QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS

Course Number: MAIS 5320, Section 502 Semester: Fall 2011 Day/Times: Wednesdays, 7 – 9:45 p.m. Location: CB 1.106

Professor Information
Dr. Jillian M. Duquaine-Watson Office: Hoblitzelle Hall 2.810 Email: jillian.duquaine-watson@utdallas.edu Phone: 972-883-2322 Office Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays, 1-3 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. and by appointment

Course Description
This is as a hands-on, practically-oriented, ―how-to-do-it‖ seminar for graduate students who wish to learn how to successfully gather data via qualitative research methods, specifically as those methods pertain to ethnography. The primary objective of this course is to learn a range of practical skills, methods, techniques, and ―tricks of the trade‖ that will facilitate successful data gathering and interpretation in ethnographic field work. We will explore both the possibilities and limitations of ethnographic methods including their practical and ethical dimensions. In addition, and rather than simply learning ―about‖ qualitative methodology, students enrolled in this course will be included as part of a research team that is responsible for completing an ethnographic research project within the UTD community. This research project will be completed with the guidance of the course instructor; however, course participants will play a central role in designing the project as well as collecting and interpreting the data. Although our emphasis will be on the ―doing‖ of qualitative research rather than the more traditional seminar fare of reading and paper writing, there will be an ample amount of writing. However, writing for this course will take on some noticeable differences, particularly as there will be frequent writing assignments (in most cases, weekly writing assignments). These will not be research papers but, instead, write-ups or ―fieldnotes‖ that will be comparable to what you will do ―in the field,‖ and you will give one another feedback on these assignments as well as receive written and verbal feedback from me. These written assignments will be part of our data-gathering for our research project primarily for your own use and learning, and will result from/be part of the practical skills you will practice and learn throughout the semester. We will collectively use and critique these writings in an effort to refine our own and one another‘s work. Reading assignments are intended to provide pertinent background to specific qualitative methods, including theories and practices. It is IMPERATIVE that you complete reading assignments prior to class and arrive in class ready to discuss various aspects of those readings. Most of our seminars will incorporate a variety of activities including general discussion of the assigned readings, fieldwork exercises, discussion of fieldwork exercises, etc. We will also have guest speakers from time to time. We will all get out of this seminar what we put into it. My role is that of facilitator, resource, and someone who can offer suggestions and/or cautionary tales from her own experiences doing qualitative research and ethnographic fieldwork. I do not pretend to know all the answers, nor have I mastered every method or technique that might be

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used. Instead, I will share what I can, bring in outside speakers to share their knowledge and expertise when pertinent, and help point you in the direction of resources that might help you find answers that escape me. I anticipate that this will be a learning experience—for all of us, myself included—and that we will have some fun while we‘re learning. I encourage you to stop by my office if you have questions or concerns about any aspect of this course, or if you just want to talk one-on-one! Required Materials The following books are required for this course and may be purchased at the UTD bookstore or at Off Campus books: Writing Ethnographic Field notes. (Emerson, Fretz, and Shaw) (referred to as EFS in calendar) Designing and Conducting Ethnographic Research. Volume 1 of The Ethnographer‘s Toolkit. (LeCompte and Schensul) (referred to as L & S in calendar) Essential Ethnographic Methods: Observations, Interviews, and Questionnaires. Volume 2 of The Ethnographer‘s Toolkit. (Schensul, Schensul, and LeCompte) (referred to as SS & L in calendar) Enhanced Ethnographic Methods: Audiovisual Techniques, Focused Group Interviews, and Elicitation Techniques. Volume 3 of the Ethnographer‘s Toolkit. (Schensul, LeCompte, Nastasi, and Borgatti) (referred to as SLN & B in calendar)

You will also need: Additional journal articles, book chapters, and other required readings available via the course eLearning site (and designated as ―eLearning‖ in the course calendar). A 3-ring binder, white copy paper (for printing), and filler paper (for taking field notes) to serve as your ―field journal.‖ 8-10 photos of you and your family—henceforth referred to as your “Family Photo Collection.” We will use these for an in-class activity pertaining to interviewing and visual documenting techniques. NOTE: We will make every effort to treat one another‘s photos delicately. However, I urge you to resist the urge to bring in rare and/or original copies of photos—accidents sometimes happen and I cannot be held responsible for repairing or replacing your treasures. Be safe and bring in COPIES!

