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QRSI
Course Descriptions

QRSI
Course
Descriptions

Monday-Tuesday (July 23-24)

Two-Day Courses

Scholar: Trena Paulus

Dates: Monday-Tuesday, July 23-24

From social media to online support groups to learning at a distance, conversations on the Internet have
long been of interest to qualitative researchers in a variety of fields. Though a majority of research in
this area relies on content analysis methods, this course will present a variety of qualitative methods for
analyzing online conversations.

We will introduce a research framework for analyzing online conversations, an approach designed to
assist researchers in creating conceptually congruent research designs to answer important questions
about what is happening in online conversations. More specifically, the framework will help participants
learn how to:

  • Identify an object of interest for investigation
  • Recognize philosophical and theoretical assumptions that impact research design
  • Create focused and relevant research questions
  • Ensure methodological alignment across aspects of the study design
  • Resolve ethical dilemmas surrounding the analysis of online conversations
  • Transform online conversations into a coherent dataset
  • Select appropriate technologies for working with the data
  • Analyze data using thematic, narrative and discursive techniques
  • Establish the quality of the findings

Relevant course material will come from Researching Learning, Insight and Transformation in Online
Talk
(forthcoming in 2018, Routledge).

Scholar: Geni Eng, Melvin Jackson, Alexandra Lightfoot and Jennifer Schaal

Dates: Monday-Tuesday, July 23-24

Whether new to or experienced with engaging communities in research, investigators are challenged by the inevitable tensions between scientific requirements for rigor and control, and communitarian demands for participation and transparency. Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is often complicated by multi-layered partnerships, based in power relations negotiated between diverse groups (each with specific histories, politics, and cultures), while being regulated by external forces of research governance. What is distinctive about CBPR is a set of principles to guide the openness, fluidity, and unpredictability of a collaborative approach to research.

Through conducting CBPR since 1991, our team of academic and community-based investigators has developed and used practical tools and structures for CBPR partners to:

  • define a common vocabulary to discuss power and inequities
  • codify equitable decision-making power
  • anticipate and manage conflict
  • approve and co-author findings and publications
  • establish alternate institutional ethical review processes

In this course, we will use a blend of brief lectures, discussions, and interactive exercises to stimulate thinking creatively about CBPR tools and structures, and apply the results to our own work. For example, to analyze and guide our practice in applying CBPR principles, you will receive a “real life” case of a community-academic partnership engaged in using the qualitative research method of critical incident technique interview to explore if African American and White women, diagnosed and treated with breast cancer at the same facility, received cancer care that was the same. We are enthusiastic about the potential for co-learning.

Scholar: Johnny Saldaña

Dates: Monday-Tuesday, July 23-24

Being in conversation with qualitative data can include identifying ideas that spark meaning, insight, and sense-making. This two-day workshop focuses on a range of selected methods of coding qualitative data for analytic outcomes that includes patterns, categories, themes, processes, causation, and diagrams. The workshop will address:

  • Various coding methods for qualitative data (with an emphasis on interview transcripts)
  • Analytic memo writing
  • Heuristics for thinking qualitatively and analytically

Manual (hard copy) coding will be emphasized with a discussion of available analytic software for future use. Workshop content is derived from Saldaña’s The Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers (3rd ed., 2016, Sage).

Scholars: Ray Maietta and Alison Hamilton

Dates: Monday-Tuesday, July 23-24

The main goal of this course is to position you to develop an active and engaged posture toward data collection. To accomplish this goal, we will emphasize strategies to employ a posture of openness, flexibility, and responsiveness in our data collection practices.

Course content will direct interaction with four qualitative data collection strategies:

  1. Interviews
  2. Focus Groups
  3. Observation
  4. Online data collection

Ten data engagement strategies, listed here, will direct our course content and provide you with a checklist and action plan for your fieldwork:

  • Understanding: How well do you understand the topic of and audience for your project? Are you familiar with the properties, dimensions, and dynamics of your topic and how further work in your field will affect audiences for your work?
  • Aligning: How do your data collection strategies and the questions in your interview/focus group guide assist you in achieving project goals?
  • Preparing: Who are your participants? How does knowledge of the participants inform your data collection format and approach? How do you foster a sense of ownership for participants in the data collection experience?
  • Opening: What are ways to open the interaction and conversation appropriately and comfortably?
  • Asking: What do you ask participants when and why? What questions open conversation topics? When and how do you probe and ask for further detail and example? What do you note from the field? How do you develop your observation skills?
  • Following: How do you maintain a proper posture to discover, but not unduly influence, your participants’ experiences? How do you manage the conversation and observation in a way that allows you to follow your participants’ unfolding narratives while keeping them interested and involved in their own story telling?
  • Shifting/Adjusting: When and why do you make adjustments to data collection protocols and interview or focus group approaches? How can you shift your approach, language, and direction on the spot as you listen to and observe people’s unfolding narratives?
  • Closing: How can you naturally and affirmatively reach the conclusion of each data collection episode?
  • Processing: How do you track and understand the evolution of your interview/focus group guide and data collection protocols to process the meanings these changes have for your project?
  • Contextualizing: How do considerations of ethical, political, and social implications related to your study, your participants, and the communities in which your study is located guide and direct your practices and what you present?

Employing these strategies through the life of your project will ensure you ask the right questions to the right people at the right time and in the right way. This practice will also help you to understand how the conversations and interactions occurring during data collection fit what is currently known about, and practiced in, your field.

Scholar: Cheryl Poth

Dates: Monday-Tuesday, July 23-24

Mixed methods research requires specialized knowledge yet also builds upon existing qualitative and quantitative research skills. The overall goal of this workshop is to engage in discussions of perceived (and real) challenges when designing, conducting, and disseminating mixed methods research.

To achieve this goal, we will consider three key questions:

  1. What distinguishes quality mixed methods research designs from other types of research?
  2. How can researchers avoid common pitfalls seen in mixed methods research designs and articles?
  3. What recent advances in the field of mixed methods research can be incorporated into designs and manuscripts?

Knowledge of and experience with the issues raised in these questions will maximize the quality of your designs, feasibility of your procedures, and avenues for disseminating your completed mixed methods research.

Participants are encouraged to bring a study idea or preliminary draft of a proposal or paper that they can explore during the workshop. Workshop content is derived from Onwuegbuzie and Poth’s (2016) Editors’ afterword: “Toward Evidence-based Guidelines for Reviewing Mixed Methods Research Manuscripts Submitted to Journals” (available open access from International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 15:1-13).

Scholar: Margarete Sandelowski

Dates: Monday-Tuesday, July 23-24

The focus of this course is on concrete, this-is-how-you-might/should-say-it strategies for designing and writing effective and competitive qualitative and mixed-methods research proposals. Qualitative and mixed-methods research proposals are exercises in artful and mindful design, verbal precision, imaginative and informed rehearsal, elegant expression, and strategic disarmament. We will cover principles generic to proposals, and specific ways to communicate the significance, conceptual framing, methodological details (sampling and data collection and analysis plans, plans for optimizing validity and human subjects protections) of, and budget and budget justification for, the planned study.

We will also cover strategies for addressing those aspects of qualitative and mixed-methods research designs likely to arouse the most concern among reviewers less familiar with them, most notably the purposeful sampling frame and generalizability of study findings. This course is appropriate for graduate students and faculty in the practice disciplines (e.g., clinical psychology, education, medicine, nursing, public health, social work) as well as researchers from other fields of study (e.g., sociology, anthropology).

