Qualitative research can be time consuming and intensive as researchers engage in data collection, analysis, and interpretation of rich, detailed, multi-layered, and voluminous data. For Master’s level students struggling to balance full-time work, family, part-time studies, and other obligations, the nature of qualitative research can be overwhelming and discouraging as they learn about and engage in the research process. However, if students’ experiences are rich and meaningful, the time investment can be worthwhile. In this generic qualitative study, Master’s Level Education students’ experiences in an Introduction to Qualitative Research in Education course are explored. Drawing on data from semi-structured one-to-one interviews, as well as students’ written reflections from course assignments, we (i) explore the conceptual and personal challenges that students describe as they learn about and engage with qualitative research; (ii) explore students’ perceptions of class readings, activities, and assignments; and (iii) discover students’ perceptions about how class readings, activities, and assignments shape their experiences in the course. Findings suggest that although these part-time adult learners encounter difficulty in balancing their adult roles and responsibilities with the time consuming nature of the qualitative research process, they still find the course experience valuable due to the practical, experiential activities utilised; the connection of content to their professional and academic lives; and the collaborative experiences with their peers.
Qualitative Research, Education, Course Experiences
The authors would like to acknowledge the participants of our research for taking the time to share honestly and openly about their course experiences.
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Recommended APA Citation
Ferguson, T., & Gordon, T. (2019). “Miss, this is a lot of work”: Exploring Part-Time Students Experiences of Qualitative Research. The Qualitative Report, 24(11), 2708-2721. Retrieved from https://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol24/iss11/3