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 toolbox of practical skills for undertaking qualitative research. This unit covers how to design qualitative research, conduct interviews, thematically analyse qualitative data and evaluate the quality of qualitative research. It explores challenges and builds skills for first time researchers such as developing a research question, how to build rapport and trust with participants, ethical issues in gathering data and reporting qualitative research and what it means to be reflexive in research. You will develop self-awareness and reflexive skills, exploring your social, economic and political positions and how these shape your views on the world. By designing and developing a qualitative research proposal, you will learn how to practically apply your knowledge. 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

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Calibri; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} span.s1 {font-kerning: none} 48 credit points.

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 - 2021

Mixed Mode

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: 20%
2. Practical Assessment
Weighting: 30%
3. Written Assessment
Weighting: 50%

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 Evidence based practice (literature reviews) Self reflection Student feedback

Feedback

Continue to deliver residential school online due to success of this method in 2020.

Recommendation

Pilot the use of streaming software and utilise new features in Zoom (such as the ability to use multiple cameras - May 2020 software update) to enable more interactive learning and further improve the quality of the audio and video streaming.

Unit Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. Critically reflect on the philosophies and principles behind qualitative research
  2. Critique qualitative research in existing literature
  3. Exemplify qualitative skills in data collection.
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
1 - Written Assessment - 20%
2 - Practical Assessment - 30%
3 - Written Assessment - 50%

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3
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 - 20%
2 - Practical Assessment - 30%
3 - Written Assessment - 50%
Textbooks and Resources

Textbooks

Prescribed

Successful Qualitative Research: A Practical Guide for Beginners 1st (2013)

Authors: Virginia Braun and Victoria Clarke
Sage
London London , UK
ISBN: 9781847875822
Binding: Paperback

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 7th Edition (APA 7th edition)

For further information, see the Assessment Tasks.

Teaching Contacts
Paul Duckett Unit Coordinator
p.duckett@cqu.edu.au
Schedule
Week 1: Introduction to qualitative methods Begin Date: 08 Mar 2021

Module/Topic

This week we begin our exploration of qualitative research - the underlying philosophies and ways of seeing the world that shape the questions, data collection and analysis in this type of research.

Chapter

Chapters 1 and 2 of prescribed text

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 2: Key features of qualitative methods Begin Date: 15 Mar 2021

Module/Topic

This week, we are continuing to build our understanding of qualitative research begun in Week 1 by reading a journal article that uses qualitative methods. The article helps illustrate some of the key features of qualitative research we considered last week, as well as research design, which we will cover next week.

Chapter

Reading provided on Moodle site.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Zoom online tutorial

Week 3: DESIGNING A QUALITATIVE PROJECT Begin Date: 22 Mar 2021

Module/Topic

This week we are looking at the practical, pragmatic process of designing a qualitative research project. We will explore choosing topics, developing research questions, issues relating to sampling, ethical requirements and discriminatory practices in research.

Chapter

Chapter 3 of prescribed text.

Events and Submissions/Topic

WEEK 4: CHOSING YOUR TOPIC FOR ASSESSMENTS 2 & 3 Begin Date: 29 Mar 2021

Module/Topic

Planning and designing qualitative research: practical applications.

We are taking what we learned last week on planning and designing a qualitative project and applying it to choosing your own research topic which you will use for assessment 2 and 3.

Chapter

None.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Zoom online tutorial (1hr duration)

Week 5: Residential School: interviewing Begin Date: 05 Apr 2021

Module/Topic

Online residential school where you will learn more about individual online interviewing and get the chance to practice your interview skills as an interviewer and an interviewee.

Chapter

Chapter 4 of prescribed text.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Attendance at the online residential is compulsory. If you do not attend the Residential School, you will not be able to complete Assessment 1. 

Vacation Week Begin Date: 12 Apr 2021

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 6: ETHICS AND INDIGENOUS ISSUES Begin Date: 19 Apr 2021

Module/Topic

This week we will gain a greater understanding of conducting ethical research, with a particular emphasis on ethical research with indigenous Australians (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people). Through the readings and lecture we will cover psychology's role in the marginalization of indigenous Australians, differences between indigenous Australian knowledges and psychological knowledge, and the ethical guidelines that currently shape research with all human participants, and those that pertain specifically to indigenous Australians. There are two readings for this week. The first is a research paper by Jonathan 'Yotti' Kingsley from the position of a non-Aboriginal person working with an Aboriginal community. The second is a paper by Karen Martin a Noonucaal woman from Queensland which outlines an indigenous framework for research in Australia with a Quandamooka ontology.

Chapter

Readings provided on Moodle.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 7: INTRODUCTION TO QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS Begin Date: 26 Apr 2021

Module/Topic

This week we begin a series of four lectures and a practical exercise on qualitative data analysis. This first reading and lecture provides an overview of key data analysis methods in qualitative research, with a particular focus on thematic analysis, which is a great foundational method that can be used by both new and established researchers.

Chapter

Chapter 8 of prescribed text.

