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Abstract

In this article we describe the process followed in the creation of the “Hopscotch Model,” a tool to help novice researchers thoroughly design qualitative research studies while learning the philosophical underpinnings of this particular form of research. The model helps to incorporate the theoretical background behind any qualitative study, as well as the intrinsic complexity of the multiple technical procedures that could be followed within the many different traditions in the field. Hopscotch is supported by an easy to use web-tool that drives potential users through the design of qualitative studies. In this article we describe the phases followed to generate the conceptual model and the web-tool. We conceived the Hopscotch model as a “boundary object,” plastic-enough to adapt to local needs and constraints of the stakeholders using it, yet robust enough to maintain a common identity across different communities, frameworks and possible scenarios in which it could be employed. Therefore, the proposed model is not intended to be complete nor prescriptive, but a flexible tool that can evolve and be completed by anyone. Even though a formal evaluation of the model and web-tool has not been conducted, in this work we present usage data supporting the usefulness of our proposal.

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