QRSI 2014 Course Descriptions

(arranged by date)


CBPR – Community-Based Participatory Research: Practical Tools and Structures
Instructors: Geni Eng, Melvin Jackson, Alexandra Lightfoot, Jennifer Schaal

Dates: Monday-Tuesday, July 28-29

Whether new to or experienced with engaging communities in research, investigators are challenged by the inevitable tensions between scientific requirements for rigor and control, and communitarian demands for participation and transparency. Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is often complicated by multi-layered partnerships, based in power relations negotiated between diverse groups (each with specific histories, politics, and cultures), while being regulated by external forces of research governance. What is distinctive about CBPR is a set of principles to guide the openness, fluidity, and unpredictability of a collaborative approach to research.

Through conducting CBPR since 1991, our team of academic and community-based investigators has developed and used practical tools and structures for CBPR partners to:

• define a common vocabulary to discuss power and inequities

• codify equitable decision-making power

• anticipate and manage conflict

• approve and co-author findings and publications

• establish alternate institutional ethical review processes

In this course, you will receive copies of these tools and structures for your consideration. We will use a blend of brief lectures, interactive discussions, and a reading/writing exercise to stimulate all of us to think creatively about CBPR tools and structures and apply the results to our own work. For example, to analyze and guide our practice in applying CBPR principles, you will receive a real life case of a community-academic partnership engaged in using the qualitative research method of critical incident technique interview. Through this case, we will explore if African American and White women, diagnosed and treated with breast cancer at the same facility, received cancer care that was the same. We are enthusiastic about the potential for co-learning that will occur.


NEW! Coding and Analyzing Qualitative Data
Instructor: Johnny Saldaña

Dates: Monday-Tuesday, July 28-29

This two-day workshop focuses on a range of selected methods of coding qualitative data for analytic outcomes that includes patterns, categories, themes, processes, and causation. The course will also touch upon how these methods fit with or differ from coding strategies in grounded theory and phenomenology.

Coding and Analyzing Qualitative Data will address:

  • Various coding methods for qualitative data (interview transcripts, field notes, documents)
  • Analytic memo and vignette 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 (2d ed., Sage Publications, 2013).


NEW! Collecting Qualitative Data

Instructors: Greg Guest and Emily Namey

Dates: Monday-Tuesday, July 28-29

This course focuses on in-depth discussion of, and practice with, the three primary qualitative data collection methods — participant observation, in-depth interviews, and focus groups. Participants have a chance to develop data collection guides and role-play while picking up tips for effective and rigorous data collection. Wherever possible, we illustrate concepts and techniques with concrete international and domestic examples.

Additionally, this course covers the following topics:

  • Selecting appropriate data collection and sampling strategies for qualitative research
  • Identifying and addressing ethics considerations specific to qualitative research
  • Describing a range of visual and other enhanced data collection techniques

Where time permits, we also incorporate logistical considerations, such as remote data collection and data management issues and options, to provide guidance on implementing qualitative data collection techniques. The course content will draw from Collecting Qualitative Data: A Field Manual for Applied Research, by Greg Guest, Emily Namey, and Marilyn Mitchell (Sage, 2013).


Integrating and Communicating Qualitative-focused Mixed Methods Study Findings
Instructor: Alison Hamilton

Dates: Monday-Tuesday, July 28-29

This session will explore integrating and communicating findings from qualitative-focused mixed methods studies. With specific attention to the rewards and challenges of different research designs, we will discuss the possible points of interface and products of mixed methods research that tell an integrated story. In the parallel convergent design, numerous possibilities for conveying mixed results arise, such as joint-display tables and side-by-side comparisons that allow the quantitative and qualitative perspectives to “talk back” to each other. In the exploratory sequential design, our goal is to make meta-inferences to relate whether and how the quantitative phase provides a more generalized understanding than the qualitative phase alone.

We will also discuss examples, such as combining focus groups and surveys, to gain not only a more comprehensive understanding of the two sources of data but to consider ways — both visually and in writing — to convey this understanding to an audience and extend the analytical reach of your mixed methods story.

Some familiarity with mixed methods research is required. Participants are encouraged to bring ideas for mixed methods studies that they can explore during the workshop.

