Qualitative Methods of Research – EDUC 817

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 11/09/2020

Course Description

This course examines qualitative methods used in educational research, focusing primarily on participant-observation, asking questions, writing field notes, and on the transformation of these primary field data into written ethnographic documents. (Formerly EDUC 717)

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.

Rationale

The research problems addressed by the process of educational research often present a more complex problem than the use of traditional quantitative research approaches can satisfy. As a result of this complexity, there is the need for alternate ways to answer research questions. Qualitative research (as a paradigm of thought and as groups of methods and approaches) seeks to provide this alternate approach. Christian educational researchers must develop a diverse understanding of research methodologies and approaches to best apply the proper method in the practice of educational research.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the candidate will be able to:

  1. Define qualitative research and distinguish between it and quantitative research.
  2. Critique articles that use qualitative methods.
  3. Describe ways qualitative inquirers gather data.
  4. Delineate five major qualitative inquiry approaches.
  5. Write field notes based on participant interviews.
  6. Describe the general procedures followed in the analysis of qualitative data.
  7. Successfully implement current APA writing guidelines.
  8. Identify criteria to use in evaluating a qualitative study.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and presentation

Course Requirements Checklist

As the first activity in this course, please read the syllabus and Student Expectations. After reading the syllabus and Student Expectations, the candidate will then complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (7)

The candidate will complete Discussions in two parts. First, the candidate should post a new thread in response to the provided prompt. Then, the candidate should reply to the specified number of classmates. Threads should be posted by the end of Thursday of the Module: Week the Discussion is assigned and replies should be posted by the end of Sunday of the same Module: Week (except for the final Discussion in Module 8: Week 8; replies should be posted by Friday 11:59 pm of that week). (MLO: A, C, D, E, G, H)

Reading Summary

In Module 1: Week 1, candidates will have the opportunity to practice their current APA writing and formatting skills through composing clear and concise chapter summaries for their assigned reading that week. The summaries should follow the format provided in the course and should clearly reflect current APA style and writing. (MLO: A, D, G)

Research Plan Overviews

As the candidate progresses through this course, they will be developing a Research Plan Overview in outline format. The Research Plan Overview will be submitted in three parts throughout the course, with each part revising and building upon the previous part. The candidate will use the Research Plan Overview Template to complete this assignment. The requirements for each part of submission are described below. (MLO: C, F, G, I)

Research Plan Overview: Part 1 - Introduction

For Research Plan Overview: Part 1 - Introduction, the candidate must supply the information required for the Introduction section (I) and the Review of Related Literature section (II). The candidate will continue to build the Review of Related Literature section throughout each stage of development, so they must be sure to supply what the red text requires.

Research Plan Overview: Part 2 - Methods

The candidate will review the Research Plan Overview: Part 1 - Introduction of their research plan and make revisions or edits as necessary. Then, for the Research Plan Overview: Part 2 – Methods assignment, the candidate will supply the information required for the Methods section (III), subheadings A, B, C, D, and E along with Appendices B and C as applicable to their design. Also, the candidate will continue to build the Review of Related Literature section (II).

Research Plan Overview: Part 3 - Revision

The Research Plan Overview: Part 3 - Revision contributes the final section of the Research Plan Overview, giving the candidate a complete outline. The candidate will review the Research Plan Overview: Part 2 – Methods portion of their research plan and make revisions or edits as necessary. The candidate will supply the information required for the Methods section (III), subheadings F, G, and H. Also, the candidate will supply the requested information for Appendices A and D. Finally, the candidate will polish the Review of Related Literature section (II), adding any final elements they think are necessary.

Five Approaches Table

In Module 3: Week 3, candidates will complete a chart that will allow them to define, explain, and discuss five major qualitative research methods. (MLO: D, G, H).

Article Critiques (2)

During Modules: Weeks 3 and 5, candidates will read and critique an article based on the information provided in chapter 5 and the appendices of the textbook. Each critique should be a double-spaced review of one study’s purpose, theory, methods, and major findings. Both critiques should also follow current APA style and should match the formatting guidelines provided. (MLO: B, D, F, G, H)

Field Notes Interviews

Candidates will practice collecting data in the field by conducting two interviews with individuals who have earned a doctorate degree in the field of education. Each interview should be kept at about a 1-hour time limit and should be audio recorded for official transcription, which will be submitted. An interview template is provided with a detailed list of questions. Initial interview must be completed by Wednesday of Module 5: Week 5. The completed interview templates will be submitted in Module 7: Week 7. (MLO: C, E, G)