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Department of Information Technology

Qualitative methods in research

Kvalitativa forskningsmetoder

Welcome to the PhD course in qualitative methods in research!

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Why should you take this course?

One objective is to gain confidence in the applicability and relevance of non-quantative methods in our research environment, where the tradition of believing in "objective measurement" is strong. In a way it is about what being "scientific" really would mean.

There are a large number of research questions that are better addressed by qualitative methods. When applying these methods in our faculty it is vital that the methods used are well founded, used in a well established research tradition and that the benefits and limitations of the methods are well understood.

Another objective is more philosophical: The course questions what research is, and how it ought to be performed, by discussing the relationship between the result and the research methodology as well as the role of the researcher herself or himself as a part of the result.

A third objective is emotional: It is interesting and fun to discuss new ideas and to broaden one's mind.

Applications of qualitative methods in research

Qualitative research methods open up for us a class of research question that is not accessible within the "normal" scientific method. That is, as researchers, we can ask new questions if we have a richer reportoire of tools, both the qualitative and the quantative from which to choose.

As organisers of this course, we see the applications in our own fields of research, human-computer interacttion and computer science education. It is easy to extrapolate our applications into other fields that are related to how humans interact with science and technology, such as for example environmental issues or didactics of chemistry.

Through the individual project, each participant can adapt the course to her or his own needs.

Formal issues

The official course description is available in Swedish.

Please apply to Anders Berglund preferably not later than Sept 15.

Credits: 5p (7,5 ECTS)

Aim: After taking the course, a participant should

  • Have gained insights about qualitative research approaches and their application in research in her/his own field.
  • Be familiar with some relevant research approaches. Be able to select and apply an approach suited to a particular research question.
  • Be familiar with some methods for data collection and be able to judge the strengths and weaknesses in particular situations. Be able to select and apply suitable data collection methods, based on the research question and research approach.
  • be able to define a study within the participant's own field of research, to motivate the selection of a research approach and data collection methods, and to perform the study.

Content: The basics of qualitative research methods and research approaches. Some qualitative research approaches, such as phenomenography, activity theory and ethnography. Data collection methods such as interviews, field studies and observations. Evaluating the collected data. Performing a study.

Intended participants: PhD students in the the faculty of science and engineering.

Prerequisites: A full year of PhD studies within the own subject area. Excemptions can be granted. Please apply to Anders Berglund when applying for the course.

Time plan: The course starts on Oct 5, with the first lecture 10am - 12noon. The course ends in late February or early March. For further details, see the teaching plan.

Information: More information can be obtained from Inger Boivie and Anders Berglund.

Application: Applications should be sent to Anders Berglund.

Organisers: The course is collaboratively offered by the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) group and the Uppsala Computing Education Research Group (UpCERG) at the Department of Information Technology.

Updated  2006-09-05 22:04:48 by Arnold Pears.