Events and Submissions/Topic


Week 8: DATA ANALYSIS - CODING Begin Date: 03 May 2021

Module/Topic

In this and the next two teaching weeks, we will be learning practical skills for analyzing qualitative data. Although the textbook includes analytic processes for grounded theory, IPA and discourse analysis, we will be focussing on Thematic Analysis only.

For the next three weeks we will also be preparing for our discussion in Week 11 on practical applications. We will use the focus group data on body art from the companion textbook website to conduct our own analysis following the steps that we learn each week.

Chapter

Chapter 9 of prescribed text.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 9: DATA ANALYSIS- THEMES & PATTERNS Begin Date: 10 May 2021

Module/Topic

This week we look at phases 4 and 5 of Thematic Analysis - developing themes and reviewing themes.

As for Week 8, your practical exercise involves taking the Body Art Focus Group transcript and undertaking the following three steps:

1) coding further into the transcript

2) have a go at developing candidate themes

3) put your codes and themes together and review and revise them

Chapter

Chapter 10 of prescribed text.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Submission of Assessment Two.


Assessment 2: Summarising qualitative research papers and developing a research question Due: Week 9 Monday (10 May 2021) 9:00 am AEST
Week 10: DATA ANALYSIS - INTERPRETATIONS Begin Date: 17 May 2021

Module/Topic

This week we look at the final phases of Braun and Clarke's Thematic Analysis - defining themes and developing your analysis and interpretation. There is a practical element to this week as well - details are set out below.

Chapter

Chapter 11 of prescribed text.


Events and Submissions/Topic


Week 11: ANALYSIS - YOU SHOW ME YOURS, I WILL SHOW YOU MINE Begin Date: 24 May 2021

Module/Topic

The preparation for this week's discussion begins in Week 8. In that week you will have started the process of analyzing a section of the Body Art Focus Group Transcript from the companion website for your prescribed textbook. In week 9 we use this same section of the transcript to identify patterns (themes), and in Week 10 to interpret these themes. In this week, you will share your analysis with your classmates. We will have a look at our codes, patterns and interpretations to:

a) further develop our practical skills through learning with and from other people going through the same thing; and,

b) imitate one of the ways we check the quality of our analysis which is by checking our analysis against other people's - and then discussing differences and similarities. We can come to a more coherent, confident analysis through this type of collaboration.

Chapter

None.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Zoom online tutorial (1hr duration).

Week 12: QUALITY IN QUALITATIVE RESEARCH Begin Date: 31 May 2021

Module/Topic

Quality in qualitative research. in this final week we will be concluding the unit by drawing together the key lessons we have learned in relation to determining what good quality means in relation to qualitative research.

Chapter

Chapter 12.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Review/Exam Week Begin Date: 07 Jun 2021

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Submission of Assessments One and Three.


Assessment 1: Interviews and self-reflection Due: Review/Exam Week Friday (11 June 2021) 9:00 am AEST
Assessment 3: Qualitative Research Proposal Due: Review/Exam Week Tuesday (8 June 2021) 9:00 am AEST
Exam Week Begin Date: 14 Jun 2021

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic


Assessment Tasks

1 Written Assessment

Assessment Title
Assessment 1: Interviews and self-reflection

Task Description

Using the set research topic (social and environmental factors that negatively impact university students' mental health):
1. Develop five questions for a face-to-face semi-structured interview (each question may include a main question and prompts);
2. Develop a brief interview guide – include a short opening introduction (not including informed consent guide), some structuring information, and place your questions into a logical sequence;
3. Interview another student and video record your interview (interviews should last no longer than 30 minutes and no less than 15 minutes, and the video you submit will be an edited version of your interview - no more than 5 minutes)
4. Write a short reflection on the interview process.
Steps 1-2 (above) MUST be completed by you at the online residential school. You will be brainstorming your questions with other students on our unit, testing out your questions with your classmates, giving and receiving feedback, and then re-writing your interview guide to reflect that peer feedback. You will record your interview (step 3) and work on your written reflection (step 4) after the residential school.


Assessment Due Date

Review/Exam Week Friday (11 June 2021) 9:00 am AEST


Return Date to Students

Grade and feedback will be posted in your Grade Book on the unit's Moodle website.


Weighting
20%

Minimum mark or grade
PASS

Assessment Criteria

There are 3 components to your submission: your written interview guide (including your interview questions); a 5 minute edit of the video recording of your interview; and your written reflection on the interview. 

What to include in your written reflection
You should consider the extent your interview questions provided rich, in depth data to answer your research question. You should then consider what helped or hindered this.
Think about:
- Your introduction (did it set the person at ease by giving them a clear and easy to understand overview of what you would be doing together?)
- The wording of your questions (was it open, non-leading, short and clear, empathetic?)
- The structure of your questions (did you begin with more open, less personal questions, did the sequencing of the questions make sense?)
- Your listening skills (how was your posture, gaze and attention; what distracted you from listening well, what helped; how well did you include active listening responses?)
- Your responsive skills (how well were you able to adapt your language/questions/structure to the participant’s account, what helped/hindered, did the participant seem comfortable; what skills did you use to help elicit a rich, detailed account in the participant’s own words; how did you manage responding as a researcher not as ‘yourself’ – were there any thoughts or feelings that arose that made that difficult?)

