Most qualitative research methods courses offer theoretical framework, research planning, data collection and analysis in one course within one semester. For Master and PhD students in earlier stages who will prepare and conduct qualitative fieldwork, many opportunities, challenges and potential risks are not discussed well enough. It is hardly mentioned and discussed in training and academic conferences so far. This relates for instance to finding and including respondents in your sample, but also dealing with time and delay, and even violence and other forms of sexual harassment, which are all issues that until now are hardly discussed in preparations. The most careful planning can mean little once the researcher encounters the real world.
In this course, by openly discussing specific issues, students have the liberty to make a choice in relation to each different situation. This course can bring to light the gap between textbook theory and methods in practice. Due to the short period of time for this course, we will focus on two qualitative research methods: in-depth interview and field observation through scenario-based training in each session. Each topic includes one specific scenario under provided contexts. In each scenario there are some awkward and worrisome situations, even sometimes risks, which students will have to cope with. Additionally, it seems that the global pandemic might stay with us for a while. So, this course will take this opportunity to also discuss how to deal with its impact on the data collection period, and therefore, it will also be a topic included in the session.
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