Introduction to Grounded Theory: A Social Constructionist Approach
Instructor: Kathy Charmaz

Dates: Monday-Tuesday, July 28-29

This class introduces grounded theory methods from a social constructionist approach to new and experienced qualitative researchers. You will gain practical guidelines for handling data analysis, a deeper understanding of the logic of grounded theory, and strategies for increasing the theoretical power and reach of your work. I treat grounded theory as a set of flexible guidelines to adopt, alter, and fit particular research problems, not to apply mechanically. With these guidelines, you expedite and systematize your research. Moreover, using grounded theory sparks fresh ideas about your data. The sessions cover an overview of basic guidelines and hands-on exercises. I offer ideas about data gathering and recording to help you obtain nuanced, rich data. We discuss relationships between qualitative coding, developing analytic categories and generating theory and attend to specific grounded theory strategies of coding, memo-writing, theoretical sampling, and using comparative methods. You will receive guided practice in using each analytic step of the grounded theory method.

If you have collected some qualitative data, do bring a completed interview, set of fieldnotes, or document to analyze. If you do not have data yet, we will supply qualitative data for you. If you prefer to use a laptop for writing, bring one, but you can complete the exercises without a computer.

NEW! Negotiating Diversity in Qualitative Research
Instructor: Robin Jarrett

Dates: Monday-Tuesday, July 28-29

Personal characteristics are critical considerations in qualitative research where the researcher is the tool, and the interaction is the method. Often the researcher and informants differ on key characteristics, such as race-ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age (generation), culture, social class-educational level, cultural differences/language, and religion. Focusing on the “human tool,” this workshop will explore a range of issues inherent in this intimate method, including positionality and reflexivity. Key topics will include:

  • How do personal characteristics affect the development of research relationships and rapport building with informants in interview and field contexts?
  • What are the critical issues in discussing insider-outsider debates?
  • What are the promises and dilemmas of insider and outsider statuses?
  • What are the implications of “going native”?
  • How do personal characteristics influence the type and quality of data that researchers have access to?
  • What are the commonalities that qualitative researchers experience irrespective of insider/outsider status?

As the researcher reflects on and monitors his/her human tool issues of positionality and reflexivity become central:

  • How does the researcher’s status influence data analysis and interpretation? And how does this status (or statuses) present particular personal, methodological, and interpretative challenges? How are these challenges addressed?
  • What research frameworks help researchers more directly reflect on participants’ worldviews, experiences, voices (participatory action research)?
  • How do we know if researcher representations of participants’ voices are credible?

To explore these topics, we draw upon case study examples from qualitative researchers whose research entailed a focus on personal characteristics. As part of this discussion, we draw on the experiences of workshop participants and examine how they manage issues brought forth by the use of the human tool.


NEW! Arts-Based Qualitative Inquiry

Instructor: Johnny Saldaña

Date: Wednesday, July 30

Qualitative scholars in multiple disciplines are fruitfully using arts-based research to reveal information and represent experiences that traditional methods cannot capture. Arts-based research is used when researchers across disciplines adapt the tenets of the creative arts in order to address their research questions and/or represent their research findings.

The workshop covers the kinds of research questions these innovative approaches can address and offers practical guidance for applying them in all phases of a research project. These phases range from design and data collection to analysis, interpretation, representation, and struggles over standards including discussion of validity, assessment, trustworthiness, authenticity, and the renegotiation of scientific criteria.

This discussion applies across the different genres of arts-based research:

• Narrative inquiry
• Experimental and fictional writing
• Poetry
• Performance studies
• Dance and movement
• Music
• Visual art
• Film

Through lecture and in-class activities, we will evaluate the advantages and challenges of using arts-based research. Course participants will gain practical experience integrating artistic process into qualitative research within one genre of arts-based research. (Students may choose to focus on poetry, fiction, ethnodrama, or visual representation.)

Participants are encouraged to bring data (interviews, ethnographic observations, documents, journals, photographs, autoethnographic essays) for in-class activities. Participants without their own data will be provided with materials.

This course is appropriate for researchers at all levels who are interested in bridging the art-science divide–whether you are already using arts-based research or if it is new to you.