In addition to didactic instruction, handouts, and a suggested reference list, the course will also include an interactive session where participants will have the opportunity, as time permits, to ask questions about their own proposals for problem solving.

Wednesday (July 25)

One-Day Course

Scholar: Sarah Tracy

Date: Wednesday, July 25

In quantitative communities, measures of quality are relatively simple: validity, reliability, generalizability, and objectivity. However, qualitative research cannot and should not be evaluated by these same yardsticks. This workshop presents a parsimonious, “big tent” model of qualitative quality in which participants will explore eight key markers of quality in qualitative research including: 1) worthy topic, 2) rich rigor, 3) sincerity, 4) credibility, 5) resonance, 6) significant contribution, 7) ethics and 8) meaningful coherence.

This model is based upon material from Qualitative Research Methods: Collecting Evidence, Crafting Analysis, Communicating Impact (2013, Wiley-Blackwell) and this article: Tracy, S.J. (2010). “Qualitative Quality: Eight ‘Big-tent’ Criteria for Excellent Qualitative Research.” Qualitative Inquiry, 16: 837-51 .

The eight points of the big tent model will enable teachers, researchers, and practitioners of qualitative inquiry to:

  1. Identify a worthy topic that is relevant, timely, significant and interesting to core audiences
  2. Create rich rigor through using sufficient, abundant, appropriate, and complex theories, data, constructs, and analysis processes
  3. Communicate sincerity by being self-reflexive and transparent
  4. Ensure credibility through thick description, triangulation, crystallization, multivocality, and member reflections
  5. Fashion resonant research that influences and moves audiences through aesthetic representation, naturalistic generalization, and transferable findings
  6. Develop a significant contribution—theoretically, practically, morally, methodologically, and heuristically
  7. Practice qualitative ethics–including procedural, situational, relational, and exiting considerations
  8. Craft meaningful coherence by interconnecting literature, research questions, findings and interpretations so that they fit together, cohere with the study’s goals, and connect with the audience’s expectations.

The model also equips consumers and evaluators of qualitative work with measures to assess the quality of material they review.

The workshop is targeted to researchers, grant-writers, and instructors of qualitative methods—both those new to these areas as well as experienced inquirers.

Scholar: Alison Hamilton

Date: Wednesday, July 25

A key challenge with qualitative methods is conveying results to quantitative audiences in compelling, rigorous, and impactful ways. Qualitative research is often preconceived by quantitative audiences to be less than rigorous, “too subjective,” and “anecdotal.” The course will equip students with tools and techniques for presenting qualitative results effectively and dynamically.

We will discuss:

Setting the Stage

  • Describing the qualitative analytic approach that was used
  • Fostering openness between the presenter and the audience
  • Considering the needs of different audiences

Balancing Detail and Message

  • Privileging the data while using quotes judiciously
  • Juxtaposing data with your interpretations
  • Situating theory strategically
  • Using different types of data displays (diagrams, maps, tables, etc.) to convey results
  • Using language that will resonate with non-qualitative audiences

Reinforcing Key Takeaways

  • Addressing negative, skeptical, or critical responses to qualitative results
  • Fostering trust in qualitative results

Taught by a mixed methods researcher who frequently presents to quantitative audiences, the course will be oriented toward capturing and expressing experience through varying strategies that move beyond a simple binary contrast of “qualitative” and “quantitative.”

Scholar: Johnny Saldaña

Date: Wednesday, July 25

After qualitative data have been collected and initially analyzed, we are faced with the larger task of making meaning across numerous narratives and expanding ideas. This course provides strategies for this data synthesis—for moving into advanced data analysis and integrative theory building.

The workshop will address:

  • Analytic heuristics (assertions, themes, propositions, concepts)
  • Analytic write-ups (memos, vignettes)
  • Data analytic display-making (matrices and diagrams)
  • Theory development

We will make use of an analytic synthesis chart that outlines approaches for integrating meaningful ideas and making sense of data and across data. These methods are transferable to any discipline, including business, education, social sciences, and health care, etc.

Workshop content is derived from Saldaña’s methods texts including The Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers (3rd ed., 2016, Sage), and the co-authored Qualitative Data Analysis: A Methods Sourcebook (3rd ed., 2014, Sage), and Qualitative Research: Analyzing Life (2018, Sage).

Scholar: Kevin Swartout

Date: Wednesday, July 25

Qualitative inquiry can help us understand the meaning of social problems, moving beyond simply identifying social determinants and correlations to revealing underlying mechanisms at work. By moving closer to the problem, we can access the insider accounts—stories that can be used to motivate change and save lives. Rich data and attention to the voices of survivors, stakeholders, and gatekeepers provide openings for devising constructive solutions. In this way, qualitative inquiry equips us with evidence, action steps, prevention strategies, targeted messaging, and informed interventions.

This course will include discussion of qualitative processes that will position participants to draw nuanced conclusions to aid social problem solving. The timely issue of sexual misconduct will be threaded through the course as an example to demonstrate decision-making across the methodological life of a qualitative project:

  • Topic decision-making: What part(s) of the social problem can and should be studied?
  • Choosing respondents: Who should the participants be? How will you gain access?
  • Designing data collection strategies: For research on sensitive topics, how do you shape data collection guides? How do you obtain IRB approval? Which research methods and procedures are most ethical, efficient, and effective?
  • Developing an analysis plan: How can you capture the holistic stories of participants’ experiences?
  • Disseminating results: How can you develop convincing arguments regarding policy and practice?
  • Planning and implementing interventions: How can findings be used to inform interventions?

Scholar: Trena Paulus

Date: Wednesday, July 25

This one-day course introduces participants to how both free and proprietary technologies can be used to create innovative workflows to support the entire qualitative research process. This includes becoming networked scholars through a variety of social media platforms; engaging in a paperless literature review by using cloud storage, citation management software, annotating apps and data analysis software; collecting data with mobile apps; transcribing with state-of-the-art innovations; selecting the right qualitative data analysis software; and writing research reports through storyboarding.

Not only will participants gain a comprehensive introduction to the most recent digital tool developments as they apply to qualitative research, but, through detailed demonstrations by the instructor, they will also learn how to analyze critically the affordances and constraints of such tools and the ethical implications of their use. Participants will get a sneak peek of Doing Qualitative Research with Digital Tools, forthcoming from Sage in 2019.

Topics and tools will include:

  • Networking through academic social media platforms (Academia.edu, Google Scholar profiles, and ResearchGate)
  • Developing a paperless literature review process using cloud storage (Dropbox), citation management software (Mendeley), annotating apps (GoodReader), and QDAS tools (ATLAS.ti 8)
  • Collecting data through mobile apps (ATLAS.ti, Evernote), social media sites (Twitter), and GeoDocs (Google Earth)
  • Transcribing in ways that synchronize the media file with the text (Inqscribe and Youtube) and enable “hands-free” transcription (Dragon Dictate and Google Voice)
  • Selecting an appropriate qualitative data analysis software package (e.g. DeDoose, ATLAS.ti, MAXQDA, NVivo, Quirkos)
  • Managing the writing process through storyboarding (Scrivener)

The purpose of the workshop is to provide a comprehensive demonstration, rather than a tutorial, of how these digital tools can support efficient, effective, and theoretically-grounded methodological work.