WORD LIMIT: Your written reflection should be no more than 500 words. Any words over that limit will not be read or assessed by your marker. See the Psychology Word Count Information document for a rationale for this type of word limit restriction. There is NO WORD LIMIT for your Interview Guide but, it is recommended this be no more than 1 page of text.
INTERVIEW RECORDING FORMAT: You should record in an mp4 audio format. Your recording should be edited down to a 5 minute video for the submission.
TIME LIMIT: Your interview audio recording should be no less than 5 minutes and no more than 10 minutes. I.e., you submit an edit of your 15-30 minute interview that you feel best demonstrates your interview style as assessed by the marking criteria and marking rubric.


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Submission Instructions
You are to submit 3 separate elements: 1) the interview guide including your five interview questions [in a word document file] 2) your edited video recording of the interview [in a mp4 digital video file, no longer than 5mins in duration] 3) the reflection [in a word document file] of no more than 500 words

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Critically reflect on the philosophies and principles behind qualitative research
  • Critique qualitative research in existing literature


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking

2 Practical Assessment

Assessment Title
Assessment 2: Summarising qualitative research papers and developing a research question

Task Description

For this assessment, you first need to decide on a research topic (this can be anything of your own choosing and should not be the topic given to you for assessment one). Once you have done this, you have three tasks to complete:

1. Find three (3) academic journal papers reporting on qualitative research on your chosen research topic. You can use any 3 papers that use qualitative methods on the topic.

2. Complete the summary table (provided) for each of these three research papers.

3. Develop a research question based on your chosen topic and the existing research. Write a short (300 word maximum) rationale for this question using the information you have recorded on your summary table. 


WORD LIMITS: Your rationale for part 3 should be no more than 300 words. Any words over that limit will not be read or assessed by your marker. See the Psychology Word Count Information document for a rationale for this type of word limit restriction. There is NO WORD LIMIT for the summary table, but it is recommended this be no more than 2 pages per research paper.



Assessment Due Date

Week 9 Monday (10 May 2021) 9:00 am AEST


Return Date to Students

Week 11 Monday (24 May 2021)

Grade and feedback will be posted in your Grade Book on the unit's Moodle website.


Weighting
30%

Assessment Criteria

The rationale part of this assessment brings together the research topic with the research you have summarised as part of the process of formulating a research question (which you will use again in your third assessment to develop interview questions and a research proposal). Your reflection will include the following:

1. A proposed research question that you have developed on your chosen topic.

2. Use of the research literature that you have summarised to develop a clear rationale for your research question.

The rationale should address the following questions (these questions are also covered in your textbook and in the pre-recorded lecture for Teaching Week 3):

- How will this research question make an original contribution to our knowledge about this issue? In relation to the research you have summarised in your table, does your proposed question explore a new area, will it take a different approach, will it be applied in a new context or with a new sample?

- Why is this research question important? You should address this question in reference to what your research question will contribute to the community you are interested in: i.e. how will it assist in solving an important problem?


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Submission Instructions
Submissions must be in a MS Word file format ONLY.

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Critically reflect on the philosophies and principles behind qualitative research
  • Exemplify qualitative skills in data collection.


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Team Work
  • Information Technology Competence

3 Written Assessment

Assessment Title
Assessment 3: Qualitative Research Proposal

Task Description

This assessment brings together what you have learned in the first two assessments. You are to take the research topic and research question you have already been working with for Assessment Two, and flesh this out into a proposal for a piece of qualitative research. (The papers you summarized for your second assessment will also be useful in writing your research proposal, as will the residential school work on interviewing.)

We will use the Qualitative Research Proposal Proforma which I have adapted from the companion website to your textbook. A copy of this is available on the unit's Moodle site.

WORD LIMIT: The research proposal is a maximum of 2,100 words. This word limit includes in-text citations but excludes any reference section. Do not include any appendices, footnotes or endnotes. Referencing is APA format. Any words over the word limit will not be read or assessed by your marker. See the Psychology Word Count Information document for a rationale for using this type of word limit restriction.


Assessment Due Date

Review/Exam Week Tuesday (8 June 2021) 9:00 am AEST


Return Date to Students

Grade and feedback will be posted in your Grade Book on the unit's Moodle website within 2 weeks of submission.


Weighting
50%

Assessment Criteria

For the Research Proposal you will provide:

- a social and research rationale for your research questions using a short review of the key findings and gaps in knowledge about your topic;

- an outline of how you will collect your data (sample, sample size, recruitment) and how you will analyse your data;

- a discussion of the ethical risks of your study and how you will manage these; and,

- a discussion of cultural safety issues regarding the participation in your proposed project of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The marking criteria are a modified version of Independent Assessor Overview which has been used in the past for honours project proposals. A copy of the full marking criteria is available from the unit's Moodle site.

To help guide you through the assessment, there are also two examples of qualitative research proposals available on the unit's Moodle site, as well as three examples on the prescribed textbook companion website.


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Submission Instructions
Submissions must be in a MS Word file format ONLY.

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Critique qualitative research in existing literature
  • Exemplify qualitative skills in data collection.


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Critical Thinking
  • Information Literacy
  • 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?