Ethnographic Field Methods: A Photographic Record I will frequently bring a camera to class in order to take pictures and document the teaching and learning experiences that occur over the course of the semester. We will use these photographs for some of our exercises during week 11. While I will certainly do some of the documenting, I hope all course participants will take a turn (or two or more) ―behind the lens.‖ Please note: if you do not wish to be photographed, for whatever reason, please inform the photographer(s) and we will be certain to respect your wishes.

Assignments & Grading
Your performance in relation to the following course requirements will determine your final grade for the course: 1. Attendance (100 points): Attendance is fundamental to the success of this course overall as well as your individual success in the course. Consequently, a significant portion of your grade is based on attendance. You are expected to arrive in class on time, to stay for the entire session, and to miss class only in rare and unavoidable circumstances. Points will be deducted for late arrivals and early departures. If you miss a class for any reason, it is your responsibility to update yourself (from your classmates!) on course activities and any changes to the schedule or activities.

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2. Participation (100 points): It is expected that students will participate actively and thoughtfully in discussions based on careful reading of course material. The quality of your participation will have a significant influence on your grade. If you must miss a class for medical reasons, religious observance, caring for your sick child, or any other university-excused activity, you are expected to inform me before class and then submit appropriate documentation. Students who miss class sessions are responsible for obtaining notes from classmates and finding out all changes in deadlines and activities. Our class meetings will include a variety of learning activities including lecture, discussion of the readings, debate, disagreement, critique, and exploration. I expect that class members will draw on their own knowledge and experiences when appropriate. In order for this course to be successful, it is imperative that we maintain an atmosphere of mutual respect for all course participants, including respecting one another by coming to class fully prepared for engaging, stimulating discussions—in other words, if you are in class, I will expect that you have read and thought about the assigned readings and are ready to discuss them and that you will actively participate in all course activities. 3. Field Journal (200 points): This standard 3-ring binder will include two sections (make sure to use dividers to clearly identify each section). a. The first section includes all of the fieldwork exercises we complete as part of our in class activities. For example, this is where you will put the genealogy you complete during week 1 (including your in-class notes from that exercise, the draft you provide to your partner during week 2, and the final draft you complete after they provide you with corrections), the modified life history you take during week 2, etc. You should label this section as follows: ―In-Class Fieldwork Exercises.‖ b. The second section includes all of the information you gather as part of our team-based research project. This will include any observation notes, transcripts of interviews (either individual or group based), etc. You should label this section as follows: ―Team-Based Research Project.‖ 4. Reading Journal (200 points): On those occasions when we have assigned readings, you are responsible for creating a 1-page reading journal (word-processed, NOT hand-written) for each of the assigned readings. This will help you in two ways: first, it will further develop your note-taking skills (an essential skill for ethnographers) and, second, it will help you prepare for class discussion. Each entry must include a brief summary of the reading (3-4 sentences will suffice), a list of main terms/key concepts, and a paragraph in which you provide an intellectual response to the ideas raised in the readings—for example, you might discuss the benefits of a particular methodology, raise questions about the ethics involved in using visual recording methods, etc. You are expected to complete reading journals prior to class and bring them to class with you—I will often call on participants to share what they‘ve written! You will complete reading journals for the following dates/class sessions: Session 2, August 31 Session 4, September 14 Session 5, September 21 Session 6, September 28 Session 7, October 5 Session 8, October 12 Session 9, October 19 Session 19, October 26 Session 11, November 2

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5. Research Report (150 points): In this 10-12 page document (not including cover page or works cited page), you will use the data gathered during our team research project to create a final report concerning service-learning and student volunteerism at UTD. You are free to focus on whatever aspect of the project you are most interested in, but your final report must have a central argument (or arguments) and must make use of the data collected by course participants (survey data as well as interview data will be available to everyone via the course eLearning site). More details about this assignment will be provided as the semester progresses, but feel free to ask if you have any questions.

