Qualitative Research focusing on Learning and Instruction (Elective)

Qualitative Research Focusing on Learning and Instruction

Instructor: Professor Li-Juing Wu
Email: lijuing.wu@gmail.com

Course Aims:

This course seeks to help students:

  1. Gain understanding in the following main qualitative research approaches, case study, ethnography, grounded theory and narrative inquiry.
  2. Gain skills with techniques associated with qualitative methods, in particular with interviewing, observation, and document analysis.
  3. Gain expertise in critiquing and assessing the quality of articles that use these methods in educational research.

The objectives for the course are for all students to:

  1. Understand the most important characteristics of qualitative research and the key ways in which this approach differs from other research strategies.
  2. Develop an appreciation and understanding of the foundations of qualitative research and their implications for research.
  3. Get acquainted with the most important methods of data collection and analytical strategies used in qualitative research and to use these in a small-scale study with a qualitative component.
  4. Build observational and interviewing skills and develop your capacity for useful reflection on research.
  5. Be able to use knowledge of qualitative research methods to evaluate published articles that use this research method.
  6. Raise awareness of ethical issues in qualitative research and the impact of the research process on participants.

Proposed Topics:

  1. Introduction to qualitative research
  2. Ethnography 1
  3. Ethnography 2 (observation)
  4. Grounded theory 1
  5. Grounded theory 2 (data analysis)
  6. Case study 1
  7. Case study 2 (Interviewing)
  8. Narrative inquiry 1
  9. Narrative inquiry 2 (ethical issue)
  10. Overview and examination

A. This course will provide you with the basic knowledge and skills you will need to pursue a qualitative study, but the course is not a substitute for extensive reading and thinking about specific methods and their use. You will require additional learning of specific methods through courses and supervised research experiences.
B. Please download the handouts and worksheets from University website.


  1. Participation (40%)
    Participation is based upon attendance and involvement in class activities.
  2. Homework (40%)
    The homework will be assigned at the beginning of the semester and you have to upload your homework to the University website on time.
  3. Final examination (20%)

Textbooks and other readings:

  1. Denzin, N. K. & Lincoln, Y. S. (Eds.) (1994). Handbook of qualitative research (2nd ed.). London: SAGE Publications.
  2. Denzin, N. K. & Lincoln, Y. S. (Eds.) (2005). Handbook of qualitative research (3rd ed.). London: SAGE Publications.
  3. Eisner, E. W. & Peshkin, A. (1990). Qualitative inquiry in education: he continuing debate. New York: Teachers College Press.
  4. Emerson, R. M., Fretz, R. I., & Shaw, L. L. (1995). Writing ethnographic fieldnotes.
  5. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  6. Hitchcock, G. & David, H. (1989). Research and the teacher: A qualitative introduction to school-based research. London: Routledge.
  7. Josselson, R. & Lieblich, A. (Eds.) (1993). The narrative study of lives. London: Sage.
  8. Kvale, S. (1996). An introduction to qualitative research interviewing. Thousand
  9. Oaks, CA: Sage.
  10. McCracken, G. (1988). The long interview. London: SAGE Publications.
  11. Mason, J. (2005). Qualitative researching. London: Sage.
  12. Maxwell, J. A. (2013). Qualitative research design: An interactive approach (3d ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  13. Merriam, S. (2009). Qualitative research: A guide to design and implementation. San
  14. Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  15. Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A. M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  16. Schwandt, T. A. (1997). Qualitative inquiry: A dictionary of terms. London: SAGE Publications.
  17. Steier, F. (1991). Research and reflexivity. London: SAGE Publications.
  18. Weiss, R. S. (1994). Learning from strangers: The art and method of qualitative interview studies. New York: The Free Press.
  19. Wolcott, H. F. (1994). Transforming qualitative data: Description, analysis, and interpretation. London: SAGE Publication.
  20. Wolcott, H.F. (1995). The art of fieldwork. Walnut Creek: Altamira Press.
  21. Woods, P. (1996). Researching the art of teaching. London: routledge.

Relevant websites:


© Copyright 2018. All rights reserved. | privacy policy