An effective method to teach qualitative research is through student practice. According to The University of Texas at Austin's website, qualitative research methods focus on gathering non-numeric information through interviews, focus groups, observations and document analysis. To actively engage students, instructors can assign exercises that allow the students to collect data in a classroom setting. A common method of qualitative data collection is face-to-face interviewing, an activity that can be conducted easily in class.
Explain the definition of qualitative research. Include descriptions of data collection methods. Common forms of qualitative data collection are interviewing subjects, gathering focus groups of individuals and performing group interviews, and observing groups or individuals without actively engaging them.
Choose one data collection method on which to focus an in-class activity. Face-to-face interviewing, for example, is an easily executed exercise.
Instruct students to choose a topic for their research's focus, developing interview questions that will help them collect appropriate data. This task can be assigned about one week before the activity takes place, ensuring students' preparedness on the day of the activity.
Separate students into groups of two so that they can interview each other during the class period, collecting data for each of their research projects.
Review for the class the methods of analyzing their data. For interview responses, the best form of analysis is coding, which is the process of assigning numerical codes to verbal responses in order to process them by statistical means.
Assign a written and detailed coded analysis of students' interview findings for the following class period.
- University of Texas at Austin: Instructional Assessment Resources--Glossary
- "The Practice of Social Research;" Earl Robert Babbie; 2004
Jennifer Higgins McCormick has been a business and sociology professor since 2007. She has been writing articles online and Web content for several marketing firms since 2010. She holds a Master of Business Administration from Medaille College and a doctorate in sociology from the University at Buffalo.