Scholar: Margarete Sandelowski

Date: Wednesday, July 25

The focus of this 1-day course is on practical strategies to produce research reports publishable in high-quality peer-reviewed journals. The course will cover an array of topics including:

  • Communicating the significance and methodological details of a study
  • Selecting the appropriate journal venue, empirical and theoretical framing, and style, logic, emphasis, and organizational structure for the report
  • Effectively using such literary elements as vantage point and metaphor, and such devices such as casing, counting, quoting, tabulating, titling, and diagramming to show methodological and findings details
  • Presenting research results accessible to and translatable by researchers or practitioners
  • Strategically planning multiple reports from a common parent study, including mixed methods studies
  • Wisely managing reject and revise-and-resubmit responses to submitted manuscripts
  • Tricks of the trade for overcoming writing paralysis or blocks

This course is appropriate for graduate students and faculty in the practice disciplines (e.g., clinical psychology, education, medicine, nursing, public health, social work) as well as researchers from other fields of study (e.g., sociology, anthropology).

Thursday-Friday (July 26-27)

Two-Day Courses

Scholar: Johnny Saldaña

Dates: Thursday-Friday, July 26-27

The wealth of qualitative research methods and strategies for analysis can be overwhelming to beginners as well as those who have experience with qualitative data approaches. This two-day workshop will walk participants through basic approaches to and methods for qualitative inquiry. Primary topics addressed will include:

  • A survey of qualitative data collection methods: interviewing, participant observation, documents/artifacts
  • Qualitative research design
  • A survey of qualitative data analytic methods
  • Writing and presenting qualitative research

Multiple practical and on-your-feet activities will be included throughout the course to provide students with experiential knowledge, skill building, and methods literacy.

Newcomers to qualitative inquiry will benefit from this course by gaining workshop experience in the basic methods of qualitative research for future study and application. Experienced qualitative researchers will benefit from this course by refreshing their knowledge bases of methods, plus observing how introductory material is approached with novices for future applications in the classroom. Course content will be adapted from Saldaña’s Fundamentals of Qualitative Research (2011, Oxford), and Saldaña and Omasta’s textbook, Qualitative Research: Analyzing Life (2018, Sage).

Scholar: Sarah Tracy

Dates: Thursday-Friday, July 26-27

All too commonly, qualitative researchers face obstacles and unfair critiques by grant reviewers, committee members, or journal reviewers that their research is not yet theoretically or practically significant. This workshop introduces eight distinct heuristic tools that, when applied strategically, transform qualitative data into claims that evolve theory and practice in important and impactful ways:

  • Jeopardy research questions
  • Abduction
  • Negative case analysis
  • Conceptual cocktail parties
  • Carrying claims
  • and more

The following workshop exercises will enable participants to understand the heuristic tools and apply them in their own work:

  • Engaging claim-making and theory building worksheets that lead to an iterative and phronetic (wise) analysis
  • Practicing open coding, in vivo coding, creating a qualitative codebook, and differentiating between first- and second-level codes
  • Crafting specific claims that resonate and transfer to a variety of settings
  • Exploring and practicing iterative writing and a formula for being “interesting”
  • Learning tips for crafting qualitative research that fully engages and connects with intended audiences

This course is designed for those new to qualitative methods as well as experienced researchers who want to deepen their analyses or refine their techniques for teaching qualitative interpretation and analysis.

Resources for this workshop will come, in part, from S. Tracy’s Qualitative Research Methods: Collecting Evidence, Crafting Analysis, Communicating Impact (2013, Wiley-Blackwell) and from Huffman and Tracy’s “Making Claims that Matter: Heuristics for Theoretical and Social Impact in Qualitative Research” (In press), Qualitative Inquiry.

Scholar: Alison Hamilton

Dates: Thursday-Friday, July 26-27

A researcher or research team pursues a mixed methods approach to understand a given topic or phenomenon more deeply when numbers or narratives alone do not provide a complete picture. Combining qualitative and quantitative approaches can enhance conversations about theory and/or inform the evolution of practice and policy. This complex and demanding research paradigm requires knowledge, skill, and expertise in quantitative and qualitative methods, as well as the art of carefully integrating the approaches to and findings from each mode of inquiry.

This course focuses on strategies, tips, and best practices to accomplish this integration in accessible and effective ways, including:

  • Rationales to guide decision-making related to study design and execution.
    For example:
    • Will the qualitative and quantitative data collection efforts occur concurrently or sequentially, and why?
    • Will either the qualitative or quantitative be privileged or will each contribute equally to answering the research questions and generating the project’s final products?
    • How can the mixed methods study be designed to maximize the potential for synergy among the different types of data?
  • Conceptual, theoretical, and/or logic models as roadmaps to set the stage for and guide integration
    • How can the model—and the language of the model—be developed to reflect interdisciplinary inputs?
  • Analytic strategies that advance frameworks and dynamic processes of connecting, building, merging, embedding, and bridging.
    For example:
    • The power and role of using data displays and visual diagramming during the analytic process
    • How can tensions in mixed methods results be addressed creatively, to foster meaningful products?

Scholar: Ray Maietta and Kevin Swartout

Dates: Thursday-Friday, July 26-27

The Sort and Sift, Think and Shift qualitative data analysis approach, created by Ray Maietta and his consulting team at ResearchTalk Inc, is an iterative process, where analysts dive into data to understand its content, dimensions and properties, and then step back to assess what they have learned in order to bridge findings with current conversations in their field and to assess implications for practice. The method combines tenets and practices from phenomenology, grounded theory, case study and narrative research. The ResearchTalk team has utilized and taught this approach for over a decade to qualitative researchers across disciplines and industries.

  • This process of “diving in” and “stepping back” is repeated throughout the analytic process. Researchers move from establishing an understanding of what is in the data to exploring their relationship to the data. To conclude, they arrive at an evidence-based meeting point that is a hybrid story of data content and researcher knowledge.

The Sort and Sift approach is defined by two key analytic shifts qualitative analysts must make over the course of their data work.

  1. Shift 1 occurs when analysts move their analytic plans from being driven by what they knew and thought before they collected and engaged with data to allowing data content to define analytic decision-making and directions.
  2. Shift 2 occurs as analysts move from processing individual data documents to giving careful thought and attention to what they will present and how this material will be presented to audiences.

Each phase of the Sort and Sift method features a toolkit to facilitate analytic activities.

  • The “Diving In” toolkit features tools to use as you read, review, recognize and record your observations during data review.
  • The “Stepping Back” toolkit features tools to use as you reflect, re-strategize and re-orient after your “diving in” phases of analysis.

The iterative back and forth between these phases allows you to bridge emergent findings and concepts to conversations and practices currently engaged by your colleagues.

Scholar: Cheryl Poth

Dates: Thursday-Friday, July 26-27

Following the Creswell/Poth book Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among Five Approaches (4th ed., 2017, Sage), this course examines the designs, rationales, and procedures inherent to five qualitative research approaches:

  1. Narrative Research
  2. Phenomenology
  3. Grounded Theory
  4. Ethnography
  5. Case Study

These five approaches all emphasize rigorous strategies for qualitative inquiry. Independent books and articles have been written about each and qualitative scholars feature these approaches in their published work.

