18th Annual
Qualitative Research
Summer Intensive

July 26 - 30 and August 4 - 6, 2021
Courses offered exclusively in online format

Course Descriptions

Monday-Tuesday (July 26-27)

Two-Day Courses

Scholar: Johnny Saldaña

Dates: Monday-Tuesday, 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 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: Cheryl Poth and Alison Hamilton

Dates: Monday-Tuesday, July 26-27

Mixed methods research requires specialized skills that place qualitative and quantitative knowledge in a dynamic and deliberate conversation with each other yet also builds upon existing research skills in each realm. This course will engage discussions of perceived (and real) challenges when designing, executing, and disseminating mixed methods research.

We will consider five key questions:

  1. What distinguishes quality mixed methods research from other types of research?
  2. What guides key mixed methods research design decisions including role of theory, points of integration, mixed sampling and analysis strategies, and timing of data phases?
  3. How can researchers execute their study to generate novel insights using a variety of data sources, data displays, and visual diagramming?
  4. How can researchers avoid common pitfalls when publishing mixed methods studies?
  5. What recent advances in mixed methods research can be incorporated into proposals, practices, 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 diverse sources, including Poth’s text: Innovation in Mixed Methods Research (2018, Sage) and Poth’s open access articles: The curious case of complexity: Implications for mixed methods research practices (2018, International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches, 10(1), pp. 403-411 and Poth, C. (2018). The contributions of mixed insights to advancing technology-enhanced formative assessments within higher education learning environments. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 15(9), 1-19. doi:10.1186/s41239-018-0090-5. A suggested reference list will be provided.

Scholar: Sally Thorne

Dates: Monday-Tuesday, 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 deconstruct how we know what we know in a qualitative project, and consider 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 begin to make thematic observations that will develop 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 (2nd ed., 2016, Routledge).

Scholar: Kelly Jackson

Dates: Monday-Tuesday, July 26-27

Drawing from the therapeutic construct of cultural attunement (Jackson and Samuels, 2019), this course explores how qualitative researchers can conceive and implement meaningful research that matters to the lives of individuals, families, and/or communities from historically oppressed racial and ethnic groups. Participants will engage principles associated with designing socially just and culturally attuned qualitative methods, including principles of critical reflexivity and cultural safety and humility across all phases of a research study. More specifically, the course will engage these objectives:

  • To understand the power dynamics in the research relationship and to mitigate imbalances through strategies of critical reflexivity, decentering, transparency, reciprocity, and accountability.
  • To understand and articulate research stance and positionality to strengthen the researchers’ cultural attunement.
  • To reflect upon ethics and anti-oppressive practices to collaboratively develop research with, rather than on individuals, families, and/or communities from historically oppressed racial/ethnic groups.
  • To engage in experiential learning exercises that facilitate opportunities for participants to better understand their vantage point as both research insiders and outsiders.
  • To produce thoughtful and provocative analyses that challenge dominant narratives by centering the diverse life stories of historically oppressed racial/ethnic individuals, families, groups, and/or communities.
  • To recognize and prevent social justice fatigue within the current socio-political context.

Jackson, K. F. & Samuels, G. M. (2019). Multiracial Cultural Attunement. Washington DC: NASW Press.

Wednesday (July 28)

One-Day Courses

Scholar: Alison Hamilton and Ray Maietta

Date: Wednesday, July 28

Episode profiles are a core component of ResearchTalk’s Sort and Sift, Think and Shift data analytic approach.  The goal of an episode profile is to tell a holistic, vertical story of each interview, focus group, fieldnote, or other type of qualitative data collection episode.  Across a project, these accessible and representative stories of each case serve as a diagnostic and comparative tool that demonstrates each individual’s lived experience.

Drs. Maietta and Hamilton will walk course participants through the flexible processes of constructing episode profiles and the role they play though different phases of analysis. As a project begins, episode profiles start in several ways.  Analysts may identify “top quotations” from a datafile, begin memoing about document content, and/or create diagrams showing clusters of key quotations that suggest topics emerging during early analysis.  After researchers produce initial profiles, they mine their content to determine next steps. 

Using examples from their own research, Drs. Maietta and Hamilton will show different ways this flexible tool evolves.  For some projects, episode profiles become structured templates that serve as comparative tools across different types of participants, sites, stages of data collection, etc.  For other projects, episode profiles remain loose representations of each datafile that depict the distinctive ‘personalities’ of each case.  As projects move toward conclusion, episode profiles become pragmatic resources that contain potential material for reports, articles, book chapters and/or presentations.


Scholar: Keon Gilbert

Date: Wednesday, July 28

This course presents an overview of photovoice as a participatory qualitative method that provides a way for community members to take and share photographs that express the strengths and needs of their community.  These photographs can be used as a tool to speak to decision makers.

