CQUniversity Unit Profile
PSYC13024 Qualitative Research Methodology
Qualitative Research Methodology
All details in this unit profile for PSYC13024 have been officially approved by CQUniversity and represent a learning partnership between the University and you (our student).
The information will not be changed unless absolutely necessary and any change will be clearly indicated by an approved correction included in the profile.
General Information

Overview

In this unit you will develop a useful toolbox for undertaking qualitative research that is applicable to your chosen career. This unit covers how to design, conduct, analyse and write up qualitative research. It includes issues such as entering the field, ethical issues in qualitative research and dilemmas of reflexivity and voice. We will analyse some intriguing examples of qualitative research to think critically about current issues. We will develop self-awareness and reflexive skills, exploring our own social, economic and political positions and how these shape our views on the world. By producing a piece of qualitative empirical research, you will learn how to apply the knowledge acquired. Qualitative skills are highly sought after in many career paths. Ultimately this unit will equip you with skills that are of benefit to careers in research, business, government, community development and education.

Details

Career Level: Undergraduate
Unit Level: Level 3
Credit Points: 6
Student Contribution Band: 10
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load: 0.125

Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

There are no requisites for this unit.

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Offerings For Term 1 - 2017

Distance

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Residential Schools

This unit has a Compulsory Residential School for distance mode students and the details are:
Click here to see your Residential School Timetable.

Class and Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Class Timetable

Bundaberg, Cairns, Emerald, Gladstone, Mackay, Rockhampton, Townsville
Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney

Assessment Overview

1. Written Assessment
Weighting: 25%
2. Practical Assessment
Weighting: 30%
3. Written Assessment
Weighting: 45%

Assessment Grading

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%). Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades.

Previous Student Feedback

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Feedback from Moodle discussion boards through the course.

Feedback

The relationship between the overall research question guiding the course (what impacts student success at University) and student's own choice of a topic of interest (age, socio economic status, first in family, etc) needs to be clarified in the teaching materials.

Recommendation

Relationship between guiding course question and student interest to focus their assignments should be clarified.

Action

This was explained in detail in the course of recorded tutorial sessions, noted in the assessment materials, reiterated in the residential school lectures, and was indicated in teaching materials (e.g., lecture/tutorial slides).

Unit Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. Explain the philosophies and principles behind qualitative research
  2. Critique qualitative research presented in existing literature
  3. Conduct focus groups, interviews and ethnographic observations
  4. Write a qualitative research report
Alignment of Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Graduate Attributes
N/A Level
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Professional Level
Advanced Level

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Written Assessment - 25%
2 - Practical Assessment - 30%
3 - Written Assessment - 45%

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
9 - Social Innovation

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes

Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1 - Written Assessment - 25%
2 - Practical Assessment - 30%
3 - Written Assessment - 45%
Textbooks and Resources

Textbooks

Prescribed

Social Research Methods 5th (2015)

Authors: Alan Bryman
Oxford University Press
UK
ISBN: 9780199689453
Binding: Hardcover

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
Referencing Style

All submissions for this unit must use the referencing style: American Psychological Association 6th Edition (APA 6th edition)

For further information, see the Assessment Tasks.

Teaching Contacts
Joshua Trigg Unit Coordinator
j.trigg@cqu.edu.au
Schedule
Week 1 Begin Date: 06 Mar 2017

Module/Topic

Module 1 - A day/project in the life of a qualitative research detective: Introduction to qualitative research

Chapter

Bryman, A. (2015). Social Research Methods (5th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Chapters 1 & 17.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Online consult hour

Week 2 Begin Date: 13 Mar 2017

Module/Topic

Module 2 - How to know what to ask: Reviewing the literature and composing a research question

Chapter

Bryman, A. (2015). Social Research Methods (5th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Chapter 5.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Online consult hour

Week 3 Begin Date: 20 Mar 2017

Module/Topic

Module 3 - The secret of the mysterious qualitative research project: Research design

Chapter

Bryman, A. (2015). Social Research Methods (5th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Chapters 3 & 4.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Online consult hour

Week 4 Begin Date: 27 Mar 2017

Module/Topic

Module 4 - Keeping the streets safe for researchers and participants: The depth, breadth and ethics of working with people

Chapter

Bryman, A. (2015). Social Research Methods (5th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Chapters 6.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Online consult hour

Assessment 1


Critical Literature Review Due: Week 4 Friday (31 Mar 2017) 5:00 pm AEST
Week 5 Begin Date: 03 Apr 2017