Five questions will enhance your ability to evaluate and apply each approach:

  1. What are the defining features?
  2. What are the typical data collection procedures and how are rigorous procedures assessed in published research?
  3. What are the common data analysis strategies and how is evidence of validity established?
  4. What ethical considerations need to be anticipated and how are arising issues presented?
  5. What challenges are likely encountered and how are study limitations discussed?

Participants are encouraged to bring their ideas for a qualitative study to explore during the workshop as there will be embedded opportunities for small and large group discussions.

Scholar: Sally Thorne

Dates: Thursday-Friday, July 26-27

This course focuses on developing skills and confidence in designing and conducting a qualitative study for the purpose of translating knowledge into practice in an applied field. We will consider applied qualitative research in theory, in process, and in context. That is, we will work through the various phases of conceptualizing and conducting a qualitative study whose purpose extends beyond theorizing and seeks action-in-the-world.

The course will cover basic elements of the logic of philosophical, theoretical, and disciplinary positioning, sampling, data collection options, and interpretation in an applied qualitative research context. We will reflect on the relationship between these components of design and the qualities of a project that engender work that is trustworthy, credible, and appropriately aligned with the investigator’s applied research aims. We will consider how we know what we know and how we make knowledge claims, particularly evidentiary claims, on the basis of qualitative investigation. We will delve into how applied qualitative researchers transform data pieces into patterns and thematic observations into meaningful findings, allowing participants an opportunity to wrestle with the intellectual mechanics that data analysis entails.

In addition to instruction, handouts, and a list of suggested references, the course will also include interactive components; participants will be invited to ask questions regarding their own inquiry to inform the collective thinking of the group.

Course content is adapted from Dr. Thorne’s book, Interpretive Description: Qualitative Research for Applied Practice (2016, Routledge.)

Past Courses

Courses offered in 2015-2017; not available for 2018

Scholar: Tony Adams, Alison Hamilton, and Ray Maietta

Year: 2015

This course is founded on the premise that qualitative inquiry is unique, powerful, and necessary. The course presents unapologetic arguments for the strength of our work as qualitative experts and offers concrete tips and approaches to qualitative practice. Adams, Hamilton, and Maietta will use a combination of their own work and their favorite qualitative work in autoethnography, in-depth interviews, focus groups, and evaluation to equip you with the skills and language to become a vocal advocate for your qualitative contributions and the qualitative work you consume and share with others.

To accomplish this goal, these 4 principles must guide how you engage, evaluate and present qualitative work:

  1. The strategies you use to carry out your project must align with your project questions and goals.
  2. You must verify the quality of your work DURING data collection and analysis.
  3. The presentation of your work must be lucid and compelling.
    1. You must effectively build and tell your qualitative story using your data to discover and communicate your message(s)
  4. You must make a useful contribution
    1. to practice
    2. to theory
    3. to future research

Together we will review how others have accomplished these goals and help to ensure you do so as you move forward with your qualitative projects.

Scholar: Paul Mihas

Years: 2016, 2017

This course focuses on developing codes and integrating memo writing into a larger analytic process. Coding and memo writing function as simultaneous and fluid tasks that occur during actively reviewing of interviews, focus groups, and multi-media data. We will discuss deductive and inductive codes and how a codebook can evolve, that is, how codes can emerge and shift unexpectedly during analysis. Managing codes also includes developing code connections and possible hierarchies, identifying code “constellations,” and building multidimensional themes.

Our discussion of codes will include the following topics:

  • The importance of code names and definitions
  • Deductive, inductive, and thematic codes
  • How many codes are too many?
  • How broad or specific should codes be?

Memos function as deep reflections that capture nuanced thoughts and cumulative reactions to data. Memo writing strategies help us capture analytical thinking, inscribed meaning, and cumulative evidence for emerging meaning. Memos can also resemble early writing for reports, articles, chapters, and other forms of presentation. Researchers can also mine memos for codes and incorporate memos in building evocative themes and theory. The following types of memos and memo-writing will be discussed in an effort to offer strategies to begin applying these techniques to your own work: holistic memos, positionality memos, statement memos, thematic memos, and memos that engage critical data segments.

Scholar: Carolyn Ellis

Year: 2017

This one-day class will focus on interviewing others about sensitive, traumatic, and emotional topics. First, I will provide a history and context for collaborative interviewing practices. Then I will discuss and demonstrate an approach called “compassionate research,” which includes compassionate interviewing and storytelling. In this process, researchers and participants build a relationship over time, work collaboratively, and share vulnerably. Researchers concentrate on the life stories of participants as developed and expressed in conversations, in multiple sites of memory, and through various forms of interaction (for example, group discussions, lectures, informal meetings, family gatherings). In this research, a participant’s wellbeing is always a consideration; the possibility of relieving suffering and contributing to a meaningful life with purpose and a better world goes hand in hand with asking questions and telling a life story. Products of this process might be scholarly articles, collaborative stories, social action, documentaries, or expressive arts.

Using my work with Holocaust survivors as an example, I will guide workshop attendees through how to think about these kinds of interviews, general principles and considerations, emotionality, cautions, ethical concerns, and possible outcomes. Videotapes of interview segments will stimulate a discussion of these issues. I will end with a short documentary of a trip I took to Treblinka (a death camp in Poland) with a survivor, a film that features the tensions of doing compassionate research as a friend and researcher. Workshop attendees will be encouraged to think about how they might broaden and deepen their understanding of interviewing and consider ways in which they might incorporate some of these practices into their research interests.

Scholar: Kevin Swartout

Year: 2015

Communicating research findings is storytelling; some stories are supported by qualitative data, some are supported by numbers, some by both. This course is for researchers who want to consume mixed-methods research or incorporate mixed methods into their scholarship. Rather than furthering the misguided rivalry between inquiries, this course will focus on the shared principles between qualitative and quantitative analysis, noting divergence when necessary. This approach will position scholars to determine patterns and draw integrated conclusions across analyses and across a literature, all toward the goal of telling rich, well-informed stories.

Core discussions will include:

  • Basic principles, assumptions, and practices in mixed methods
  • How to develop a sound, flexible analysis strategy
  • Specific methods for combining qualitative and quantitative findings
  • How to manage assumptions to maintain analytic legitimacy
  • Best practices for writing-up mixed methods findings
  • Concrete examples and tips for practice

Scholar: Mark Vagle

Year: 2016

Phenomenology is a way for qualitative researchers to look at what we usually look through. It means being profoundly present in our research encounters, to leave no stone unturned, to slow down in order to open up, to dwell with our surroundings, and to know that there is “never nothing going on.” Because the philosophical ideas that underpin phenomenology can be abstract and sometimes elusive, this course will communicate these topics as concretely as possible. That is, the course will provide techniques, tools, and strategies for cultivating a phenomenology. We will use examples, anecdotes, and exercises to work through and navigate the craft.

To learn about phenomenological research approaches, we will experience a series of data collection tools and strategies such as going on “phenomenology walks,” writing about lived experiences, and interviewing one another. We will explore Vagle’s five-component methodological process for conducting post-intentional phenomenological research—working to make sense of how our phenomena might take shape in various contexts:

  • Identify a phenomenon in its multiple, partial, and varied contexts.
  • Devise a clear, yet flexible process for gathering data appropriate for the phenomenon under investigation.
  • Make a post–reflexivity plan.
  • Read and write your way through your data in a systematic, responsive manner.
  • Craft a text that captures tentative manifestations of the phenomenon in its multiple, partial, and varied contexts.

