked segments of data related to the 4 S's of Schlossberg's
(2008) transition model (situation, self, support, strategies). In the second round of
coding, we engaged in open coding by creating codes that described the situation, self,
support, or strategies that participants discussed in more detail. In alignment with a
constant comparative approach (Merriam & Tisdell, 2016), the first author developed
a code book based on the first few transcripts. Then we each applied these codes to
additional transcripts and revised codes as needed. Next, we met to discuss emerging
themes. We created a new set of codes related to these themes, which we applied to our
data in a third round of coding. In the final step of analysis, we downloaded all quotations
related to each of the four themes. We then reviewed them for each theme along
with the assigned codes to further narrow down the focus of each theme.
We utilized several strategies to strengthen the trustworthiness of this study.
We coded data independently before coming together to compare emerging findings
(Merriam & Tisdell, 2016). We also shared our positionality in this manuscript, created
an audit trail, and used rich, thick descriptions when discussing our findings
(Merriam & Tisdell, 2016).
38 The Journal of College and University Student Housing

Journal of College & University Student Housing Volume 50, No. 2

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