You may earn up to 750 points in this course as determined by the following assignments: Attendance (100 points) Participation (100 points) Field Journal (200 points) Reading Journal (200 points) Final ―Research Report‖ on Team Research Project (150 points) Final course grades will be assigned in conjunction with the following grading scale:
Grade A (excellent) B (acceptable) C (fair) F (fail) Range (Points) 90-100% (675-750 points) 80-89% (600 – 674 points) 70-79% (525 – 599 points) 69% and below (0 – 524 points)

Course and Instructor Policies Assignment Format Your assignments must adhere to the following formatting requirements (unless noted on an individual assignment handout): The following information must be included (single-spaced) at the top left margin of the first page: your name, the title of the assignment, the course name and number, my name, the date submitted. All margins must be 1 inch. Font of your document should be Times New Roman, 12-point type. The body/content of your document must be double-spaced. Follow standard guidelines (APA, MLA, or Chicago style) for pagination, headings, citations, and other formatting issues. Graphics, tables, and illustrations need to be clearly identified and explained. Documents must be free of spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors. Sources must be documented and/or quoted appropriately in the text as well as in the References/ Bibliography at the end of your document. Multiple pages MUST be stapled together.

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NOTE: Failure to adhere to formatting requirements may result in your assignment being considered ―incomplete‖ and, therefore, unacceptable. Late Work Deadlines are a serious matter. Missed deadlines cause delays and administrative headaches. In the professional world, they can also compromise professional reputations and careers. For these reasons, late or incomplete work is not acceptable in this course. Technological problems are not valid excuses for late work, so plan accordingly. Moreover, no late or makeup submissions will be accepted without appropriate documentation. Extra Credit I do not curve individual items, nor do I offer ―extra credit‖ work or ―special consideration‖ to allow students a chance to raise their grade. If a personal situation arises during the semester that may affect your classroom performance, please talk to me sooner rather than later. If you wait until the end of the semester, I won‘t be able to help you. However, I can work with you more easily if you speak to me when the situation arises. Classroom Citizenship All members of our classroom learning community are expected to communicate in a civil and professional manner. Disagreement is acceptable (and even expected in college-level courses); disrespect, however, has no place in this or any classroom.

Technology Requirements The course is taught using eLearning and you should develop the habit of checking both the course eLearning site and your UTD email often for assignments and announcements. Reliable and frequent internet connectivity is indispensable. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have access to the course through eLearning for the duration of the semester. Failure to check UTD or eLearning email, errors in forwarding email, and email bounced from over-quota mailboxes are not acceptable excuses for missing course-related emails or announcements. Additionally, to protect your privacy rights, I will only send email through your official UTD email address or eLearning email. If you choose, you can redirect both of these addresses to external addresses. Classroom and Equipment Use Policies • No laptops, cell phones, pagers, or other electronic messaging services may be used in the classroom. I recognize that many of us carry cell phones and other electronic communication devices so we can be contacted in the event of emergencies or other serious situations. During class time, however, I expect all members of our classroom learning community to turn these off or set them to vibrate/silent. If you find it difficult to adhere to this policy, I suggest you register for another course that better meets your needs.

For information about UTD academic policies, including student conduct and discipline, incomplete grading policy, religious holy days, and similar matters, please visit: http://go.utdallas.edu/syllabus-policies

