INTRODUCTION TO QUALITATIVE RESEARCH
This course is designed for people who have had little or no exposure to qualitative research, and who want to gain an understanding of how qualitative research is done. Learners will be introduced to key concepts and issues relevant to qualitative research, as well as specific examples of research from five qualitative approaches (grounded theory, case study, phenomenology, ethnography/Rapid Assessment Procedures (RAP), and Participatory Action Research (PAR)). By the end of the course, learners will have gained enough knowledge and skills to generate qualitative research questions, effectively critique qualitative research articles or proposals, actively participate in qualitative research, and/or continue their training in more advanced courses on qualitative research.
Method of Presentation of Course Material
The weekly seminars are based on the principles of self-directed adult learning. A core set of readings will be assigned weekly, accompanied by questions intended to stimulate in-class discussion on key themes and issues. Learners are expected to have read the required material, to come to class with issues or questions suitable for discussion, and to actively engage in group discussions. Some weeks there will be a short written assignment; other weeks there will be an in-class exercise or demonstration. The weekly discussions and readings will help learners prepare a mock letter of intent (LOI) outlining a qualitative study they would like to do.
Grading is based on three components: student participation, short written assignments, and a mock letter of intent (13-15-page paper).
Student participation (15%)
This will be graded in terms of participation, facilitation of others' learning and furthering the discussion. The extent to which learners are prepared to discuss material assigned each week will be inferred from class participation.
Short written assignments (40%)
There will be three short written assignments; refer to the Course Schedule for the due dates and topics of each paper. Unless prior permission is received from one of the instructors, all assignments are due on the assigned date; points will be deducted for late papers (1 point per day for two days; papers more than two days late will receive a grade of F). The short papers include:
- Who Am I?
- Developing a Research Question
- Critically Appraising a Qualitative Paper
Mock letter of intent (45%)
A 13-15 page written paper, double-spaced, 12 point font, and one inch margins.