NEW! Co-Analysis: Empowering Team-based Qualitative Inquiry

Instructors: Ray Maietta, Craig Fryer, Keri Lubell, Susan Passmore and Jeff Petruzzelli

Date: Wednesday, July 30

This course introduces the co-analysis method for team-based qualitative inquiry. Co-analysis facilitates shared decision making between two or more individuals or groups working as a team analyzing one qualitative dataset. Co-analysis works best when a primary investigator(s) is deeply steeped in the knowledge and traditions of a topic of study and a secondary investigator’s (or investigators’) primary expertise lies in research methods and not necessarily substantive understanding. The primary investigator ensures that the established understandings in the field of study and/or the deductive points of inquiry outlined in the project prospectus are addressed in analysis. The secondary investigator’s primary focus is on emergent discovery.

Regular engagement with data plus frequent interactions between team members ensures the success of this approach. In the data collection phases, team members co-lead interviews and field work efforts and debrief about the data collection process and early substantive discoveries. During data analysis, six core modules that comprise ResearchTalk’s Sort and Sift, Think and Shift Multidimensional Qualitative Analysis approach define team exchanges:

  • Data inventory
  • Written reflection
  • Reflective diagrams
  • Categorization
  • Data bridging exercises and Q & A
  • Data presentation

The activities that occur within each module direct team members’ interaction throughout the life of a co-analysis project and enable them to work together to move beyond simple discussions of similarity and difference to focus on deeper issues, including:

  • How and why do ideas and themes align to shape larger stories?
  • What is the meaning and implication of apparent conflict between ideas?
  • Does the ‘conflict’ represent something more important about foundation conditions that shape everyday behavior of the people we study?

Co-analysis enables teams to:

  • Carve out space and time to work solely on data divorced from the distractions of their everyday responsibilities.
  • Empower qualitative conversations that lead to emergent discovery fueled by the energies and exchanges of the co-analysis sessions.
  • Facilitate the communication of ideas at a higher level that is understandable to people outside of the field. Regular engagement via co-analysis meetings becomes practice and rehearsal for presentation.
  • Reach analytic consensus as a meeting point of inductive and deductive ideas.
NEW! Increasing the Usefulness of Qualitative Research

Instructors: Alison Hamilton

Date: Wednesday, July 30

This course addresses the varied ways in which qualitative research can be used, particularly beyond academic pursuits. We will consider instrumental, conceptual, and symbolic uses of qualitative research, providing examples from several disciplines. The concepts of value and credibility—key to useful qualitative research—will be explored with regard to:

  1. Study design: how can projects be set up with appropriate methods, sample, and timeline to facilitate utility of findings?
  2. Execution: how can data be collected to support applicability of results in a timely fashion?
  3. Implementation: how can qualitative data be used to inform the creation and advancement of programs, products and policies?

Particular attention will be paid to presentation and dissemination of qualitative findings, i.e., how to synthesize, present, and share findings in order to maximize accessibility, relevance, and impact. Participants will engage in an exercise that entails working with their own projects (or a sample project) to identify specific design, execution, implementation, and/or presentation strategies to increase the usefulness of their work.

NEW! Pathways to Qualitative Findings

Instructor: Robin Jarrett

Date: Wednesday, July 30

This workshop explores the deeply interrelated processes of interpreting, writing up, and evaluating qualitative data. An array of analysis techniques, including coding, can be used to discover meanings, highlight participants’ voices, and identify social processes and social interactions.

We review pathways to findings as we consider context, people, processes, and meanings. Strategies to facilitate interpretation engage members’ words, stories and explanations, and metaphors. Visual techniques (data displays), and categorization techniques (coding and typology development) can be used to identify and represent patterns and relationships in the data. In addition, memo writing, or documented ways of thinking out loud, can be used to move your preliminary analyses to deeper levels of understanding.

We will give particular attention to qualitative writing in response to different venues and audiences (academic, applied, government, not-for-profit) as we consider how to highlight the descriptive nature and multiple voicing of our findings. This discussion must consider the credibility of qualitative findings. How do you know if you “got it right”? Here, we discuss key strategies including peer debriefings, member checks, triangulation, reflexivity, and audit trails.

To facilitate our examination of these topics, we will include case study examples from researchers to show how they grapple with making sense of their data and findings and check their credibility. Finally, we will discuss how to present research findings to different audiences in thoughtful and actionable ways.

NEW! Qualitative Health Research

Instructor: Maria Mayan

Date: Wednesday, July 30

This workshop will address why we differentiate qualitative health research from other forms of qualitative research. Our focus will center on:

  • What is qualitative health research?
  • What is the focus of qualitative health research?
  • What kind of questions can be asked though qualitative health research?
  • Who does qualitative health research?
  • What are the key elements of qualitative health research?
  • Why should we care about the domain of qualitative health research?

