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ERIC Number: EJ889670
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 26
ISSN: ISSN-0092-055X
Integrating the Complete Research Project into a Large Qualitative Methods Course
Raddon, Mary-Beth; Nault, Caleb; Scott, Alexis
Teaching Sociology, v36 n2 p141-149 2008
Participatory exercises are standard practice in qualitative methods courses; less common are projects that engage students in the entire research process, from research design to write-up. Although the teaching literature provides several models of complete research projects, their feasibility, and appropriateness for large, compulsory, single-semester methods courses has not been well established. Nor has much been written on how instructors are navigating the requirement at many institutions that course-based research undergo human-subjects ethics review. Here the authors describe how a high-enrollment qualitative methods course integrates a complete research project on student life and the transition to university. Students in this course of more than 100 conduct in-depth interviews with other students, pool the transcripts, and write original papers based on qualitative analysis of common datasets. Unfortunately, the complex logistics of the course rule out four experiential elements that instructors of smaller courses have incorporated: (1) multiple methods of data collection; (2) research of a non-campus setting; (3) follow-up interviews; and (4) an independent literature review. Using other parts of the course to fill these gaps, the model realizes many pedagogical benefits of a course-based research project. Specifically, it gives students a positive experience of research, so important in a compulsory course, and it also grounds students' formal learning of the qualitative tradition, as they concurrently gain first-hand knowledge of the research process. In this note, the authors describe how they met these learning objectives while keeping the project manageable for students and instructor within a single semester. (Contains 2 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A