QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS

PHE5QLR

2015

Credit points: 15

Subject outline

In this subject students will be introduced to issues critical for qualitative enquiry such as philosophical foundations, theory building, the design and conduct of qualitative study, methods of data collection and analysis, researcher role, ethics, quality of qualitative research, presentation of findings and the writing of a qualitative research paper. Students will design and execute a small qualitative research project. Throughout the semester, students explore a variety of qualitative research methodologies such as descriptive studies, ground theory, ethnography, action research, unobtrusive observation, case study, phenomenology, etc. The subject content and structure will be responsive to students' needs with practical skill development being emphasised, such as data collection and analysis strategies.

SchoolSchool of Psychology & Public Health

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorVirginia Dickson-Swift

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 5 - Masters

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites PHE2AHR or appropriate studies in research methodologies.

Co-requisitesN/A

Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Discuss the role of qualitative research in evidence-based practice. You should be able to: (a) contrast the naturalistic and positivistic paradigms of research; (b) explain the historical developments of qualitative research; (c) outline the key theoretical frameworks used in qualitative research; (d) describe the key epistemological and methodological foundations informing qualitative research.

Activities:
Read set papers and write critical analysis. Use the key knowledge to justify the use of qualitative methodologies to investigate a range of issues.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Creative Problem-solving (Creative Problem-solving)
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)

02. Select and justify a qualitative research approach to suit a given research question. You should be able to: (a) describe the different approaches to qualitative research; (b) identify a number of approaches that suit a qualitative research question; (c) compare and contrast the appropriateness of several qualitative research approaches.

Activities:
Lecture and reading material outlining a range of approaches. Methodological assessment piece presenting a chosen approach with a justification of why that approach was chosen (short essay or oral presentation).
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Writing (Writing)
Creative Problem-solving (Creative Problem-solving)
Inquiry/ Research (Inquiry/ Research)
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)

03. Determine and justify appropriate range of sampling methods for use in qualitative research studies. You should be able to: (a) describe the different sampling methods used in qualitative research; (b) describe the strengths and limitations of a range of different sampling strategies; (c) compare and contrast the range of sampling methods used in qualitative research.

Activities:
Lecture and reading material outlining the different types of sampling approaches. Must be able to choose and provide a sound rationale for that approach in the final research paper assessment.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)
Inquiry/ Research (Inquiry/ Research)
Creative Problem-solving (Creative Problem-solving)
Writing (Writing)

04. Collect and interpret rich data for qualitative projects. You should be able to: (a) identify and develop data collection tools; (b) collect qualitative data using a range of tools; (c) propose appropriate qualitative data analysis techniques; (d) undertake a basic analysis of qualitative data.

Activities:
Lecture material and practical skill development. Data collection task.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Communication (Communication)
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)
Writing (Writing)
Creative Problem-solving (Creative Problem-solving)

05. Outline the issues with regard to ethics and rigour in qualitative studies. You should be able to: (a) identify a range of ethical issues inherent in qualitative research; (b) discuss credibility and transferability of qualitative research; (c) describe the quality criteria used in qualitative research; (d) outline the role of the audit trail in qualitative research; (e) discuss the role of the researcher and how that might affect the data collected.

Activities:
Reading and lecture material with some case scenarios regarding the ethical issues inherent in qualitative research. Section to be included in final report. Reading material for the qualities and rigour to be provided and summarised.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Ethical/ Social Responsibility (Ethical/ Social Responsibility)

06. Develop a comprehensive research paper based on qualitative data suitable for publication. You should be able to: (a) describe a range of different formats for presenting qualitative research; (b) identify and discuss the issues with interpretation and representation of qualitative data; (c) report on and justify the sampling, data collection and analysis techniques employed; (d) present the analysis of collected data.

Activities:
Reading material and data collection and analysis task. Final research report.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Inquiry/ Research (Inquiry/ Research)
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)
Writing (Writing)
Communication (Communication)

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Bendigo, 2015, Semester 1, Day

Overview

Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorVirginia Dickson-Swift

Class requirements

Block Mode
One 5.0 days block mode per study period and delivered via blended.
"39 hours per semester (equivalent of 13 hours lectures, 13 hours of seminars and 13 hours of tutorial activities per study period) offered in a blend of face to face and/or online learning."

Assessments

Assessment elementComments% ILO*
1,800-word individual report40 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06
10-min individual presentation (equiv to 500 words)20 02, 03
15-min data collection task with field notes or data collected (equiv to 1,200 words)20 04
six discussion postings (equiv to 900 words)20 01