These questions will be discussed in the context of health research, including generating “evidence,” mobilizing or translating evidence, mixed methodology, and patient-centered or participant-centered care. This workshop will be of interest to those who are tasked with research in public/population health, health care delivery, patient/client care, and the sociocultural dimensions of health.

NEW! Writing Effective Qualitative and Mixed-Methods Research Proposals

Instructor: Margarete Sandelowski

Date: Wednesday, July 30

The focus of this course is on concrete, this-is-how-you-might/should-say-it strategies for designing and writing effective and competitive qualitative and mixed-methods research proposals. Qualitative and mixed-methods research proposals are exercises in artful and mindful design, verbal precision, imaginative and informed rehearsal, elegant expression, and strategic disarmament. We will cover principles generic to proposals, and specific ways to communicate the significance, conceptual framing, methodological details (sampling and data collection and analysis plans, plans for optimizing validity and human subjects protections) of, and budget and budget justification for, the planned study. We will also cover strategies for addressing those aspects of qualitative and mixed-methods research designs likely to arouse the most concern among reviewers less familiar with them, most notably the purposeful sampling frame and generalizability of study findings. 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).

In addition to didactic instruction, 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 their own proposals for problem solving.



Autoethnographic Research

Instructors: Tony Adams

Dates: Thursday-Friday, July 31-August 1

Authoethnography, a form of self-reflection that explores the researcher’s personal experience, flourishes in qualitative inquiry. This workshop examines the use and importance of autoethnography, and, more specifically, examines the processes for collecting and analyzing data, doing fieldwork, and writing reports through an autoethnographic perspective.

We will examine the history of autoethnographic inquiry, establish connections between autoethnography and other research methods, and outline the purposes and principles of doing and writing autoethnography. We will also investigate ethical issues and discuss how concepts such as generalizability, reliability, and validity might apply to autoethnographic research and determine criteria for assessing autoethnographic texts. The workshop will include examples of autoethnography and will allow time for participants to ask questions about using this approach in their own work.

New and experienced researchers of qualitative inquiry will both benefit from this course. It introduces the general purposes, practices, and principles of autoethnographic research. It also foregrounds the current state of autoethnography in qualitative inquiry, establishes criteria for evaluating autoethnographic texts, examines contemporary ethical dilemmas of doing autoethnographic research, and outlines future trends for doing autoethnography.

NEW! Crafting Phenomenological Research

Instructors: Mark Vagle

Dates: Thursday-Friday, July 31-August 1

This workshop engages in the following activities:

  • Exploring philosophical concepts and notions in phenomenology. We will consider what constitutes a phenomenon in phenomenology; what intentionality means to phenomenologists and why it is so important in phenomenological research; and how prepositions can help us grasp some of the philosophical nuances of phenomenology and put them to use methodologically.
  • Learning about phenomenological research approaches. We will survey some of the possible approaches to conducting phenomenological research; will learn about how to design research using these approaches; and will practice some of the key methodological strategies and tools one can use when crafting phenomenological research, such as going on phenomenology walks, writing about lived experiences, viewing films, analyzing music, and interviewing one another.
  • Engaging in a post-intentional approach to phenomenological research. We will explore how some aspects of post-structural philosophy can be put in dialogue with phenomenological philosophies and how post-intentional phenomenological research can be crafted methodologically through Vagle’s five-component methodological process: (1) Identify a phenomenon in its multiple, partial, and varied contexts; (2) Devise a clear, yet flexible process for gathering data appropriate for the phenomenon under investigation; (3) Make a post-reflexion plan; (4) Read and write your way through your data in a systematic, responsive manner; and (5) Craft a text that captures tentative manifestations of the phenomenon in its multiple, partial, and varied contexts.

A wide variety of methodological and philosophical texts and examples of phenomenological studies will be on hand for participants to read and discuss during the course. The course is based on Vagle’s book by the same name, Crafting Phenomenological Research (Left Coast Press, 2014).

