Title

‘Miss, This is a Lot of Work’ – Exploring Students Shifting Reactions to Qualitative Research

Location

1049

Format Type

Event

Format Type

Paper

Start Date

January 2019

End Date

January 2019

Abstract

Qualitative research can be time consuming and intensive as researchers engage in data collection, analysis, and interpretation of potentially 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 Methods in Education course are explored. Drawing on data from semi-structured one-to-one interviews, as well as students’ written reflections on various aspects of the qualitative research process, we seek to explore these students’ experiences with the course. Specifically, we seek to: (i) explore the language students utilise to describe their course experiences; (ii) understand the conceptual and personal challenges that students describe as they learn about and engage with qualitative research; and (iii) discover students’ perceptions about how class readings, activities, and assignments shape their experiences in the course. The findings of the research will be useful in assessing the pedagogy of the course, and in modifying the course in order to enhance the learning experiences of future Master’s level students.

Keywords

qualitative research, education, course experiences

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‘Miss, This is a Lot of Work’ – Exploring Students Shifting Reactions to Qualitative Research

1049

Qualitative research can be time consuming and intensive as researchers engage in data collection, analysis, and interpretation of potentially 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 Methods in Education course are explored. Drawing on data from semi-structured one-to-one interviews, as well as students’ written reflections on various aspects of the qualitative research process, we seek to explore these students’ experiences with the course. Specifically, we seek to: (i) explore the language students utilise to describe their course experiences; (ii) understand the conceptual and personal challenges that students describe as they learn about and engage with qualitative research; and (iii) discover students’ perceptions about how class readings, activities, and assignments shape their experiences in the course. The findings of the research will be useful in assessing the pedagogy of the course, and in modifying the course in order to enhance the learning experiences of future Master’s level students.