| Last update 25-10-2015||
2nd degree (Master)
glocal community development studies
Dr. Amelia Weinreb
Coordinator Office Hours:
Mondays and Tuesdays
Ms. Amelia Weinreb
This course explores qualitative social science research, characterized as inductive, non-statistical, interpretive and exploratory. Qualitative research is considered valuable in that it can reveal unexpected and profound insights into individuals, cultures, societies, and the human condition at large. It can often uncover information that would otherwise be concealed. Yet, how can narratives, confessions, ethnographic observations, conversations, informal interviews, artifacts and archives--the “stuff” of qualitative research--constitute sources of valid, empirical data? In order to answer this question, the course walks students through the steps of academic research with a qualitative focus: How to identify a good research question, choose an appropriate data collection method and research design, address research bias, gain first-hand experience applying methods during a unique, two-day, off-campus research practicum, and finally, transform field data into academic text through preliminary analysis. Although the focus is on qualitative research, the course also contains short units on sampling and surveys, presented by a specialist in quantitative research methods. A particular emphasis throughout the course is anticipating and solving research problems that may emerge in developing world fieldwork settings.
The course walks students through the steps of academic research with a qualitative focus: How to identify a good research question, choose an appropriate data collection method and research design, address research bias, gain first-hand experience applying methods during a unique, two-day, off-campus research practicum, and finally, transform field data into academic text through preliminary analysis. Although the focus is on qualitative research, the course also contains short units on sampling and surveys, presented by a specialist in quantitative research methods. A particular emphasis throughout the course is anticipating and solving research problems that may emerge in developing world fieldwork settings.
Learning outcomes - On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
Upon completion of this course, students will have developed the skills to:
- Transform a general topic of interest into a strong, specific research question
- Design a basic research project
- Gain first-hand experience implementing qualitative research methods
- Practice preliminary steps of data analysis and argumentation
- Conceptualize the importance of the unexpected in qualitative research
Teaching arrangement and method of instruction:
This seminar is designed to be series of lively, interactive meetings in which students are encouraged to participate through articulating and synthesizing ideas with clarity, accuracy and thoughtfulness, and defending their positions through evidence based on our common reading list. Each meeting, the course is divided three segments:
- A brief, instructor-led discussion establishes the context and background for the readings and outlines their key arguments and ideas in the reading (15 mins).
- Two student discussion leaders, designated in advance, will raise questions, stimulate debate, and integrate ideas from the readings and course core concepts into our collective analysis (20 mins).
- A workshop enables students to engage interactively with core elements of the reading as applied to a project or activity (30 mins).
Readings to be completed before class
Evaluation, due dates, work to do at home
Oct. 20 Opening Day of Class
-Introduction to the class; its structure, and expectations.
In-class workshop: induction and deduction
No No assigned reading prior to opening day
Oct. 27 The Foundations of Social Research
-Measurement and Concepts
-Units of Analysis
-Validity and Reliability
In-class workshop on operational definitions and units of analysis. Ber Bernard, Chapter 2: pp. 23-54
Due: Syllabus Response Read the syllabus carefully, and write a paragraph-long response explaining what surprises you, what captures your attention; what you look forward to; and what you most dread on the syllabus?
Student leaders: 1- page papers due electronically 5pm, evening before class
Nov. 3 Preparing for Research
In-class workshop: transforming topics in to research questions
Bernard, chapter 3: pp. 54-82 Student leaders: 1-page papers due 5pm, evening before class
Nov. 10 Qualitative Research Design
-Designing for Validity
In-class workshop: preliminary design for practicum Richards, chapter 4: pp. 76-103
Student leaders: 1- page papers due 5pm, evening before class
Nov. 17 Interviewing 1: Unstructured and Semi-Structured
-Types of probes
- Presentation of the self
In-class workshop: testing out types of probes
Bernard, chapter 8: pp. 156-186 Student leaders: 1- page papers due 5pm, evening before class
Nov. 24 Participant observation
-Entering the field
-Skills of a participant observer
-Rapid assessment, rapid ethnographic assessment
In-class workshop: Building memory, note-taking strategies Bernard, chapter 12: pp. 256-290
Student leaders: 2- page papers due 5pm, evening before class
DUE: Proposals for fieldwork practicum
Dec. 1 Field Notes and Data Base Management
In-class workshop: Jottings, descriptive notes, and analytic notes
Bernard, Chapter 13: pp. 291-305
Student leaders: 2- page papers due 5pm, evening before class
Dec. 8 FEILDWORK PRACTICUM :SOUTH TEL-AVIV
(TUE. DECEMBER 8-WED. DECEMBER 9)
Dec. 15 Qualitative Data Analysis
In class workshop: A second, deeper look at our collective data from South Tel-Aviv O’Connor and Gibson, pp. 64-90 Student leaders: 2- page papers due 9pm, night before class
Dec. 22 Quantitative Research I: Sampling Basics, Nonprobability Samples, and Choosing Informants
Visiting guest lecturer, Dr. Alex Weinreb
Bernard, pp. 113-119; 127-129, 201-209;
Dec. 29 Quantitative Research II: Questionnaires
Visiting guest lecturer, Dr. Alex Weinreb
In-class workshop: writing questions Bernard, pp. 199-209
Jan. 5 The Nature of Mixed Methods Research
In-class workshop: Pros, cons and feasibility of mixed methods in various real-life circumstances.