Finally, we will explore conventional and less-conventional ways to write up our research.

A wide variety of methodological and philosophical texts and examples of phenomenological studies will be on hand for participants to read and discuss during the course. The course is based on Vagle’s book by the same name, Crafting Phenomenological Research (Left Coast Press, 2014).

Scholar: Johnny Saldaña

Year: 2016

An arts-based approach can enrich our understanding of how people experience their worlds. When the audiences of our research hear poems and see plays that portray the themes and meanings in our data, they witness the power of nuance and the integrated nature of qualitative findings. Our audiences become more present in our story telling and are more likely to absorb the multi-dimensional messages we convey.

Johnny Saldaña, one of the best known practitioners of this research tradition, will guide participants through improvisational and writing exercises to explore how dramatic texts add credibility and make presentations more vivid and persuasive. These skills will help researchers document and represent fieldwork ranging from education to health care.

The course will also provide a literature review of exemplary play scripts and videos in research-based theatre; methods of dramatizing field notes and adapting interview transcripts; and the developmental process of autoethnographic monologues. Throughout, Saldaña emphasizes the vital importance of creating good theatre as well as good research for impact on an audience and performers.

Key figures in qualitative inquiry, Norman Denzin and Yvonna Lincoln, endorse the arts-based research techniques outlined and supported in this course as a powerful way for ethnographers to interrogate and represent the meanings of lived experiences.

No prior theatre or performance experience is needed to participate in this workshop.

Scholar: Mark Vagle

Year: 2016

At first blush, decisions regarding data collection can seem straightforward and clear. In this workshop, we will consider how data collection is more complicated and dynamic than it may first appear. We will begin by cultivating a set of principles that can direct a comprehensive approach to designing and carrying out qualitative data collection projects.

Four core data collection principles:

  1. Successful data collection depends on how we as researchers employ a posture of openness, flexibility, and responsiveness in our data collection practices.
  2. The phenomenon (case, problem, context, etc.) possesses properties, dimensions, and dynamics that we must become aware of as a first step to directing decision making that will continue throughout the data collection process. In other words, the phenomenon calls for how it should be studied.
  3. Considerations of ethical, political, and social implications related to our study, our participants, and the communities in which our study is located must guide and direct our practices. Paying attention to these issues from the onset encourages a posture of inclusiveness and avoids potential obstacles that arise from a disconnect with study participants.
  4. Researcher reflexivity throughout the data collection process helps us distinguish what is purely in and directed by the data and how our attitudes and behaviors, intentionally or not, may direct our practices.

Using these principles, we will work through a number of ways to talk to people (interviews, focus groups, informal conversations); observe people and places (structured, semi-structured, unstructured, short-term, long-term, participatory); and examine artifacts (content analysis, policy analysis, discourse analysis). In addition, we will consider how forms of visual art, film, popular media, historical documents, poetry, and theory can be used as important forms of data collection in qualitative research.

Scholars: Alison Hamilton

Year: 2016

Interview/focus group guides are tools for prompting people to share their stories and perspectives on particular topics. This course will position you to develop an active posture toward initial development of an interview/focus group guide and prepare you to engage actively and evolve the fit of your guide to what you experience and learn in the field.

The eight strategies listed here will serve as an action plan to accomplish this goal:

  1. Aligning
  2. Following
  3. Preparing
  4. Shifting/adjusting
  5. Opening
  6. Closing
  7. Asking
  8. Processing

Aligning: What is the overall point of the interview or focus group? How do the questions in your interview/focus group guide assist you in achieving project goals?

Preparing: Who are your participants? How does knowledge of the participants inform questioning format and approach? How do you ensure (e.g., through pilot testing, think-aloud methods) that the questions you develop are relevant and aligned with project goals? How do you foster a sense of ownership for participants in the data collection experience?

Opening: What are ways to open the conversation appropriately and comfortably?

Asking: What do you ask participants when and why? What questions open conversation topics? When and how do you probe and ask for further detail and example?

Following: How do you manage the conversation in a way that allows you to follow your participants’ unfolding narratives while keeping them interested and involved in their own story telling?

Shifting/adjusting: When and why do you make adjustments to the interview or focus group? How can you shift your approach, language, and direction on the spot as you listen to people’s unfolding narratives?

Closing: How can you naturally and affirmatively reach the conclusion of the data collection episode?

Processing: How do you track and understand the evolution of your interview/focus group guide and process the meanings these changes have for your project?

Employing these strategies through the life of your project will enhance the quality of the data you collect. This practice will also help you to understand how the conversations occurring during data collection fit what is currently known about, and practiced in, your field.

Scholars: Mario L. Small

Year: 2017

Across the social sciences, natural sciences, and even humanities, researchers and practitioners have increasingly come to accept the “big data” revolution, the fact that extraordinary amounts of information on every aspect of human life are now available from both public and private sources, and that increasingly powerful computers have made analyzing such data far more practical. In many respects, quantitative analysis seems the wave of the future.

At the same time, qualitative analysis will likely rise rather than diminish in importance, since we will always need to know what the data mean for the human beings who are ultimately their source. For every study analyzing hundreds of thousands of people in a Facebook friendship network, we will need qualitative data to understand what a Facebook “friend” actually means. Still, the classic difficulties between qualitative and quantitative researchers, particularly the difficulty of the latter to understand the methods and principles of the former will continue to emerge and likely become even more important to overcome.

This course is designed for qualitative researchers in academic, government, and private practice who seek to do research they can communicate not only to their peers but also to economists, statisticians, demographers, and computer scientists, particularly as these quantitative scholars adopt larger and larger data sources and, thus, come to increasingly value the benefits of large sample sizes. The course assumes basic familiarity with ethnographic or interview methods.

The first day, “Basic Principles,” identifies the main issues at play, discusses some common mistakes qualitative researchers have made when speaking to quantitative audiences, and covers basic principles researchers can adopt in their own work. The second day, “Applications,” examines particular applications, which may vary from year to year. In 2017, the focus will be social networks. We examine what qualitative research might contribute to the study of social network, and how qualitative researchers should think about, design, and write that book for an audience of quantitative network scholars.

Scholar: Kevin Swartout

Year: 2017

Every day, millions of people use the Internet and social media (e.g., Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, virtual communities) to communicate and relate with others. This trend will only accelerate with the availability of portable, web-enabled devices such as smartphones and tablets. Moving forward, qualitative researchers will not be able to fully understand the people they study unless they pursue a deep exploration of their participants’ online activities. This course will address issues inherent to qualitative research and data analysis as collected, gathered, and retrieved from online sources.

Topics will include:

  • Designing and evaluating qualitative projects with online data-collection components.
  • Using different perspectives to understand and analyze data from online sources. This discussion considers benefits and cautions for “insider” and “outsider” positionality within the community.
  • Unique methodological characteristics of working with social media, online communities and other computer-mediated technologies, including:
    • Defining the field
    • Determining the quality and extent of a researcher’s participation
    • Deciding what counts as data
    • Finding ethical ways to represent online participants
  • Analyzing qualitative data collected from online contexts
  • Writing up findings

Examples will be given throughout from the instructors’ own research with computer-mediated technologies, traditional websites, social media, and other online sources.

