17th Annual
Qualitative Research
Summer Intensive

Gyre by Thomas Sayre, North Carolina Museum of Art

July 27 - 31, 2020
The Carolina Inn, Chapel Hill, NC

Monday-Tuesday (July 27-28)

Two-Day Courses

Scholar: Johnny Saldaña

Dates: Monday-Tuesday, July 27-28

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).

Scholar: Elizabeth Creamer

Dates: Monday-Tuesday, July 27-28

This practical, interactive course introduces informed approaches to generating a grounded theory. For the purposes of designing a qualitative research project and analyzing the often-puzzling findings that emerge, we introduce constructivist approaches to grounded theory as a means to provide the scaffolding to think theoretically about your work. We will discuss strategies for collecting and analyzing data as grounded theorists. A series of in-class activities will help participants develop and/or refine a theoretical framework that is tailored to a local context. We present grounded theory as a process that sets the stage for further qualitative and quantitative research and that informs the work of scholars in dynamic practice-oriented fields—such as education, nursing, health, business, human development, and information systems.

Topics addressed in the course include:

  1. Using an emergent theoretical framework to design a grounded theory research project.
  2. Grounded theory approaches to data collection.
  3. Coding and memo writing practices in grounded theory.
  4. Theoretical sampling and saturation.
  5. Inter-weaving qualitative and quantitative data throughout the process.
  6. Using a theoretical framework to create a coherent storyline to explain a variety of outcomes, including those that are unanticipated.
  7. Incorporating the literature and existing theories.

Participants are invited to bring a study idea and/or a preliminary sketch of a conceptual framework to explore during the workshop. Material for the course comes from an in-progress textbook to be published by Routledge in 2021, Advancing Grounded Theory with Mixed Methods, and refer to two publications on mixed method approaches to grounded theory by the course instructor.

Scholar: Alison Hamilton

Dates: Monday-Tuesday, July 27-28

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?

Scholars: Kevin Swartout and Ray Maietta

Dates: Monday-Tuesday, July 27-28

The course will be based on challenges presented to us by course participants. We will check in with participants to ask them to send us unique problems they are currently dealing with in a qualitative project, or have dealt with in the past. Drs. Maietta and Swartout will craft the course agenda and content from the collective issues raised in pre-correspondence with participants. The course will follow the timeline of a qualitative project, beginning with issues of design and data collection, following through analysis and presentation. Unlike many professional development courses, this course will not follow a set of scripted PowerPoint slides. Group problem solving and activity sessions will combine with advice from the instructors to shape qualitative mindsets to enhance your work.

Throughout the course, the instructors will suggest and create resources for participants. These materials will comprise a resource packet to be sent to participants after the course is completed.

Note: this is a limited enrollment course.

Scholar: Sarah Tracy

Dates: Monday-Tuesday, July 27-28

This workshop will provide an overall orientation and introduction into qualitative research. It will address the unique value of qualitative approaches as well as fundamental aspects of qualitative research design such as titling a project, crafting research questions, and determining an appropriate context or sample for the research. Participants will learn how to create interview guides, engage in fieldwork, and engage in high quality research. Activities will include mock interviews, fieldnote writing, and practicing photo-voice. The workshop is ideal for students, professors, or professionals who are relatively new to qualitative research, those who want to understand the special value of qualitative research compared to quantitative research, or need a refresher as they are engaging in a new project or teaching others. Participants will leave the workshop with a qualitative mindset, knowing how to engage the basic parts of a qualitative project, and understanding how to avoid and deal with common qualitative challenges.

Anticipated outcomes include the following (and will occur roughly in this order). Participants will:

  • Understand the unique value of qualitative research.
  • Design research questions and sampling approaches that capitalize on the value of qualitative data.
  • Learn the characteristics of qualitative quality and how they are different than quantitative characteristics of validity, statistical generalization, and objectivity.
  • Practice best practices related to participant observation and fieldnote writing.
  • Design interview and focus group questions and role-play mock interviews.
  • Be exposed to creative and artistic qualitative approaches such as photo-voice.
  • Learn how to organize and prepare qualitative data for analysis.
  • Be prepared to avoid and deal with common qualitative challenges.
  • Hear case studies and behind the scenes tips related to Sarah Tracy’s qualitative research projects (leadership, total institutions, human service workers, targets of workplace bullying, the communication of compassion).

We will accomplish all of this in a collective space of light-heartedness, dialogue, and open question and answer. The workshop is designed to leave participants feeling inspired and better equipped to understand, practice, instruct, and evaluate qualitative research methods.

