Learning to conduct qualitative research and use computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software (CAQDAS) can be challenging, which is why it may be more effective to introduce the craft of qualitative research to undergraduate students who have the time and space to learn, even make mistakes, and ultimately build a better understanding for their future studies and careers. There are relatively few published studies sharing insights on teaching qualitative research and CAQDAS to undergraduate students. This descriptive qualitative case study explores students’ experiences in a qualitative research course for undergraduate psychology students, with the aim of discerning how feasible learning both qualitative research and CAQDAS was for these students as well as how they perceived learning about these contents. Data was collected from an online open-ended survey from two consecutive generations of students that completed the course. Students found the course to be a challenging but worthwhile experience: new knowledge and skills were gained that they felt would be useful for their professional and even personal lives. These students recognized that the qualitative research course was an important complement to their predominantly quantitative curriculum. By teaching undergraduate students about qualitative research and CAQDAS, professors can teach their students in a lower-stakes environment and provide them with valuable hands-on experience so that students may later make better-informed decisions about which research approach to use in their own projects and continued studies or work.


ATLAS.ti, Computer-Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software, Psychology, Qualitative Research, Teaching, Undergraduate

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Neringa Kalpokaite is a professor of organizational behavior and leadership at IE University (Madrid, Spain), with previous appointments as a visiting researcher at Harvard University and Madrid Complutense University where she completed her PhD. Apart from academia, she is also the manager for Europe of ATLAS.ti Scientific Software Development GmbH, CEO of NkQualitas, President and Founder of the International Institute for Charismatic Leadership, and a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of New Approaches in Educational Research. She has repeatedly received awards for excellent teaching in organizational behavior, qualitative research, and leadership. She has also received several research grants from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Government of Lithuania and Harvard University.

Ivana Radivojevic is a PhD student in management at IE University. She was previously a collaborator with the Behavior and Social Sciences department at IE University (Madrid, Spain), Vice-President of the International Institute for Charismatic Leadership, and she is the Project Coordinator of ATLAS.ti Scientific Software Development GmbH. In collaboration with NkQualitas, she teaches about qualitative research and the use of qualitative data analysis software, and she also conducts research on leadership and organizational behavior.


We would like to thank all of the students for their kind cooperation in this study and the journey of learning how to qualitatively explore human behavior.

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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