Scholars: Kathy Charmaz

Year: 2015

Interviewing is the most common method of data collection in qualitative inquiry. It has sparked much debate and discussion yet researchers have given relatively little concrete advice about how to develop effective interviewing skills. The purpose of this class is to give you a foundation for building skills to engage in mindful interviewing practice. We will take a collaborative approach to learning about interviewing and developing interviewing skills in a supportive environment.

Intensive interviewing is both a method and an intimate form of human connection seldom experienced between relative strangers. The interview experience can be revelatory and transformative for both the researcher and research participant. Yet because interviewing is a contested method, I will briefly outline criticisms of it. We will address questions of ethics, meaning, reflexivity, and co-construction of data and discuss complex situations that can occur when researchers interview people across racial, class, age, and gender divides. However, our main emphases will be on:

  1. constructing, ordering, and asking good in-depth interview questions
  2. being fully present while conducting the interview

To start, we will work on constructing an interview guide with well-designed and paced questions. If you can create a good interview guide, you will become more attuned to how and when to ask to questions—even if you don’t use your interview guide. You will also become more sensitive to how research participants might think, feel, and respond to your questions. The class will give you opportunities to devise sample interview questions on a topic of your choice, conduct a short practice interview, and experience the interview process as a research participant. In this class, learning relies on direct experience, collaborative efforts, congenial interaction, and constructive feedback. We will have great fun engaging intensive interviews!

 

Scholars: Carolyn Ellis and Arthur P. Bochner

Year: 2017

This two-day course will follow the outline of our book, Evocative Autoethnography: Writing Lives and Telling Stories. Since the book details an imaginary workshop along the same lines as the one we are actually teaching, this will be a profoundly reflexive exercise.

We will guide workshop attendees through:

  • the history of autoethnography and narrative as approaches to doing research
  • becoming storywriters and living the writing life
  • fundamental ethical issues, dilemmas, and responsibilities in qualitative research
  • the intersection of ethnography with autoethnography
  • truth and memory
  • publishing autoethnographic and narrative research.

In working through several exemplars, workshop attendees will become acquainted with writing vulnerably about crucial turning points they and their research participants have lived through; envision writing about life’s messiness; practice thinking with stories; imagine how to do research creatively and collaboratively; consider doing research that is relevant to real people leading actual lives; and ponder the moral and social justice concerns of their work.

Workshop attendees will have an opportunity to practice narrative and personal writing and to discuss how these practices might fit into their ongoing qualitative research projects.

Scholar: George Kamberelis

Year: 2017

This course constitutes an intensive, two-day introduction to the nature, use, and functions of focus groups in qualitative research. Course content is drawn from the instructor’s extensive experience using focus groups and his publications on focus group research. The course is composed of several related elements.

  • First, we will address the history of focus groups as data gathering tools in different ways and for different purposes across time and disciplinary contexts.
  • Second, we will explore the quasi-unique affordances of focus groups as data gathering tools.
  • Third, we will learn about deploying focus groups for different purposes: inquiry, pedagogy, and social activism, as well as multiple purposes at once.
  • Fourth, we will learn about and discuss the basic principles of effective focus group facilitation.
  • Fifth, we will collectively analyze several focus group transcripts both to get a feel for analysis as “mapping” social landscapes and to make visible and concrete the affordances and purposes of focus group work.
  • Finally, we will learn about and discuss the frontiers of focus group work and some of the challenges facing this work.

This course is appropriate both for novice researchers and seasoned researchers. Novice qualitative researchers will gain valuable knowledge and experience how focus groups can function in and enhance most research projects. Seasoned qualitative researchers should benefit by extending their understandings of the nature and functions of focus group work and exploring its post-qualitative potentials.

 

Scholar: Margarete Sandelowski

Year: 2017

The focus of this two-day course is on primary mixed methods studies and programs of research. We will cover misconceptions about mixed methods research, key points of interface between “qualitative” and “quantitative” methods and data, and the problems posed by the qualitative/quantitative binary foundational to the “mix” in mixed methods. Also covered will be issues concerning and techniques for combining: purposeful and probability sampling frames; minimally structured and open-ended and highly structured and closed-ended data collection approaches; textual and statistical analysis strategies; and approaches for the integration of diverse data sets, including linking and assimilation techniques.

This course is appropriate for graduate students and faculty in the practice disciplines (e.g., clinical psychology, education, medicine, nursing, public health, social work) as well as researchers from other fields of study (e.g., sociology, anthropology). In addition to didactic instruction, handouts, and a suggested reference list, the course will include an interactive session where participants will have the opportunity, as time permits, to ask questions about their own mixed methods research projects.

Scholar: Alison Hamilton

Year: 2016, 2017

Implementation research aims to integrate research findings into practice and policy. In order to improve the quality and effectiveness of routine practice, implementation researchers collect qualitative data about the everyday behaviors and beliefs of practitioners and other professionals, stakeholders, and recipients of services. During data collection, special attention is paid to factors that both facilitate and impede effective execution and implementation of major programs and service delivery. The end goal is to increase the likelihood of uptake, adoption, implementation, and sustainability of evidence-based practices.

To provide foundational knowledge and skill to help facilitate your own work, the course walks through critical components of building and carrying out an implementation research project:

  • Developing appropriate implementation research questions and specific aims
  • Selecting conceptual models
  • Strategizing about study design
  • Determining appropriate, feasible qualitative data collection methods
  • Executing qualitative analytic strategies
  • Generating timely, impactful implementation research products

The application of methodological concepts will be illustrated via examples from implementation research in the context of varied settings such as healthcare organizations, educational institutions, and communities.

Participants will be provided with materials and bibliographies to support the practice of qualitative methods in implementation research.

Scholars: Kathy Charmaz

Year: 2016

This class introduces grounded theory methods from a social constructionist approach to new and experienced qualitative researchers. You will gain practical guidelines for handling data analysis, a deeper understanding of the logic of grounded theory, and strategies for increasing the theoretical power and reach of your work. I treat grounded theory as a set of flexible guidelines to adopt, alter, and fit particular research problems, not to apply mechanically. With these guidelines, you expedite and systematize your research. Moreover, using grounded theory sparks fresh ideas about your data.

The sessions cover an overview of basic guidelines and hands-on exercises. I offer ideas about data gathering and recording to help you obtain nuanced, rich data. We discuss relationships between qualitative coding, developing analytic categories and generating theory and attend to specific grounded theory strategies of coding, memo-writing, theoretical sampling, and using comparative methods. You will receive guided practice in using each analytic step of the grounded theory method.

If you have collected some qualitative data, do bring a completed interview, set of fieldnotes, or document to analyze. If you do not have data yet, we will supply qualitative data for you. If you prefer to use a laptop for writing, bring one, but you can complete the exercises without a computer.

Scholar: Alison Hamilton

Year: 2017

New and experienced qualitative researchers alike often ask: “Is my approach to qualitative research consistent with core principles of the method?” This session aims to help you become a strong decision-maker through the life of a qualitative research project. This process is facilitated by attention to the following questions:

  • How will the strength of your project be enhanced because you took a qualitative approach?
  • What does it mean to “stay close to the text?” How do you do it? Why does it matter?
  • How will the qualitative analysis approach you have chosen help you arrive at your goals?
  • What unique statement(s) will you be able to make because you took a qualitative approach?