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COURSE CALENDAR We will make every effort to adhere to the calendar and schedule of activities that appears on the following pages. However, adjustments may need to be made in certain cases such as adverse weather conditions, illness of instructor, or similar events. Please be certain to check the course eLearning site regularly throughout the semester—I will post any class cancellations there as well as provide information on any necessary adjustments to the course calendar.
SESSION 1 DATE Aug 24 TOPIC, READINGS, ASSIGNMENTS, ACTIVITIES Introductions to the Course, Policies, Expectations, Each Other Seminar goals; What is fieldwork? What is ethnography? What is the purpose of fieldwork? What is our group project for the semester? How to Elicit a Genealogy Discussion: how to gather genealogies (part of kinship data) and why this may be important/useful for fieldwork Exercise: Students will pair up and elicit kinship genealogies. By next seminar you will each prepare two clean copies of the genealogy—one to give to your partner (next class meeting, week 2) for them to assess, evaluate, correct, and return to you during week 3, and one for your field journal. In your journal, you will also reflect (one to two pages) on the genealogy data you gathered and this exercise—for example: What patterns exist? What does this document help you better understand about your ―informant‖ and their family background? What are the limitations of genealogies? How might genealogies be useful to fieldwork?

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Aug 31

What is Ethnography? Readings: EFS, Chapter 1, ―Field notes in Ethnographic Research,‖ pp. 1-16 L&S, Ch 1, ―What is Ethnography?‖ pp. 1-28 L & S, Ch. 2, ―When and Where is Ethnography Used?‖ pp. 29-39 Geertz, ―Thick Description‖ pp. 3-30 * Exercise: Take a modified life history from your assigned partner, focusing on their college educational experiences and/or volunteer experiences. Keep careful field notes. Type up two copies of these notes by next week, with one copy for the person you interviewed and one for your field journal. The life history should be returned, with comments/ corrections, to the interviewer during week 3 so they can make corrections and include all copies (field notes, draft, draft with comments, and final revision) in their field journal.

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Sept 7

Our Group Research Project—Service-Learning and Student Volunteerism at UTD Readings: Website of the UTD Office of Student Volunteerism (all pages): http://www.utdallas.edu/volunteer/ JUMPStart Website (all pages): http://www.jstart.org/site/PageServer Guest Speaker: TBA

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Sept 14

Qualitative Research and Ethics Readings: AAA Code of Ethics * Fleuhr-Lobban, ―Ethics,‖ pp. 173-202 (eLearning) Hammersly and Atkinson, ―Ethics,‖ pp. 263-287 (eLearning) L&S, ―Chapter 9: Ethical Care of Research Participants…‖, pp. 183-204 In addition: You MUST successfully complete the NIH online human subjects training module for researchers PRIOR to coming to class. It is required for ANYONE who submits a project to the IRB for review (and, thus, must be done before they can begin their research). Upon successful completion of the training module, you can print a certificate of completion which will serve as your ―admission ticket‖ for this class session. Furthermore, you will NOT be able to participate in the group research project that is required for this course unless you successfully complete the NIH online human subjects training module for researchers. Students who do not complete this training module and do not participate in the group research project will fail this course. You can register for and complete the online training at:
http://cme.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials/learning/humanparticipant-protections.asp.

Exercise: Working in small groups, we will identify potential ethical dilemmas as they pertain to our group research project. Each small group will present an overview of their discussion to the rest of the class and, working together, we will discuss ways to successfully address these ethical concerns.

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Sept 21

Surveys and Questionnaires Readings: SS&L, ―Chapter 8: Structured Ethnographic Data Collection: Ethnographic Surveys,‖ pp. 165-200 Bernard, ―Chapter 11: Questionnaires and Survey Research‖ (eLearning) Fowler, ―Chapter 2: Designing Questions to Gather Factual Data‖ (eLearning) Activities: Working in small groups, we will begin crafting survey questions for our group research project. Questions should gather general factual information about respondents as well as assess their knowledge of UTD service-learning opportunities; also, should assess their knowledge/awareness of office of student volunteerism; also, should assess their attitudes about SL and student volunteerism.

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Sept 28

Observation and Participant-Observation I Readings: EFS, ―Chapter 2: In the Field,‖ pp. 19-39 SS&L, ―Chapter 4: Entering the Field,‖ pp. 69-90 SS&L, Chapter 5, ―Exploratory or Open-Ended Observation,‖ pp. 91-12 Bernard, ―Unobtrusive Observation,‖ pp. 290-315 (eLearning) Exercise: We will watch a film (without sound) and engage in pure‖/―strict‖/‖unobtrusive‖ observation (no participation or verbal interaction). We‘ll spend approximately an hour doing this and you should record your observations/field notes in your field journal.