Scholars: Tony Adams

Dates: Monday-Tuesday, July 27-28

The subjective is flourishing in qualitative inquiry and social research. Numerous books, professional journals, and academic conferences devote time and space to topics tied to subjectivity (e.g., personal experience, identity, reflexivity), and discussions about subjectivity in qualitative inquiry have become common in many research studies and settings.

The goal of this workshop is to examine the importance and use of subjectivity in qualitative inquiry and social research, and, in particular, to show how subjectivity can make more complex and accessible social research possible. On the first day we will examine the history of subjectivity in qualitative inquiry and outline the purposes of including subjectivity in social research. On day two, we will investigate the possible ways to write subjectivity into research reports as well as possible ethical issues tied to using subjectivity in research. We will conclude by discussing ways in which concepts such as generalizability, reliability, and validity might apply to research that uses subjectivity and how to address criticism deployed at/toward research that embraces subjectivity. Both days will include many examples of and dilemmas in including subjectivity in research. Ample time will be provided for participants’ questions about and experiences with including subjectivity in research.

  • Researchers new to qualitative inquiry would benefit from this course because we will discuss the general purposes and practices of incorporating subjectivity into qualitative research as well as why the subjective components of research projects are important to acknowledge.
  • An experienced qualitative researcher would benefit from this course because we will discuss the current state of subjectivity in qualitative inquiry, nuanced ways to evaluate texts that use subjectivity, and contemporary ethical dilemmas of using subjectivity in research. We will also discuss future possibilities and trends for including subjectivity in research projects.

Wednesday (July 29)

One-Day Courses

Scholar: Elizabeth Creamer

Date: Wednesday, July 29

This practically oriented, hands-on course explores ways that a visual data display can be used creatively to enrich the authenticity of data collected and to advance analysis in formative ways in qualitative and mixed methods research. It extends discussion about visual methods by considering ways that a visual data display dynamically constructed with a participant, including through event timelines and spatial mapping exercises, can be effective with diverse and vulnerable populations. A multi-step interactive activity involving a personal experience will illustrate ways that a joint display incorporating multiple sources of data can both reveal and explain group differences. Participants will generate ideas about the ways that a visual data display might be useful in their own project. The audience for the workshop includes those with both introductory and more advanced knowledge of qualitative and mixed method approaches in dynamic, practice-oriented fields in psychology, sociology, health, education, information systems and family studies.

Topics include:

  1. Examples of visual data displays that enhance the authenticity of data collection.
  2. Examples of visual data displays that advance the integration of different sources of data during analysis.
  3. Characteristics of effective visual data display.

Participants will find it helpful to bring an example of a visual data display that tentatively sketches key findings from a research project. Workshop content is derived from Creamer’s in-progress book to be published in 2021 by Routledge UK, Advancing Grounded Theory with Mixed Methods.

Scholars: Tony Adams, Kevin Swartout and Ray Maietta

Date: Wednesday, July 24

This course is founded on the premise that qualitative inquiry is unique, powerful, and necessary in building knowledge that addresses human understanding, experiences, and phenomena. The course presents convincing arguments for the strength of our work as qualitative experts and offers concrete tips and approaches to qualitative practice. Drs. Adams, Maietta, and Swartout will 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 to at least one of the following:
    1. Theory
    2. Practice
    3. Policy
    4. Future research

The course instructors will use a combination of their favorite qualitative work and their own projects to demonstrate how others have accomplished these goals and help you as you move forward with your own qualitative projects.

Scholar: Sarah Tracy

Date: Wednesday, July 29

How can you present and publish your research so that it is useful and valuable to others? In this one-day course, we will tackle this question head-on, delivering principles and practical steps for publication and presentation. Among other topics, we will discuss the key aspects that go into qualitative research reports, how to deal with common challenges in publishing and presentation, and ways to frame your research for key audiences so that it is heard as interesting, significant, and valuable.