You will learn about:

  • Rationales for using qualitative methods
  • Qualitative study design options
  • Qualitative data collection strategies
  • Qualitative analysis techniques
  • Presenting qualitative findings

This session begins with an exercise to establish a deeper understanding of why to do qualitative research. We then use data examples, supplied by the instructor, to provide practical and theoretical answers to questions raised here. Participants will become more confident in the decision-making processes they will confront in each stage of developing and executing a qualitative research project.

Scholar: Mark Vagle

Year: 2016

This workshop will explore what “lived experience” means for qualitative researchers and how we can study the world as it is lived, not the world as it is measured, transformed, represented, correlated, and broken down. In paying close attention to lived experience, we are interested in the felt and sensed aspects of our participants’ and our own experiences, as well as the contextual aspects in which these experiences are lived. How can we listen to and make sense of this significance and use it in our qualitative research?

We will identify lived experiences that we are interested in studying and use theoretical tools from phenomenological traditions to explore how we can open up, wonder about, and understand these experiences more deeply. We will treat theorizing as an active and generative process of exploration.

We will also put these theoretical tools to use in our data collection processes—focusing on observing and interviewing lived experiences. As a concrete example, we will spend time exploring how various visual and popular media can serve as data for studying lived experience. With data from some of Vagle’s current studies of social class lived experiences in schools and communities, we will further practice data analysis using the theoretical tools we have learned. Participants are also encouraged to bring their own data and/or research ideas so they can apply these tools and techniques to their work.

Scholar: Sherick Hughes

Year: 2017

The phrase “oral history” is a conventional abbreviation for what we might describe as the use of oral sources in history or the social sciences. Part of being a strong oral historian is learning to manage an important and challenging project with informants who may be close and/or distant from the researcher’s own primary social identities. Oral History is a tool or method that can be used by qualitative researchers to gain an in-depth understanding of the history of salient experiences of a given sociohistorical context from the people who live(d) it. When applied to individuals/groups/organizations who have been silenced, vulnerable, and marginalized, oral history can help researchers in the twenty-first century learn about the cultural past, in the present, for a future of less marginalization.

“The art of oral history is to inspire those who have been silenced to speak out and to hear their own stories. The praxis of oral history is building the community from which those stories, told and retold, will transform history”
(Clark, M. M. (2002). Oral History Art and Praxis. In Don Adams and Arlene Goldbard (Eds.) Community, Culture and Globalization, 87-106. The Rockefeller Foundation.)

This course offers an in-depth look at the purpose, praxis, and possibility of oral history, while also providing participants multiple opportunities to practice her/his new oral history skills. As detailed below, this two-day course is organized to teach participants how to provide a platform for hearing the voices of multiple and diverse communities of feeling and action. This course can benefit researchers from a range of disciplines (including health, education, public health, and the social sciences) because it offers a way to move beyond superficial narratives and to collect richer data with deeper contextual meaning.

“Another thing we should keep in mind is that by ‘community’ we may not necessarily mean a geographic community, but also a community of feeling and action”
(Portelli, A. (2013). A Dialogical Relationship: An Approach to Oral History. Published on Shikshantar: The People’s Institute for Rethinking Development and Education (pp. 1-8), http://www.swaraj.org/shikshantar/expressions_portelli.pdf )

Day 1

Purpose

  • Finding Your Purpose in 15-minutes
    • Activity by UNC-Ph.D. Alumnus, Dr. Derrick Drakeford, CEO of Drakeford & Associates

Praxis

  • Research Design
  • Consideration of Entry
  • Role and Reciprocity
  • Development of Interview Questions
  • Pre- and Post-Interview Narrative Analysis Tasks with Tools, like Tozer et al.’s Analytic Framework and Related Activities

Day 2
Application: Practicing Skills and Strategies from Day 1

  • Mock Interviewing
  • Taking Handwritten Notes in a Manner that Decreases the Hawthorne Effect and Leading the Witness

Possibility

  • Linking Autoethnography to Oral History
  • Linking Critical Family History to Oral History
  • Linking Digital Storytelling to Oral History and Related Activities

Scholars: Kathy Charmaz

Year: 2015

Qualitative researchers often experience common problems such as getting lost after collecting and coding data, overlooking possibilities for developing their ideas, and producing disjointed and mundane reports. Grounded theory methods help you expedite analyzing your data and writing your report. This class takes basic grounded theory principles to the next step of increasing the incisiveness, creativity, and clarity of your work. Our purpose is to help you retain the flexibility of grounded theory while furthering the conceptual depth and scope of your analyses. We will emphasize how to

  1. develop and recognize powerful codes
  2. strengthen your emergent categories
  3. integrate these categories into a coherent narrative
  4. write a compelling report

Familiarity with basic grounded theory strategies is advised. Grounded theory is a general method and its strategies of qualitative coding and memo-writing have been widely adopted by qualitative researchers of all kinds. This class best serves participants who are in the midst of a project or have engaged in qualitative coding and memo writing for an earlier study.

Qualitative reportage relies on art and science—image and analysis. Yet analysis does not stop when we write our reports. We will briefly discuss how to create an artful rendering of your work that increases the power of your analysis. We will also cover strategies for developing arguments, writing literature reviews and theoretical frameworks, and constructing abstracts, titles, and introductions. The last session focuses on choosing journals and publishing houses, preparing your manuscript for submission, and working with editors and reviewers.

Scholars: George W. Noblit

Year: 2015

The role of theory in qualitative research has changed and theory is now understood as a lens through which to interpret qualitative data. This approach has been called “theorizing” qualitative data. Theorizing explicates what can be said from a data set. In theorizing, substantive theories combine with reflection and researcher positionality to yield a reading of the data. Instead of testing theories, researchers use and critique them for their applicability as explanations and interpretations.

Theorizing can be accomplished in various ways. Three common ways are:

  1. Searching for alternative interpretations
  2. Determining what is not analyzed by the theory
  3. Conducting a more inductive, emic or grounded theory type analysis

Each of these approaches focus on what is not accounted for by the theorizing. By comparing what results from each approach with the theorized account, we can gain or lose confidence in the trustworthiness of the theorized account.

Throughout the workshop, we will engage several exercises to practice theorizing:

  • We begin with a reminder exercise involving coding.
  • We will examine select theories, including theories used in applied and practice settings.
  • In groups, we will develop the key concepts and logics to be used for a chosen theory or two and prepare a “theorizing guide” for each theory.
    • We will then return to read and code the data using each theory in turn.
  • We will then use a “theorized account writing guide” to write short accounts of our theoretical readings of data.
  • Participants will compare the theorized accounts with alternative interpretations.
  • Our group activities will end with participants “performing” a theorized account. These presentations will employ a readers’ theatre format where participants create a script using the guides completed during the session.

There are no prerequisites for this workshop and no prior knowledge of theory is necessary.