Photovoice is a form of participatory action research that confronts a fundamental research problem: The priorities of professionals, researchers, specialists, and outsiders may completely fail to match what the community thinks is important.  By using cameras, community members document their lives and share their photographs to create powerful visual images that communicate their current realities and envision future realities.

When these images and the stories they tell are presented to a range of stakeholders and decision makers, they can serve as a means of catalyzing community change and assessing root causes to social problems. Because invested parties engage in conversations privileging community members’ priorities, these discussions can stimulate policy—and social change—at local and national levels. At its root, the principles and practices of a community-centered photovoice project align with the principles and goals that guide major theories of inequities in income, health, and social justice.

In addition to addressing the theoretical and political importance of photovoice, the course will also allow participants to engage in a photovoice session to learn how to apply this method within a study and as a tool for evaluation.

Scholar: Leslie Curry

Date: Wednesday, July 28

This session focuses on drafting a rigorous, compelling manuscript for submission to a peer reviewed journal, and unfolds in three modules. First, we open with the concept of a publication plan to help researchers think prospectively and strategically about potential complementary publications. We then turn to “Ten Tips” for drafting manuscripts. We will review these principles and practices of drafting manuscripts, drawing on examples from the peer reviewed literature and engaging in hands-on exercises. In the final module we address common challenges in the manuscript review process and strategies for responding to reviewer critiques. The format will be interactive, with opportunity for discussion and review of illustrative examples from published papers.

I. Qualitative study publication plans

II. Drafting manuscripts: “Ten tips”
      a. Review illustrative examples from peer reviewed literature
      b. Exercises and group discussion

III. Responding to reviews: Crafting response letters
      a. Deconstructing common critiques
      b. Strategies for responding

Thursday-Friday (July 29-30)

Two-Day Courses

Scholar: Mark Vagle

Dates: Thursday-Friday, July 29-30

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 carrying out phenomenological research. 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:

  1. Identify a post-intentional phenomenon in context(s), around a social issue.
  2. Devise a clear, yet flexible process for gathering phenomenological material appropriate for the phenomenon under investigation.
  3. Make a post–reflexion plan.
  4. Explore the post-intentional phenomenon using theory, phenomenological material, and post-reflexions; and
  5. Craft a text that engages the productions and provocations of the phenomenon in context(s), around a social issue.

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 shared and discussed. The course is based on Vagle’s book by the same name, Crafting Phenomenological Research (2nd ed., 2018, Routledge).

Scholars: Sharron Docherty

Dates: Thursday-Friday, July 29-30

This course presents pragmatic, reflexive strategies for designing a qualitative inquiry project. We will cover elements of design that are distinct to qualitative research such as specific aims, conceptual framing, case-orientation, inductive/emergent style, and interpretive analytics. These methodological considerations will include sampling, data collection, strategies for analysis, plans for optimizing validity and human subjects protections, and writing and presenting findings.

In addition to lecture, 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 the design of their own projects.

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).

Scholar: Alison Hamilton

Dates: Thursday-Friday, July 29-30

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.​

Scholar: Rashawn Ray Dates: Thursday-Friday, July 29-30 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?

Wednesday-Thursday (August 4-5)

Two-Day Courses

Scholars: Johnny Saldaña

Dates: Wednesday-Thursday, August 4-5

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, processes, causation, categories, 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: Keon Gilbert and Rashawn Ray

Dates: Wednesday-Thursday, August 4-5

Marginalized communities often lack resources and platforms to alleviate complications arising from emerging and systemic social and public health challenges.  Researchers often have limited community partnerships and resources to gather narratives to unearth detailed and nuanced stories to assist marginalized communities. A qualitative inquiry focused CBPR approach addresses these issues.

This course will provide researchers with principles and tools to conduct qualitative-focused community-based participatory research. Drs. Gilbert and Ray will expose participants to a holistic approach to CBPR by focusing on 4 core topics essential to the approach: (1) CBPR foundation principles, (2) Methods principles and practices to guide the work, (3) CBPR practice goals, and (4) An eye toward the future of CBPR

  1. CBPR foundation principles

To effectively assist communities in need, marginalized voices must be central to understanding community perspectives and needs. In order to achieve sustainable goals, researchers must also learn how to identify synergies that foster long-term relationships and mutual commitments to social change. 

  1. Methods principles and practices to guide the work

The instructors will discuss innovative CBPR datatypes (including using social media and internet-based platforms as narrative- and content-based data) and approaches to triangulating multiple data sources to enhance impact and document the now.

  1. CBPR Practice Goals

The course will help you learn how to balance data collection with community-based goals and academic outcomes as well as develop pragmatic strategies to help get community members’ experiences to decision-making tables. 

