UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO
SCHOOL OF EDUCATION
EDLD 608: Qualitative Research Methods Spring 2008 Room: MRH (SE) 107 Meeting time: 5:30 â€“8:20
Mary Woods Scherr, Ph.D. Office: MRH 275 D Phone: 619-260-2274 (O) 760-729-3263 (H)
Office Hours: Tuesdays 1:30-4:00; Appointments available at other times, including after class. Send e-mail for appointments at least 48 hrs in advance: scherr@sandiego. edu. Course Description: This course begins with a discussion of the underlying philosophy of qualitative research methods and the type of research questions qualitative methods most appropriately address. Following an overview of several major methodologies, the assignments provide guided practice in data collection, coding, analysis and presentation of research, moving from less complex toward more complex qualitative methodologies. In addition to acquiring initial skills in field research, students will be able to critically evaluate qualitative studies reported in the literature. Texts: Cresswell, J. W. 2nd Ed. Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Merriam, S. G. and Associates. (2002). Qualitative research in practice. San Francisco: JosseyBass. Spradley, J. P. (1979). The ethnographic interview. New York: Holt, Rinehard & Winston. Optional Text: Van Manen, M. (1990). Researching lived experience. New York: SUNY Additiional READINGS will be assigned. N. B. The textbooks selected for this course provide guidelines for the methodologies most often selected by our doctoral students for their dissertation research. They are intended as handbooks and references. Students are expected to use the texts as needed to complete assignments successfully, to be prepared to discuss the topics scheduled for that session, to answer individual questions, and to provide additional guidelines for assignments. We will not have time during this course to specifically discuss the full texts in class. Class time will be reserved for introductions to
2 assignments, theoretical discussions, practice, and problematic concerns raised by students in the course of their readings and exercises. Equipment Needed: Students will need to be able to record interviews: a tape recorder and either a transcription machine or a foot pedal attachment or a digital recorder and computer software. Expectations: 1. Students will arrive promptly for each session, including the continuation of class following a break, unless a professional or personal emergency occurs. In such cases, it is not necessary for you to call and explain that you will be late. 2. Students will assume responsibility for their own success in this class and participate in a buddy or partnership system to learn what they missed when late or unavoidably absent. If an assignment or procedures or grading is not clear, students will ask for additional information in class. Chances are that others will benefit from your questions. Do not hesitate to ask. 3. All exercises will be completed according to the assigned date in the syllabus so that all can participate in a meaningful and productive manner. Late assignments will result in a lower grade since the syllabus is designed to provide time to share, critique, and analyze research assignments. 4. Students will visit the library at USD to supplement their readings on the various methodologies and share these accounts of qualitative research during class discussions. Objectives: 1. To know the philosophical foundations of qualitative research. 2. To understand how research questions guide the selection of methodologies. 3. To demonstrate your ability to conduct research exercises following standard guidelines for biographical, ethnographic, case study, grounded theory, and/or phenomenological interviews. 4. To become knowledgable regarding evaluation criteria for qualitative research. 5. To increase your observational acuity and sensitivity toward research participants (interviewees). 6. To improve academic writing by completing effective, well organized reports that demonstrate knowledge of APA styles, and that clearly link purpose, research questions, and methodology.
The final grade for this course will be based on the following point allocation. Total: 140 Seminar participation 25 (Includes exercises 1A, and 2A or 2B, and 25 as well as class work) Exercise 3
Additional in-class work will be evaluated by a plus, check, or minus and be considered when I assign a grade for seminar participation.
ASSIGNMENTS FOR EDLD 608: QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS
Exercise l: Observations This exercise will be completed in class. Exercise 2: Complete 2A OR 2B: (10 pts.) 2 A. Sight without sound • Observe a scene at a distance where you can see but not hear what is going on. • Choose a public place where you have a right to be without infringing on anyone’s privacy. (We will discuss appropriate and inappropriate settings in class.) • Focus on one particular area or aspect. . Turn in a report (two pages) that includes the following information: 1.