Cresswell and Clark, pp. 1-18
Jan. 12 Quiz: core concepts of qualitative research
Jan. 19 Final party:
International food and drink, student presentations, course assessment and feedback as group DUE: Final Analysis paper
Our readings are largely comprised of selections from H. Russel l Bernard’s Research Methods in Anthropology: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches (fifth edition, 2011), along with some supplementary online readings. This course, however, requires the purchase of a “coursepack,” a bound, hard copy of all course readings. I ask that students bring the coursepack with them to each class meeting, and I expect that each student will have evidence of a close and thorough reading: i.e. having marked important segments of the text, written notes and comments in the margins, and highlighted the author’s argument.
Additional Reading Material:
End of year written/oral examination 0 %
Presentation 0 %
Participation in Tutorials 0 %
Project work 55 %
Assignments 0 %
Reports 0 %
Research project 0 %
Quizzes 25 %
Other 20 %
Course Requirements and Grading
20%: Seminar participation, engagement with readings, discussion leadership and attendance
Regular attendance is not only the key to individual student success as a student in this course, but also for the quality of the course as a dynamic whole. Arriving late and leaving early disrupt class flow, so make every effort to arrive to class on time with your materials prepared, and phones off. This is a highly interpersonal and interactive seminar, and while students may take notes on their computers if they are accustomed to doing so, there will be times I will ask students to shut down all electronics and interact without them. Since this is an afternoon course and we will all need an energy boost, coffee, tea and light refreshments will be served, and all students will be asked to help keep our refreshment supplies stocked.
5% Discussion leadership paper : When you lead discussion (with a partner), each individual in that pair will write their own 500-word, double spaced paper that poses a question, and then answers that question based on the reading for that day. These questions should be designed to be engaging, thought provoking and informative, stimulate discussion and debate, and will help you navigate the course. Be sure the 500-word paper:
a) States your question clearly in bold font
b) Includes an answer
The answer can be creative, and include reflections, reactions, critical commentaries or overviews. However, the short papers will be graded on their writing quality, attention to facts, examples and details that appear in the assigned reading for the day reading as well your thoughtfulness. The 500-word typed responses are due to me as an email attachment by 5pm the evening before your student group leads discussion, and I recommend bringing a printed copy for your own reference on the day that you lead.
20%: Proposal of research question, research design, and work-plan for final project
Groups of 3-5 students will select a case study on gender and development and submit a three-page mini-proposal. I will provide a rubric that may serve as both the guide for constructing the project in advance and that will also serve as the scorecard for grading the proposals, which require the following elements:
a) Presents a clear research question that begins with “how” or “why”
b) Establishes the historical, political and cultural context to explore the question
c) Summarizes the debates surrounding the question, based on a literature review
d) Summarizes theories that help frame answers to the question
e) Provides a description of the interventions that attempted to address the problem, if any
f) Offers an analysis of why the intervention succeeded and failed, why, and by what measures
g) Describes the nature of the secondary data to be collected for the project
h) Outlines a flexible but thorough six-week work plan describing how each group member will carry out their project as a team.
30% Final Collaborative Project:
The Student groups will present a final project based on their research proposal. I will provide a rubric that may serve as both the guide for constructing the final project in advance and that will also serve as a scorecard for grading. The final project will be composed of a maximum of 20 presentation slides
Students needing academic accommodations based on a disability should contact the Center for Diagnosis and Support of Students with Learning Disabilities, or the Office for Students with Disabilities, as early as possible, to discuss and coordinate accommodations, based on relevant documentation. |
For further information, please visit the site of the Dean of Students Office.