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We‘ll then share and compare notes, interpretations, and understandings of what we watched. After class, you should write up a 2-3 page ―thick description‖ of the film and people you observed.

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Oct 5

Observation and Participant-Observation II Readings: Bernard, ―Participant Observation,‖ pp. 148-179 (eLearning) SS&L, Chapter 11, ―Validity and Reliability in Ethnographic Research,‖pp. 271293 Kawulich, ―Participant Observation as a Data Collection Method‖ (eLearning)

Exercise: We will divide into small groups and conduct approximately an hour of participant observation at various locations on and around the UTD campus. Each of you will independently record field notes during the exercise (in your field journal). We‘ll then reconvene to share and compare experiences and notes, giving particular attention to the similarities and differences among members who visited the same location. After class, you should reflect on your original notes in the form of a self-critique (approximately 2 pages) including what you missed during the participant-observation exercise (things that other members of your group observed that you did not) as well as what you did observe and record that others did not and some possible explanations for these differences.

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Oct 12

Interviewing I Readings: SS&L, ―Chapter 6: In-Depth, Open-Ended Interviewing,‖ pp. 121-148 SS&L, ―Chapter 7: Semi-structured Interviewing,‖ pp. 149-164 EF&S, ―Chapter 3: Writing Up Fieldnotes I: From Field to Desk,‖ pp. 39-67

Exercises: Demonstration interview with group critique; working in pairs, interview one another on a topic to be assigned, taking careful written field notes. Type up two copies of your interview notes by next seminar—one copy to be included in your field journal and the other to be given to your interview partner for written feedback and correction (will be handed back to interviewer during week 7), and the other copy to be examined by me.

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Oct 19

Interviewing II Readings: SLN&B, ―Focused Group Interviews,‖ pp. 51-114 Grudens-Schuck, et al., ―Focus Group Fundamentals,‖ pp. 1-6 (eLearning) Kitzinger, ―Methodology of Focus Groups,‖ (eLearning)

Exercise: Practice focus group interviews with each other, taking careful notes, on such topics as elections in America, immigration, reproductive technologies, and changing gender relations.

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Oct 26

Writing it Up (or, Making Sense of Your Data!!!) Readings: EF&S, ―Chapter 4: Writing Up Fieldnotes II: Creating Scenes on the Page,‖ pp. 66-197 EF&S, ―Chapter 6: Processing Fieldnotes—Coding and Memoing,‖ pp. 142-168 EF&S, ―Chapter 7: Writing an Ethnography,‖ pp. 169-210 In-Class Activity: Coding interview data (transcripts handed out in class)

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Nov 2

Visual Anthropology: Photography Readings: Collier and Collier, ―Ch. 8: Interviewing with Photographs,‖ pp. 99-116 (eLearning) SLN&B, ―Chapter 1: Audiovisual Methods in Ethnography,‖ pp. 1-50 Pink, ―Chapter 2: Planning and Practicing ‗Visual Methods,‘‖ (eLearning) Exercise 1: Each course participant will receive a set of photographs and, in her or his field journal, explore what they might help us understand about the culture and people that are the subject of those photographs. In other words, you will discuss and analyze these images as ethnographic data including both their usefulness and limitations. Exercise 2: Course participants will work in pairs and exchange their ―Family Photo Collections‖ with one another. These photographs will provide the basis for a semistructured interview that focuses on family and kinship.

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Nov 9

Field Work/Data Gathering/Research Project

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Nov 16

Field Work/Data Gathering/Research Project

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Nov 23

Field Work/Data Gathering/Research Project

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Nov 30

Field Work/Data Gathering/Research Project Final Field Journal, Reading Journal, and Research “Report” due in my office by NOON (hard copy only)

FINALS WEEK

Dec 9

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