  1. An Eye Toward the Future of CBPR

The course will address changes that occur at the local and global levels (such as advances in technology and data evolution) that will shape the future of your CBPR work.

Scholar: Elijah Anderson Dates: Wednesday-Thursday, August 4-5 This course provides knowledge and insight into the ethnographic method. The ethnographic approach to social research involves substantive and methodological issues. Anderson’s classic work, A Place on the Corner (2nd ed., 2003, University of Chicago), and his more recent book, Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City (1999, W. W. Norton), are used as examples to describe, analyze and explain the process of selecting a social setting, “getting in,” writing field notes, “making sense,” and representing ethnographic research. He will also discuss his most recent ethnographic work on race and public space, including The Cosmopolitan Canopy (2012, W. W. Norton), “The Iconic Ghetto” (2012, The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Sage) and “The White Space” (2015, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, Sage). The course will consist of informal lectures in a seminar-style/workshop format. Participants are encouraged to bring their own work for commentary and assistance, as time permits.

Scholar: Cheryl Poth and Ray Maietta

Dates: Wednesday-Thursday, August 4-5

In Margarete Sandelowski’s (2000) article Whatever Happened to Qualitative Description? she discusses how qualitative descriptive studies may, by design, have “overtones” of a qualitative tradition (approach).  As an example, she mentions that researchers may engage one or more techniques associated with grounded theory, such as a form of constant comparison. 

In this course, Drs. Poth and Maietta will help you consider strategies for finding and integrating overtones from three qualitative approaches in your work:

  • Grounded Theory
  • Narrative Research
  • Phenomenology

The course begins with an overview of each approach and then moves through critical phases of a qualitative project to first expose you to principles and practices of each approach during that phase.  Using examples from their work, Poth and Maietta will point to strategies to integrate specific practices of an approach and discuss ways to describe what overtones were used and how they were implemented. 

The four project phases covered in the course are:

  1. Designing your qualitative inquiry project
  2. Collecting data for your project
  3. Analyzing your qualitative data
  4. Building presentations of your work, including discussing how your work uses overtones of a specific approach.

Content from Creswell and Poth’s Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among Five Approaches (4th ed., 2017, Sage) will shape our overview of the qualitative approaches and guide our movement through the phases of qualitative projects.

ResearchTalk’s Sort and Sift, Think and Shift data analytic approach will be introduced as an example of a data analytic strategy that integrates overtones from more than one qualitative inquiry approach.


Sandelowski, M. (2000). Whatever happened to qualitative description? Research in Nursing & Health, 23, 334–340.

Friday (August 6)

One-Day Courses

Scholars: David Morgan and Ray Maietta

Date: Friday, August 6

Traditionally, qualitative interviews have involved a single participant in 1-to-1 interviews or several participants in a focus group. As a result, an interesting gap in size range emerges. Dyadic interviews fill that gap. Dyads can be with strangers or two people who have a pre-existing relationship and share an interest in a particular topic. In dyadic interviews, each participant helps the other person to express incomplete thoughts:

  • Participants supplement each other by adding details, remind each other of omitted detail, and so on.
  • Participants ask questions to make sure that points get clarified.
  • Participants push beyond vague or conventional statements.
  • Participants create more complex accounts by providing alternative versions.

Drs. Morgan and Maietta will help you leverage these advantages in your own work. They will provide comparisons to individual interviews and focus groups and cover the following topics as they apply to dyadic interviews:

  • Ethical issues
  • Interaction as the foundation for successful dyadic interviews
  • Decision-making strategies for pair composition
  • Writing questions for dyadic interview guides
  • Moderating dyadic interviews
  • Analyzing dyadic interviews

Course content is derived from David Morgan’s Essentials of Dyadic Interviewing (2016, Routledge.)

Scholar: Alison Hamilton

Date: Friday, August 6

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: Friday, August 6

Qualitative researchers have a broad palette of writing styles we can use on an as-needed basis for the investigative or compositional task at hand. Eclecticism is an essential skill for documenting social inquiry. The more diverse our expressive repertoire, the more each mode informs the others and the more credible, vivid, and persuasive our accounts.

In this one-day workshop, participants will gain in-class experience with nine different writing styles for qualitative research reportage, ranging from the descriptive to the analytic, from the confessional to the reflexive, and from the poetic to the autoethnographic.

Workshop participants should have something to write about—a research study in progress, a first draft report, or a completed study such as a thesis, dissertation, or published journal article. Participants should also have a personal device (e.g., laptop, tablet) or hardcopy materials (e.g., notepad, pens) for in-class writing exercises. (Miscellaneous qualitative data samples will be provided for those not involved with current projects.)

Workshop content is derived from Writing Qualitatively: The Selected Works of Johnny Saldaña (2018, Routledge) and the co-authored Qualitative Research: Analyzing Life (2018, Sage).