15-MQL Master Class Qualitative Research

Course description:
This course is concerned with the central questions, methodological approaches and themes related to conducting qualitative research. In the meetings, the focus will be on exchanging knowledge, perspectives and experiences regarding these aspects and their application in students’ 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 prepare a short position paper and an audit trail of their own research approach.

In the first meeting (1 day), we pay attention to different paradigms and philosophical issues related to qualitative research. Also, in this meeting, students will share and discuss their preliminary position papers. In the second meeting (1 day), the main focus will be on different methodological approaches in qualitative research, including ‘standard’ as well as more innovative approaches (e.g., video vignettes, story line); and analytic procedures (e.g., grounded theory, protocol analysis, interview analysis and triangulation). Also, attention will be paid to issues of research quality and validity, including the audit procedure. As a part of this meeting, students will audit each other's research process in peer groups.

The third meeting (6 weeks later), consists of two consecutive days and will deal with the organization and presentation (oral and written) of qualitative studies. For example, students will learn about how to organize and present data for writing and how to convince the reader that interpretations are supported by the data. During these days participants will present their (revised) position paper that will be critiqued by two other peer participants.

Course objectives:
The objectives of this course are that participants
can articulate and justify their understanding and use of different qualitative research approaches, and what counts as quality in different forms of qualitative research
gain knowledge of, and practical experience with, several aspects of qualitative research, such as methods, analysis techniques, writing and presentation.

This course is recommended for second or third year PhD-students. First year PhD students may participate only if they have followed the ICO Introductory course.
Preliminary to the first meeting, participants are required to read the reader with texts that will be distributed.

Course Programme

The course consists of three blocks of four days in total. During the first two blocks, presentations by (guest) teachers are alternated with group assignments, demonstrations, and discussions. Before the first meeting students will develop a short position paper based on the readings that will be reviewed by peers. During the interval between the first and second blocks, students will create an audit trail on their own research process and evaluate or 'audit' another student's work. The final block of two days will concentrate on written and verbal presentations, including issues and challenges in qualitative research in students’ own studies. In this block, students will present a revised version of their position paper.

Location: Vergadercentrum Vredenburg 19, Utrecht

maximum number of participants:24

The student completes the course when s/he demonstrates evidence of having read the reader, is present during the course, actively engages with the ideas, contributes to the workshops and completes the individual assignments according to the guidelines.

Course coordinators:
Amanda Berry a.k.berry@iclon.leidenuniv.nl
Jacobiene Meirink meirink@iclon.leidenuniv.nl
Rosanne Zwart r.c.zwart@uu.nl

Task 1: Reading
Summary         Prior to the first meeting participants are required to read the reader provided
Objectives       Basic comprehension of Qualitative Methodologies
Procedure        Reader will be distributed six weeks before the first meeting
Materials         Reader

Task 2: Position paper

Summary :     Prior to the first meeting, participants are required to formulate a brief position paper (1/2 page) that entails identifying a particular form/genre of qualitative research suitable
                     for their study and identifying reasons why it is suitable.
Objectives     Develop an understanding of different forms/genres of qualitative research and their different purposes in research.
Procedure     Task will be provided to students with reader, six weeks before first meeting.
Materials       Reader

Task 3: Audit procedure to maintain and check quality of methodology
Summary        Between meetings two and three, participants are asked to conduct an audit, which entails a quality check of each others’ methodology
Objectives      Develop an understanding of how to reflectively and critically evaluate (own or other) research methodology, particularly when this methodology is complex and/or lacks standardized procedures
Procedure       More information on the procedure and grouping will be given during the second meeting of the course.
Materials:       Reader