Qualitative Research Methods: Collecting Evidence, Crafting Analysis, Communicating Impact

This workshop will provide an overall orientation and introduction into qualitative research. It will address the unique value of qualitative approaches as well as fundamental aspects of qualitative research design such as titling a project, crafting research questions, and determining an appropriate context or sample for the research. Participants will learn how to create interview guides, engage in fieldwork, and engage in high quality research. Activities will include mock interviews, fieldnote writing, and practicing photo-voice. The workshop is ideal for students, professors, or professionals who are relatively new to qualitative research, those who want to understand the special value of qualitative research compared to quantitative research, or need a refresher as they are engaging in a new project or teaching others. Participants will leave the workshop with a qualitative mindset, knowing how to engage the basic parts of a qualitative project, and understanding how to avoid and deal with common qualitative challenges.

Anticipated outcomes include the following (and will occur roughly in this order). Participants will:

  • Understand the unique value of qualitative research.
  • Design research questions and sampling approaches that capitalize on the value of qualitative data.
  • Learn the characteristics of qualitative quality and how they are different than quantitative characteristics of validity, statistical generalization, and objectivity.
  • Practice best practices related to participant observation and fieldnote writing.
  • Design interview and focus group questions and role-play mock interviews.
  • Be exposed to creative and artistic qualitative approaches such as photo-voice.
  • Learn how to organize and prepare qualitative data for analysis.
  • Be prepared to avoid and deal with common qualitative challenges.
  • Hear case studies and behind the scenes tips related to Sarah Tracy’s qualitative research projects (leadership, total institutions, human service workers, targets of workplace bullying, the communication of compassion).

We will accomplish all of this in a collective space of light-heartedness, dialogue, and open question and answer. The workshop is designed to leave participants feeling inspired and better equipped to understand, practice, instruct, and evaluate qualitative research methods.