Module/Topic

Residential School: Field work Module 5 - Conducting Interviews; Module 6 - Conducting focus groups; Module 7 - Ethnography and participant observation

Chapter

Bryman, A. (2015). Social Research Methods (5th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Chapters 19-21.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Residential school: Field work techniques

Vacation Week Begin Date: 10 Apr 2017

Module/Topic

Vacation Week

Chapter

No set readings this week

Events and Submissions/Topic

No scheduled classes or activities

Week 6 Begin Date: 17 Apr 2017

Module/Topic

Study week - Assessment 2

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Online consult hour

Week 7 Begin Date: 24 Apr 2017

Module/Topic

Module 8 - Digital detective: Conducting qualitative research in online environments

Chapter

Bryman, A. (2014). Social Research Methods (4th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Chapter 28. [PDF Provided]; Online research is also integrated into chapters of the 2015 edition of the textbook.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Online consult hour

Week 8 Begin Date: 01 May 2017

Module/Topic

Module 9 - Wait a minute, I have heard this idea somewhere before: The essentials of qualitative data analysis

Chapter

Bryman, A. (2015). Social Research Methods (5th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Chapter 24.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Online consult hour

Assessment 2


Transcription Process, Ethnographic Account, and Interviewing Reflection Due: Week 8 Friday (5 May 2017) 5:00 pm AEST
Week 9 Begin Date: 08 May 2017

Module/Topic

Module 10 - Applying predominant qualitative data analysis techniques

Chapter

Bryman, A. (2015). Social Research Methods (5th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Chapter 22.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Online consult hour

Week 10 Begin Date: 15 May 2017

Module/Topic

Module 11 - Convince me! Describing evidence, telling the underlying story, and writing up qualitative research

Chapter

Bryman, A. (2015). Social Research Methods (5th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Chapters 28.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Online consult hour

Week 11 Begin Date: 22 May 2017

Module/Topic

Module 12 -Who is looking at who: Reflexivity, objectivity and voice

Chapter

Bryman, A. (2015). Social Research Methods (5th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 388 (Box: "What is reflexivity")

Additional materials to be advised.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Online consult hour

Week 12 Begin Date: 29 May 2017

Module/Topic

Study week - Assessment 3

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Online consult hour

Assessment 3


Qualitative Research Report Due: Week 12 Friday (2 June 2017) 5:00 pm AEST
Review/Exam Week Begin Date: 05 Jun 2017

Module/Topic

This unit does not include an examination

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

No scheduled classes or activities

Exam Week Begin Date: 12 Jun 2017

Module/Topic

This unit does not include an examination

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

No scheduled classes or activities

Term Specific Information

This unit involves a compulsory residential school. Work and materials from the residential school are needed to complete Assessments 2 and 3.

Assessment Tasks

1 Written Assessment

Assessment Title
Critical Literature Review

Task Description

Your task is to write a critical literature review of theories and research on how socio-cultural elements shape expectations of university study, and the role of these in university success and completion. You will be provided with 3 references to get you started, and you will need to source an additional 7 academic journal articles relevant to the topic. To complete this task you will need to be able to summarise and reflect on the sources, specify a number of research questions, and effectively outline how you will seek answers to your research questions. The minimum word limit is 1,500 words (maximum 1,800 words), not including the abstract, or reference list.


Assessment Due Date

Week 4 Friday (31 Mar 2017) 5:00 pm AEST


Return Date to Students

Week 6 Friday (21 Apr 2017)


Weighting
25%

Assessment Criteria

Assessment is based on the incorporation of the sources, level of critical discussion of the literature, the contextualisation of the research question, the clarity of writing and organisation of material, and the correct citation and referencing of the sources used.

Please see the marking matrix in Moodle for more details.


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Explain the philosophies and principles behind qualitative research
  • Critique qualitative research presented in existing literature


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Information Literacy

2 Practical Assessment

Assessment Title
Transcription Process, Ethnographic Account, and Interviewing Reflection

Task Description

Data analysis cannot occur unless you have data! Interview data must be easily accessible and in a format that will allow clear differentiation between the interviewees, and between the interviewees and interviewer. The focus groups and interviews you conducted during the residential school will be audio recorded and each student will transcribe their interview and part of their focus group.To complete this task you will need to:

1. Using a transcription template, listen to the audio and accurately transcribe from the audio;

2. Clearly differentiate between the speakers;

3. Pay special attention to their vernacular and making it clear when they are paraphrasing others;

4. Include a summarising paragraph for each transcript (200-250 words);

5. Conduct field observations based on the topic of the interview and focus group. Write an ethnographic account which includes descriptive, reflexive notes of context, what you notice (and what you do not observe), and any preliminary connections that can be made between this piece of ethnography and the information garnered from the transcripts (2000-2500 words).