Scholars: George W. Noblit

Year: 2015

Qualitative researchers often experience common problems such as getting lost after collecting and coding data, overlooking possibilities for developing their ideas, and producing disjointed and mundane reports. Grounded theory methods help you expedite analyzing your data and writing your report. This class takes basic grounded theory principles to the next step of increasing the incisiveness, creativity, and clarity of your work. Our purpose is to help you retain the flexibility of grounded theory while furthering the conceptual depth and scope of your analyses. We will emphasize how to

  1. develop and recognize powerful codes
  2. strengthen your emergent categories
  3. integrate these categories into a coherent narrative
  4. write a compelling report

Familiarity with basic grounded theory strategies is advised. Grounded theory is a general method and its strategies of qualitative coding and memo-writing have been widely adopted by qualitative researchers of all kinds. This class best serves participants who are in the midst of a project or have engaged in qualitative coding and memo writing for an earlier study.

Qualitative reportage relies on art and science—image and analysis. Yet analysis does not stop when we write our reports. We will briefly discuss how to create an artful rendering of your work that increases the power of your analysis. We will also cover strategies for developing arguments, writing literature reviews and theoretical frameworks, and constructing abstracts, titles, and introductions. The last session focuses on choosing journals and publishing houses, preparing your manuscript for submission, and working with editors and reviewers.

Scholar: Johnny Saldaña

Year: 2017

This two-day workshop is an introductory overview of basic approaches to and methods for qualitative inquiry. Course content will be adapted from Saldaña and Omasta’s textbook, Qualitative Research: Analyzing Life (Sage Publications, 2018).

Major topics addressed will include:

  • A survey of qualitative data collection methods (interviewing, participant observation, documents/artifacts);
  • Qualitative research design;
  • A survey of qualitative data analytic methods; and
  • Writing and presenting qualitative research.

Multiple practical and on-your-feet activities will be included throughout the course to provide students experiential knowledge of the subject.

Newcomers to qualitative inquiry will benefit from this course by gaining literacy and workshop experience in the basic methods of qualitative research for future study and application. Experienced qualitative researchers will benefit from this course by refreshing their knowledge bases of methods, plus observing how introductory material is approached with novices for future classroom teaching applications.

Scholar: Kevin Swartout

Year: 2017

Qualitative and mixed methods research projects increasingly involve multiple researchers, often from different disciplines, working collaboratively to achieve their research objectives. Strong organization, cooperation, and leadership direct qualitative research teams to benefit from the team members’ combination of skills, knowledge, and perspectives.

This workshop covers the major topics relevant to qualitative teamwork, including the practical, methodological, substantive, and interpersonal. We will trace the life of a qualitative teamwork project, focusing on the following topics:

  • Composing a well-rounded team
  • Training team members
  • Project decision-making
  • Establishing and reinforcing team-member investment
  • Maintaining high rigor and standards of legitimacy throughout the project
  • Moving toward final products – memoing, diagramming, and report writing

Conversations about each topic will necessarily address the resources available to team leaders and members. For qualitative teams to succeed they must give careful thought to their analysis plan and teamwork strategies as the project begins and respond and adjust as data collection and analysis efforts expose new areas for attention.

Scholars: Alison Hamilton and Ray Maietta

Year: 2017

Rapid and iterative data analysis necessitates particular analytic skills, strategies, and theories. This course will briefly cover study design, data collection, and fundamentals of data analysis, with a particular focus on qualitative research within rapid turn-around research projects.

A project’s theoretical framework can and should inform data collection strategies and the analysis of qualitative data. When designing a rapid-turn around qualitative study, careful consideration must be paid to issues of scope and feasibility. To perform these projects well, researchers must possess a strong foundation knowledge of qualitative data analysis and debate approaches to analyzing qualitative data in rapid turn-around projects. We will discuss these issues and emphasize a focus on flexibility and evolution of data collection and analytic approaches over time.

Scholars: Ray Maietta and Kevin Swartout

Year: 2016

In every qualitative project there is a point where analysts move from processing individual data documents to giving careful thought and attention to what content they will present and how this material will be presented to audiences. Phase 2 of ResearchTalk’s Sort and Sift, Think and Shift analysis process is driven by a toolkit that directs this important shift in the analysis process. This toolkit can be used regardless of whether or not you employed earlier phase Sort and Sift techniques.

A first beneficial step in this transition involves mining through memos, code topics, document summaries and episode profiles. As researchers review their analytic work, memoing and diagramming techniques help them discover, understand and document important connections within and across data documents.

A second component of this transition features a question and answer procedure we call “bridging.” Two bridging tools we highlight are a “story evolution tool” and a “code combination tool.” The story evolution tool introduces a process of interrogating data to understand better how key actors, places, time periods, actions, attitudes and emotions interact in the lives of our participants. The code combination tool introduces a set of techniques to discern shared meaning between and among code categories.

Scholars: Kathy Charmaz

Year: 2016

What makes one qualitative study much more compelling than others? How can the writing strategies of professional writers help us improve our work? How do you manage to write when you work in a setting that allows scant time for writing? Would you like to expedite analyzing your data and writing your report? Which strategies help you gain acceptance and admiration from your intended audiences? This class addresses these questions.

Qualitative reportage relies on art and science. Learning how to construct an artful rendering of your work increases the power of your analysis. This class covers both professional writers’ tips and tricks and qualitative analysts’ strategies and shortcuts. It will help you develop a more incisive, creative, and clear narrative. Our approach emphasizes how to construct a creative analysis and to write it for varied audiences. You will gain fresh ideas for proceeding with the analysis, integrating your ideas into a cogent, coherent piece of work, and communicating the significance of your work.

This class covers crafting research stories and writing analytic reports, but the two are not separate endeavors. Thus we show how to bring analytic definition and logic to stories and to build imagery, rhythm, metaphor, and surprise into analytic reports. We also cover strategies for developing arguments, writing literature reviews and theoretical frameworks and integrating your manuscripts. Writing abstracts, titles, and introductions share problems and pitfalls. Our agenda includes learning a few tricks to help you resolve these problems and avoid the pitfalls. The last session focuses on choosing journals and publishing houses, preparing your manuscript for submission, and working with editors and reviewers.

This class best serves participants who are in the midst of a qualitative project or have had some experience with qualitative research and have engaged in qualitative coding and memo writing. Writers of all types of qualitative research are welcome. Researchers who conduct ethnographies, use discourse analysis, engage in narrative inquiry, follow grounded theory strategies, or create personal narratives will all gain ideas and strategies to advance their work. 

Scholars: Arthur P. Bochner

Year: 2017

This one-day course will be a concentrated writing workshop specifically designed for participants who want to strengthen and professionalize their writing abilities and credentials. Workshop presentations, discussions and exercises will seek to widen each participant’s understanding of his or her habituated patterns and practices of writing, awareness of writing strategies, styles, and voice, and knowledge of the commitments, dispositions, and work habits associated with productive professional writing both inside and outside academia.

Special attention will be given to writing stories, the craft of story-writing and the many ways in which the researcher is fundamentally a storyteller. I also will discuss blended genres of writing that merge nonfiction and fictional strategies of writing. I will focus considerable attention on vulnerable writing, on features of storytelling such as character, scene, plot, action, and dialogue as well as dramatizing, structuring, revising and the development of a narrative arc. We will discuss what it means to live a writing life, analyze our own writing regiments and practices, and participate in exercises focused on finding voice through free writing.

Workshop participants will receive materials on publishers, book series, and journals that accept narrative, poetic, artistic, and literary works.