Anticipated outcomes include the following. Participants will:

  • Understand the common challenges of writing qualitative inquiry for journal publication and tips for overcoming them.
  • Learn how to craft key aspects of qualitative research including the abstract, rationale, literature review / conceptual framework, methods, findings, and implications.
  • Consider the rule of utility in terms of how to craft the most appropriate research representation. E.g., do you want to change a policy? A theory? A practice? A politic?
  • Practice how to (re)craft inductive or iterative qualitative research to fit expectations of deductive research reporting.
  • Learn how to best report characteristics of qualitative quality such as reliability, significance, and ethics.
  • Understand how to resonate and transfer findings from a specific project to a variety of settings – even when data are scarce or anecdotal.
  • Explore a key formula for “being interesting” and significant to key audiences.
  • Discuss how to incorporate artistic and visual qualitative approaches such as drawings, photos, and qualitative models.
  • Examine ways to craft qualitative presentations that both SHOW and TELL.
  • Know how to begin considering all of this even when the qualitative research is in progress.
  • Collectively brainstorm the most receptive outlets for their research.

Target participants include those new to qualitative methods as well as those experienced who want to improve the visibility, impact, and value of their research representations. Resources for this workshop will come, in part, from S. Tracy’s Qualitative Research Methods: Collecting Evidence, Crafting Analysis, Communicating Impact and from Sarah’s history of publishing more than 90 scholarly research reports and presenting qualitative research 300+ times to a variety of scholarly, professional, and pedagogical audiences.

Scholar: Alison Hamilton

Date: Wednesday, July 29

Rapid turn-around qualitative research depends on strategic decision-making to make data collection and analysis feasible without compromising depth of inquiry. In this vein, we build skills for being responsive to what is happening in the field—emphasizing methodological flexibility and remaining attentive to opportunities for emergent discovery. To excel at these projects, researchers must not only understand how to gain timely access to relevant settings and populations, they must also efficiently document the evolution of data collection and analysis. This serves as a bridge to preparing research products for different types of stakeholders throughout the life cycle of a project.

This course will provide participants with resources for building the foundational qualitative knowledge necessary for this work as well as strategies and tools for increasing methodological flexibility and managing the rigor of data collection and analysis.

Scholar: Johnny Saldaña

Date: Wednesday, July 29

Mediated instruction has a longstanding tradition in education, and the power of “edutainment” in our visually-oriented, digital, and performative culture should not be underestimated or dismissed for advanced undergraduate and graduate-level classrooms. Popular film viewing offers novelty and engagement in traditional learning settings, and holds the potential to vividly instruct as well as entertain.

Popular film clips can be used to illustrate basic principles and techniques of inquiry, generate classroom discussion and related activities, clarify misunderstood concepts, and teach selected principles more effectively than conventional classroom pedagogy. Examples of film scenes and their topics include: The Matrix (ontology, epistemology, axiology); Miss Evers’ Boys (research ethics); Kinsey (interviewing); Fargo (inductive reasoning); and Experimenter: The Stanley Milgram Story (theory).

Participants will:

  • View over 25 film clips related to qualitative research methods principles
  • Participate in related learning activities (e.g., discussion, categorizing, assertion development, thematic analysis)
  • Share other film and media titles for recommended use
  • Learn how to access related media and software for teaching resource development

This workshop is designed for novices to qualitative inquiry and instructors of qualitative research methods courses.

Scholar: Rashawn Ray

Date: Wednesday, July 29

Qualitative researchers are increasingly asked to engage with public actors from journalists to policymakers. Rarely, however, are qualitative researchers given any guidance or strategies for doing so. This is puzzling considering the general public trust science substantially more than the government or media. This daylong course will provide qualitative researchers with best practices for writing op-eds, talking to journalists, doing news interviews, engaging local, state, and federal policymakers, and learning the art of qualitative data storytelling.

The course also will feature a workshop style throughout the day for participants to implement best practices and receive feedback. Additionally, participants will learn strategies to leverage their public engagement for merit in their departments and organizations. People across the academic, government, not-for-profit, philanthropic and corporate researchers, as well as those outside of these industries, are welcome. Attendees should come with a topic and abstract (even if data has not been collected yet) to use throughout the course. Participants will leave with their “public voice” to better disseminate their research beyond the confines of their own organizations and industries.

Scholar: Trena Paulus

Date: Wednesday, July 29

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 representing findings in ways that will reach the intended audience.

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. Course materials will be drawn from Doing Qualitative Research with Digital Tools (Sage, 2020).

Topics and tools will include:

  • Networking through academic social media platforms (Google Scholar profiles, ORCID 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 (Evernote), social media sites (Twitter), and GeoDocs (Google Earth)
  • Transcribing in ways that synchronize the media file with the text (YouTube), harness the capabilities of artificial intelligence (Otter.ai) and enable “hands-free” transcription (Google Voice)
  • Selecting an appropriate qualitative data analysis software package (e.g. DeDoose, ATLAS.ti, MAXQDA, NVivo, Quirkos)
  • Representing findings in innovative ways (Authorea, Google Docs)

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.