NEW! Essentials of Qualitative Inquiry

Instructors: Maria Mayan

Dates: Thursday-Friday, July 31-August 1

Qualitative research advances what we can know about our world and how we can know it. Methodological cohesion ensures congruence between how we ask questions, the methods we choose, our theoretical position, and how we make sense of our data. In this workshop, we will talk through possible methods for conducting qualitative inquiry, various forms of analysis, representation, rigor, and strategies of verification. Working concurrently through an iterative process of data collection-analysis-collection-analysis allows you to follow up on “gems” that show up along the way. Understanding this iterative process is essential to doing research that goes beyond reproducing the ordinary. Topics for this workshop are also addressed in Mayan’s book, Essentials of Qualitative Inquiry (Left Coast Press, 2009).

NEW! Finding the Stories in Qualitative Data

Instructors: Johnny Saldaña

Dates: Thursday-Friday, July 31-August 1

This two-day workshop focuses on finding the analytic “story,” in its broadest sense, for qualitative inquiry. Content derives from the various narrative forms we employ during the collecting, analyzing, and writing stages of research. Literature provides researchers with models for qualitative analysis and write-ups. Literary conventions and social inquiry are analogous in several ways; thus, the workshop will investigate:

  • participants as characters
  • case studies as monologues
  • vignettes and profiles as analytic short stories
  • phenomenology as poetry
  • codes and categories as symbols, motifs, and metaphors
  • qualitative data analysis as storylining
  • matrices and diagrams as plot structures
  • theory as proverbs and fables
  • the literary writing styles of research genres

Overall, the workshop will address finding and writing up the stories of a research project, using familiar literary genres, elements, and styles as reference points. Workshop content is derived from Saldaña’s Fundamentals of Qualitative Research (Oxford University Press, 2011), which addresses the narrative components of social inquiry.

Publishing Qualitative Work

Instructors: Mitch Allen

Dates: Thursday-Friday, July 31-August 1

Getting a qualitative article or book published is about more than simply doing the research, writing it up, and sending it off. It is a social process for which there are strategies in presenting your work to the journal editor or book publisher — and ways to craft your message to them — that greatly improve your chances of success. Most academics—both novices and experienced researchers — either don’t know or don’t follow these steps. In this workshop, I demystify what publishers and editors do, how they make their decisions, and how you can best interact with them and other intermediaries to maximize your chances of success. The workshop will help you develop materials that will pique a publisher’s or editor’s interest. We will also explore research strategies to identify the right home for your work. Also included will be discussions on edited books, how to publish from your dissertation, and when to consider open access and electronic publications.

Participants will be asked to use these principles to craft a proposal/abstract for a book or article, title the work, create key words, and identify a set of publication outlets where the project can be submitted. Please bring the idea for your next book and/or article for these exercises.

Writing Rites: Working on Your Analysis and Writing

Instructors: Kathy Charmaz

Dates: Thursday-Friday, July 31-August 1

What makes one qualitative study much more compelling than others? How can the writing strategies of professional writers help us improve our work? How do you manage to write when you work in a setting that allows scant time for writing? Would you like to expedite analyzing your data and writing your report? Which strategies help you gain acceptance and admiration from your intended audiences? This class addresses these questions.

Qualitative reportage relies on art and science. Learning how to construct an artful rendering of your work increases the power of your analysis. This class covers both professional writers’ tips and tricks and qualitative analysts’ strategies and shortcuts. It will help you develop a more incisive, creative, and clear narrative. Our approach emphasizes how to construct a creative analysis and to write it for varied audiences. You will gain fresh ideas for proceeding with the analysis, integrating your ideas into a cogent, coherent piece of work, and communicating the significance of your work.

This class covers crafting research stories and writing analytic reports, but the two are not separate endeavors. Thus we show how to bring analytic definition and logic to stories and to build imagery, rhythm, metaphor, and surprise into analytic reports. We also cover strategies for developing arguments, writing literature reviews and theoretical frameworks and integrating your manuscripts. Writing abstracts, titles, and introductions share problems and pitfalls. Our agenda includes learning a few tricks to help you resolve these problems and avoid the pitfalls. The last session focuses on choosing journals and publishing houses, preparing your manuscript for submission, and working with editors and reviewers.

This class best serves participants who are in the midst of a qualitative project or have had some experience with qualitative research and have engaged in qualitative coding and memo writing. Writers of all types of qualitative research are welcome. Researchers who conduct ethnographies, use discourse analysis, engage in narrative inquiry, follow grounded theory strategies, or create personal narratives will all gain ideas and strategies to advance their work.