10-09 Qualitative Research

This Masterclass is concerned with central questions and themes related to qualitative research. In the meetings, the focus is on the mutual exchange of perspectives and experiences regarding those themes and the application in the participants own research projects. Presentations by teachers and students are alternated with group assignments, demonstrations, and discussions. Students are required to study the relevant literature beforehand, and to indicate the position of their own research in respect of the themes in a position paper.

First, we pay attention to different paradigms and philosophical issues related to qualitative research. Attention will also be paid to the own perspective of the researcher on the development of knowledge and theories.

Second, the focus will be on research methods. Several approaches and methods, such as grounded theory, protocol analysis, interview analysis and triangulation are discussed. Usually, qualitative research is dealing with different resources and various types of data. Bottlenecks in data storage and processing are related to the annotation of resources (indexing) and to relating resources to each other. Good tools are indispensable for doing this. Special attention will be paid to the support that can be provided by ICT tools. Participants will also be informed about the audit procedure, that can be applied to evaluate the quality of a qualitative study. In pairs, participants will audit each others research before resuming the second part of the course (three weeks later). These audits will provide information to revise the position paper before presenting it on the last days of the master class.

The last two days we will deal with issues related to interpretation and styles of writing for qualitative studies. How to organize your data for writing and how to convince the reader that your interpretations are supported by the data. During these days participants will present their (revised) position paper which will be critiqued by another participant.


The objectives of this masterclass are, that you

  • can articulate your own view on qualitative research
  • gain knowledge of and some practical experience with several aspects of qualitative research, such as methods, writing and presentation
  • gain practical experience with the use of ICT tools to conduct qualitative research


The course requires a total time investment of 100 hours, of which approximately 40 hours are for attending the meetings, and another 60 hours to study literature, write a paper and prepare a critique for another participants paper.


The course coordinators will be the permanent staff. Several other lecturers will contribute with a workshop, lecture or demonstration. The course coordinators are:

  • Carla van Boxtel
    Graduate School of Teaching and Learning (ILO)
    University of Amsterdam
    Spinozastraat 55, 101 8 HJ Amsterdam
  • Paulien Meijer
    IVLOS Institute of Education
    Utrecht University
    PO Box 80127
    3508 TC Utrecht (NL)
  • Sanne Akkerman
    IVLOS Institute of Education
    Utrecht University
    PO Box 80127
    3508 TC Utrecht (NL)


Preparation for the masterclass includes writing a position paper, a top pick of an article that you like because of the applied methodology, auditing and preparing a critique for another participants position paper and reading the literature. The masterclass includes several sessions that are a combination of lecturing, group assignments and discussion.


The student completes the course when he or she is present, actively contributes to the workshops and completes the individual assignments according to the guidelines.


About five weeks before the first meeting participants will receive a reader with literature and assignments for preparation. The assignments and programme will be available on blackboard.

Dates and location

  • All meetings take place in Utrecht and are planned between 9.30 and 17.00.
  • The dates are: May 31, 1, 2, 28 and 29 2010.


The deadline for registration for this course is April 26, 2010.
Before you register, please read our regulations for registration.
To register, please go to our registration form.
The maximum number of participants for this course is 24.