Thursday-Friday (July 30-31)

Two-Day Courses

Scholar: Trena Paulus

Dates: Thursday-Friday, July 30-31

From social media to support groups to learning at a distance, online conversations 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 two-day 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

Course material will be drawn from Looking for Learning, Insight and Transformation in Online Talk (Routledge, 2019).

Scholar: Fred Bonner

Dates: Thursday-Friday, July 30-31

One of the most critical topics that researchers must address is how to frame and operationalize a research agenda. From developing a researchable topic to revising and resubmitting a peer-reviewed publication, understanding the complexities of navigating the research terrain is key. This course will focus on the critical steps necessary to develop an active and strategic research agenda. It is ideally targeted for those establishing an agenda in qualitative and/or mixed methods research. Participants will engage in both theoretical and practical considerations in an effort to divine strategies leading to the development of a clear and concise research agenda.

Specific objectives of the course include:

  • To understand how to position and sustain a research agenda
  • To understand the publication process.
  • To provide participants with tools to move their research agenda forward
  • To understand the importance of mentoring
  • To understand the importance of and practices for establishing networks

Topics that will be addressed include:

  • Framing and maintaining a research agenda
  • Writing for publication
  • Successful mentoring approaches
  • Establishing networks
  • Preparing the tenure and promotion dossier
  • Skillsets to be successful in academia
  • Time management and work/life harmony
  • Additional topics generated by our assembled participants

Scholar: Alison Hamilton

Dates: Thursday-Friday, July 30-31

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 programs and service delivery. The end goal is typically 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
  • Determining when, why and how to apply conceptual models
  • Strategizing about study design
  • Selecting 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. The course will draw on material from the National Cancer Institute white paper on which Dr. Hamilton is an author and from:
Hamilton, A., Finley, E. (2019). Qualitative methods in implementation research: an introduction. Psychiatry Research, Oct; 280:112516.​


Scholars: Johnny Saldaña and Matt Omasta

Dates: Thursday-Friday, July 30-31

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 data synthesis—that is, moving into advanced qualitative data analysis and integrative theory building.

The workshop will address:

Analytic heuristics (categories, themes, assertions, 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, health care, etc.

Workshop content is derived from Saldaña’s methods texts including The Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers (3rd ed., 2016, Sage), the co-authored Qualitative Data Analysis: A Methods Sourcebook (4th ed., 2020, Sage), and Saldaña & Omasta’s Qualitative Research: Analyzing Life (2018, Sage).

Scholar: Rashawn Ray

Dates: Thursday-Friday, July 30-31

Social scientists are trained to illuminate social problems, but rarely are we trained to identify potential policy prescriptions for the problems that we highlight. This situation is beginning to change as social scientists increasingly aim to contribute to social justice by helping to shape interventions useful to local, state, and federal stakeholders.

We can use qualitative research via stories, first-person accounts, in-depth interviews, content analysis, and observations to draw attention to underlying mechanisms that define social problems. Once uncovered, deeper understanding of these mechanisms can guide large-scale surveys, direct responses to requests for proposals by private foundations and government agencies, inform policy briefs, and even influence new legislation. In this regard, it is important for qualitative researchers to think beyond simply highlighting problems in order to also develop skills that leverage our work in ways that more directly impact people’s everyday lives.

We will discuss qualitative processes to better position course participants in their efforts to design and collect data specifically aimed at contributing directly to social justice. Three timely issues—obesity, racial disparities in policing, and men’s treatment of women—will be paralleled throughout the course as examples of how decision-making across the methodological life of a qualitative project can be leveraged to address social problems.

The course will cover the following topics:

  • Topic decision making: What part(s) of the social problem can and should be studied?
  • Choosing participants: 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 and policy prescriptions?

Scholar: Sharron Docherty

Dates: Thursday-Friday, July 30-31

This course presents pragmatic, concrete strategies for designing and writing effective and competitive qualitative and mixed-methods research proposals. We will cover principles generic to proposal design, and specific ways to communicate the aims, significance, conceptual framing, methodological details (sampling, data collection, analysis plans, and plans for optimizing validity and human subjects protections) of, and budget and budget justification for, the proposed study. We will also cover strategies for addressing those aspects of qualitative and mixed-methods research designs likely to draw concern among reviewers less familiar with them, most notably the purposeful sampling frame and generalizability of study findings.

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.

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).