The use of Triangulation as a tool for validation of data in qualitative research in Education.

  • Andrea Karla Ferreira Nunes
  • Rita de Cássia Amorim Barroso
  • Jacques Fernandes Santos


The process of Triangulation of data has over the years expanded its collaboration in qualitative research, mainly by the adhesion of several researchers and scientists who are dedicated to the field of research in Education. Known mainly for its ability to combine different methods of data collection, Triangulation has consolidated itself as an effective tool for both textual analysis and empirical data analysis, grouped into its different universes. In addition to its traditional use, this resource has also been used as a viable instrument for the validation and comparison of data collected in field studies, qualitative, which lack reliability and checking, when dealing with collections involving structured interviews or semistructured.

The field of qualitative research, which deals with data validation, has a wide debate about its assumptions, ranging from theories of use of quantitative methods to qualitative research, the use of mixed methods, to discussions that purge any perspective of validation for qualitative data. In view of this situation, the Research, Education and Technologies Group of Tiradentes University (GPETEC), in the state of Sergipe, Brazil, has developed in recent years successful experiences in the field of validation of research data in the field of Education and its Technologies , using triangulation as a way to promote greater reliability to the inputs obtained from various sources of data collection, such as case studies, focus group research, systematic observations, bibliographic data comparison, and so on.

Triangulation is one of the analytical procedures for the interpretation of qualitative data, which can be used in three different dimensions, depending on the context in which it is used, and thus has conceptual differences, which can lead to misunderstandings in its interpretation and understanding. According to Coutinho (2011), in a first dimension, Triangulation is used for evaluation applied to programs, projects, disciplines, etc. In the evaluation process, its conceptualization becomes comprehensive and complex, encompassing different variables, among them, the need to have external evaluators, in addition to the internal ones, and that, preferably, they are of different formations, allowing the combination and crossing of multiple points by sight. In a second dimension, related to data collection, Triangulation allows the researcher to make use of three or more techniques, with a view to expanding the informational universe around its research object, using, for example, focus group, interview, questionnaire application, among others. In a third dimension, we have the use of Triangulation to analyze the information collected. In this sense, the technique predicts two distinct moments: validation and confrontation.