Description: a. Describe the setting (time, day, place, length of observation) and focus. Pattern? Summary of observation.
2. Process Notes: Be sure to label and answer each of the following questions:
4 What did you learn? What would you do differently? What difficulties did you encounter? What did you learn about field research? What did you learn about yourself as a researcher? 2 B. Sound without sight • Listen to a conversation between two people that you can hear but cannot see. • Choose a public place where you have a right to be without infringing on anyone’s privacy. (We will discuss appropriate and inappropriate settings in class.) . Turn in a report (two pages) that includes the following information: (Label your responses) 1. Description: Describe the setting (time, day, place, length of observation) and focus Pattern of voices? Conclusion? Summary of observation? 2. Process Notes: Be sure to label and answer each of these questions: What did you learn? What would you do differently? What difficulties did you encounter? What did you learn about field research? What did you learn about yourself as a researcher? Exercise 2 C: Required for everyone. (10 pts.) In a group of 4 or 5, members will plan the following observations of the moon. Two observations during each of the following dates: a) Feb. 12, 13, or 14; b) Feb. 19, 20, or 21; c) Feb. 26, 27, or 28; and d) Mar. 4, 5, or 6. On the Tuesday following each segment, the group will discuss their observations, and a reporter will keep a record of the summary. On March 11, both an oral and written group report will be due.
Exercise 3: Conduct a biographical interview with a member of this class for 3545 minutes. (20 pts.)
• Follow the guidelines discussed in class. Be sure you have a focus before you begin. • Record the interview • Transcribe an 8-10 minute segment.
This assignment includes Part A and Part B. Bring both to class on the date due. Part A. Bring the transcription
Record the date, time, duration, and location at the top left of transcript Describe the setting in one paragraph— Provide the context, if necessary, for the excerpt to make sense to the reader Use a pseudonym Format for transcript needs to follow these guidelines: o Type the transcript using only two-thirds of each line o Double space
Part B. Turn in Reflection Notes—Label and then answer each question. 1. What questions would you need to ask at a second interview? (“Next time I will need to ask….) 2. What did you learn from this assignment? (“I learned….) 3. Discuss the problems you encountered. (“I encountered sev. problems …) 4. Explain what you’d do differently (“Next time I will…)
Exercise 4: Conduct an Ethnographic Interview (35 pts.) Select an informant—one who has experiential knowledge of a culture with which you are unfamiliar but in which you are interested. (Examples; scuba diving, canoe racing, ballroom dancing competition, farmer’s markets, etc.) Develop ethnographic questions, following Spradley’s guidelines. Prepare an informed consent form. Conduct an interview for at least 25 minutes. Write a 5-6 page research report following APA style that includes the following: 1. An introductory paragraph(s) that clearly states the purpose of the interview and provides a rationale for ethnographic approach. Cite at least one ethnographic researcher/writer/authority.
2. Your findings organized by central theme(s) or by domains. (4-5 pp.) Include direct quotes. 3. A concluding paragraph that summarizes what you learned from this initial interview and/or the topic’s significance for you. 4. A reference list for work referred to in the paper. Turn in your paper with Appendix A and Appendix B Appendix A: 1. Your ethnographic questions 2. An informed consent form 3. The transcript – an 8-10 minute excerpt 4. Domain analysis for at least 4 cover terms
Appendix B: Turn in Reflection Notes—Label and then answer each question. 1. What questions would you need to ask at a second interview? (“Next time I will need to ask….) 2. What did you learn from this assignment? (“I learned….) 3. Discuss the problems you encountered. (“I encountered sev. problems …) 4. Explain what you’d do differently (“Next time I will…)
Exercise 5: Plan to present orally the result of your study for Exercise 6 to the class. (10) . Prepare a one page summary sheet (an advance organizer or scaffold) for each class member. Be sure to include your name and the name of your coach . Prepare an evaluation form (one page) for each class member--Examples will be available in class.