6. Lastly, write a critical reflection of your approach to both the one-on-one interview and the focus group, including: a) how you designed and delivered the interview and focus group guides; and b) a reflection on what you felt worked well, and what you would do differently next time for both the interview and focus group, including a comparison of the two formats (450-500 words).


Assessment Due Date

Week 8 Friday (5 May 2017) 5:00 pm AEST


Return Date to Students

Week 10 Friday (19 May 2017)


Weighting
30%

Assessment Criteria

Assessment is based on:

1) The layout of the transcription, its quality and organisation of sequences;

2) Written expression, ethnographic writing, and preliminary fieldwork analysis;

3) The interviewing reflection summary description and justification of effective interviewing and focus group techniques that were used, as well as critical description of limitations in the process, and suggestions of how these may be overcome in future interviews and focus groups.

Please see the marking matrix in Moodle for more details.


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Conduct focus groups, interviews and ethnographic observations


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Team Work
  • Information Technology Competence
  • Cross Cultural Competence
  • Ethical practice

3 Written Assessment

Assessment Title
Qualitative Research Report

Task Description

Your task is to write a research report based on field research, which you will conduct during the residential school. To complete this task you will need to:

1) Clearly articulate your research topic, present a brief critical discussion of the literature (based on Assessment 1) to show how your research topic is grounded in previous research, specify a research question and outline the research methodology.

2) Analyse two of the three forms of transcribed data elicited at Residential School--your ethnographic, interview and focus group data (see Assessment 2)--and incorporate it into a research report.

The research report must include an Introduction, Literature Review, Methodology, Process of Data Analysis, Findings, and a Discussion. Your interview and observation notes and data sets must be included in the appendix. The minimum word count is 2,500 words (maximum 3,000), not including the abstract, reference list, or appendices


Assessment Due Date

Week 12 Friday (2 June 2017) 5:00 pm AEST


Return Date to Students

Exam Week Friday (16 June 2017)


Weighting
45%

Assessment Criteria

Assessment is based on the:

1) Quality of the research idea;

2) Review of the literature;

3) Level of critical discussion of the literature;

4) Quality of the specific research questions;

5) Quality of data analysis; and

6) Level of critical discussion of the findings.

Please see the marking matrix in Moodle for more details.


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Explain the philosophies and principles behind qualitative research
  • Write a qualitative research report


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Critical Thinking
  • Information Literacy
  • Cross Cultural Competence
  • Ethical practice

Academic Integrity Statement

As a CQUniversity student you are expected to act honestly in all aspects of your academic work.

Any assessable work undertaken or submitted for review or assessment must be your own work. Assessable work is any type of work you do to meet the assessment requirements in the unit, including draft work submitted for review and feedback and final work to be assessed.

When you use the ideas, words or data of others in your assessment, you must thoroughly and clearly acknowledge the source of this information by using the correct referencing style for your unit. Using others’ work without proper acknowledgement may be considered a form of intellectual dishonesty.

Participating honestly, respectfully, responsibly, and fairly in your university study ensures the CQUniversity qualification you earn will be valued as a true indication of your individual academic achievement and will continue to receive the respect and recognition it deserves.

As a student, you are responsible for reading and following CQUniversity’s policies, including the Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure. This policy sets out CQUniversity’s expectations of you to act with integrity, examples of academic integrity breaches to avoid, the processes used to address alleged breaches of academic integrity, and potential penalties.

What is a breach of academic integrity?

A breach of academic integrity includes but is not limited to plagiarism, self-plagiarism, collusion, cheating, contract cheating, and academic misconduct. The Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure defines what these terms mean and gives examples.

Why is academic integrity important?

A breach of academic integrity may result in one or more penalties, including suspension or even expulsion from the University. It can also have negative implications for student visas and future enrolment at CQUniversity or elsewhere. Students who engage in contract cheating also risk being blackmailed by contract cheating services.

Where can I get assistance?

For academic advice and guidance, the Academic Learning Centre (ALC) can support you in becoming confident in completing assessments with integrity and of high standard.

What can you do to act with integrity?