Exercise 6: Write a research report based on a biographical, ethnographic, case study, phenomenological, or grounded theory interviews. Conduct at least two interviews with the same person. (Do not interview the same person you interviewed for Ex. 3 or 4. Try to limit each interview to 40 minutes. Write a research report, 8-10 pages, (not including references and appendix) and double space text, using a 12 point type and a clear font. This exercise includes Part A and Part B. Be sure to turn in both. (50pts.)
A. Your paper, written according to APA style, needs to include the following:
7 1. An introduction that states your purpose and a rationale for the methodology that you selected. Include quotes from the texts used in class or other authoritative sources. Include your research questions that guided your interview.—two paragraphs suggested. 2. Your findings. Include direct quotes from your informants/participants. Organize by theme, or major concepts, or tell the story—five or six pages suggested. 3. A conclusion that discusses the significance of these initial interviews. Cite other research as appropriate—one or two paragraphs. 4. A reference list for works referred to in the introduction or conclusion. The reference page is in addition to the 10 page limit. Note: We will discuss in class optional formats.
B. An appendix that includes the following. Carefully label each section. 1. A 5-6 page transcript with your coding for each interview. Select interesting segments to transcribe. 2. Interview Guide. 3. Create a matrix that shows which questions were designed to answer your research questions. See article by Anfara on “E” library reserve. 4.
Process notes that include your reflection and analysis of the following: Label each. a. Questions for additional interview with each interviewee b. The coding and/or domain analysis c. The process of writing the paper d. What you learned and what you’d do differently next time e. Addendum: What you learned from your peer evaluators on your oral report (Ex. 5 assignment)
OUTLINE FOR EDLD 608:QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS—
See Cresswell, ch 2
8 Introduction to Qualitative Methodology Explanation of Ex. 2 and 3 Ex. 1 in class -- DUE at end of class
Characteristics of Qualitative Research A brief lecture Ex. 2A or 2B DUE
Interview guidelines; Bring tape recorder and blank tape to class In-class practice in developing interview Protocols and a practice interview Small group to plan 2C, segment a).
Practice Coding for the biographical interview Small group to discuss 2C, segment a).
Merriam, ch. 1 Cresswell, ch.3 SLL tape in class
Spradley, Steps 1-2 Cresswell, ch.4
Self assessment, HO Cresswell, p. 86 ff. and Appendix B, and
See Cresswell, ch. 9 for each method
Continue refinement of coding EX. 3 DUE Small group to discuss 2 C, segment b).
Feedback on Ex. 3 re: Coding practice Requirements for Consent Form Introduction to Ethnography Small group to discuss 2 C, segment c).
Bees, HO Spradley, steps 3-5 Cresswell, ch. 11, 12
Ethnography (continued) Domain analyis Oral and written sumary for Ex. 2 C DUE
Merriam, ch. ll Spradley, Steps 6-9 Cresswell, p. 68 ff and Appendix E
Introduction to Case Study
Merriam, ch. 9 & 10 Cresswell, p. 73 ff and Appendix F
Case Study continued EX. 4 DUE
Samples in class
Phenomenology Introduction and in-class practice
Merriam, ch. 5 and 6 Van Manen, All (esp. ch. 3, 4, 5)
Cresswell, 57 ff and Appendix C
Merriam, ch. 7 and 8
Grounded Theory continued
Cresswell, 62 ff. and Appendix C
Writing the research report Oral Presentations â€“ Ex. 5
Anfara article Oral presentation HO
Synthesis, Review, & Q & A Evaluation Criteria
Merriam, ch. 2
EXERCISE 6 DUE
All written work must reach the professor by the end of class on May 13, 2008 . Unless you have specific permission to complete work at a later date. your final grade will be based on the work you have completed. An incomplete assignment will lower your grade significantly. See the schedule above.