Introductory Videos

Introduction to Qualitative Research (watch on YouTube)

David Joyner introduces Qualitative Research as part of Research Principles and Methodologies.

Joyner, D. & Udacity (2016, June 6). Research Principles and Methodologies: Qualitative Research Introductory Video. Retrieved from

Introductory Resources

Qualitative Research Methods: A Data Collector’s Field Guide

This module introduces the fundamental elements of a qualitative approach to research.

Mack, N., Woodsong, C., MacQueen, K. M., Guest, G., & Namey, E. (2005). Qualitative research methods: a data collectors field guide. Retrieved from :

Qualitative Measures

The purpose of this section is to introduce you to the idea of qualitative research (and how it is related to quantitative research) and give you some orientation to the major types of qualitative research data, approaches and methods.

Trochim, W. (2006). Qualitative Measures. Research Methods Knowledge Base. Retrieved from

A Guide to Using Qualitative Research Methodology

A guide to using qualitative research methodology developed by OCA and an external academic.

Bricki, N., & Green, J. (2007). A Guide to Using Qualitative Research Methodology. Retrieved from:

Qualitative Research: Design and Methods

This course is intended for graduate students planning to conduct qualitative research in a variety of different settings. Its topics include: Case studies, interviews, documentary evidence, participant observation, and survey research.

Locke, P. R. (n.d.). Qualitative Research: Design and Methods. Retrieved April 28, 2017, from

What is Qualitative Research?

This article answers the question: 'What is Qualitative Research?'

Qualitative Research Consultants Association.(2017). What is Qualitative Research?. Retrieved April 28, 2017, from

When to Use Qualitative Research

This article helps advide on when to use qualitative research

Qualitative Research Consultants Association. (2017). What is Qualitative Research?. Retrieved April 28, 2017, from

Qualitative Research

This page discusses qualitative research and associated research methods.

Qualitative Research. University of Surrey, n.d. Retrieved from

Qualitative Research Methods

This is a free on-demand Coursera course from the University of Amsterdam. The course teaches the basic ideas behind the qualitative research in social science. Taught by Dr. Gerben Moerman.

Qualitative Research Methods. (n.d.). Retrieved April 28, 2017, from

Qualitative Research Design

Qualitative research is often regarded as a precursor to quantitative research, in that it is often used to generate possible leads and ideas which can be used to formulate a realistic and testable hypothesis. This hypothesis can then be comprehensively tested and mathematically analyzed, with standard quantitative research methods. For these reasons, these qualitative methods are often closely allied with interviews, survey design techniques and individual case studies, as a way to reinforce and evaluate findings over a broader scale.

Explorable. Retrieved from: April 27, 2017.

Qualitative Research Design Guidelines Project - RWJ

Guidelines to: 1) Define qualitative research 2) Identify and define common research paradigms guiding qualitative and quantitative research 3) Identify common theoretical approaches or research traditions in qualitative research 4) Identify and define methods that are commonly used to conduct qualitative research in healthcare 5) Identify common analytical strategies used by qualitative researchers

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Retrieved from: April 27, 2017.

Qualitative Research Methods

Michelle Saint-Germain of California State University-Long Beach outlines data collection strategies for qualitative research.

Saint-Germain. California State University-Long Beach. Retrieved from: April 27, 2017.

Research Vocabulary

Glossary of Key Research Terms

Scientific research comes with its own vocabulary. The list here gives some of the most important terms, and the links direct straight to the definitions in Colorado State's excellent Glossary of Key Research Terms.

Writing@CSU | The Writing Studio. Retrieved from: April 26, 2017.

Scholarly Readings

Qualitative Research Issues and Methods: An Introduction for Educational Technologists

It is the goal of this chapter to introduce educational technology researchers, both new and experienced, to the conceptual basis and methods of qualitative research. The goal is a modest one, due to the need for brevity in a small chapter in a large handbook. Controversy will not be sidestepped, but will not specifically be entered in to. Readers will be introduced, for example, to the "paradigm debate" currently swirling in the field and to the assumptions of various researchers who adhere to one view or another. Just as one cannot learn to conduct research by reading one book, a researcher who determines to conduct research to be labeled qualitative will need to study sources beyond this chapter to determine his or her own assumptions on which to base the work. The researcher must thus enter the debate, and will be responsible for describing the foundational ideas of the study. H

Savenye, W. C., & Robinson, R. S. (1996). Qualitative research issues and methods: An introduction for educational technologists. Handbook of research for educational communications and technology, 1171-1195.

Choosing Qualitative Research: A Primer for Technology Education Researchers

There are compelling reasons for the selection of qualitative methodologies within the educational research arena, yet many people remain unfamiliar with these methods. Researchers trained in the use of quantitative designs face real challenges when called upon to use or teach qualitative research ( Stallings, 1995 ). There is, however, a growing body of literature devoted to qualitative research in education, some of which is synthesized here. The goals of this article are to elaborate on the reasons for choosing qualitative methodologies, and to provide a basic introduction to the features of this type of research.

Hoepfl, M. C. (1997). Choosing qualitative research: A primer for technology education researchers.

Making Use of Qualitative Research Techniques

These methods are appropriate for practical situations in which a fuller understanding of behavior, the meanings and contexts of events, and the influence of values on choices might be useful for physicians (Table 2) We describe below how ethnographic techniques might be used to gather information necessary to plan and implement administrative changes in a clinical setting.

Berkwits, M., & Inui, T. S. (1998). Making use of qualitative research techniques. Journal of general internal medicine, 13(3), 195-199.

Research Methods in Education

This rewritten, expanded and updated 7th edition of the long-running bestseller Research Methods in Education encompasses the whole range of methods currently employed by educational research at all stages. It offers plentiful and rich practical advice, underpinned by clear theoretical foundations, research evidence and up-to-date references.

Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2013). Research methods in education. Routledge.

Educational Action Research

Educational Action Research is concerned with exploring the dialogue between research and practice in educational settings. The considerable increase in interest in action research in recent years has been accompanied by the development of a number of different approaches: for example, to promote reflective practice; professional development; empowerment; understanding of tacit professional knowledge; curriculum development; individual, institutional and community change; and development of democratic management and administration. Proponents of all these share the common aim of ending the dislocation of research from practice, an aim which links them with those involved in participatory research and action inquiry.

Ethnography and Education

Ethnography and Education is an international, peer-reviewed journal publishing articles that illuminate educational practices through empirical methodologies, which prioritise the experiences and perspectives of those involved.

International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education

The aim of the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education (popularly known as QSE) is to enhance the practice and theory of qualitative research in education, with “education” defined in the broadest possible sense, including non-school settings.

Qualitative Research in Education

Qualitative Research in Education is an online journal fourth-monthly published by Hipatia which shows the results of qualitative researches aimed to promote significantly the understanding and improvement of the educational processes. Qualitative Research in Education gathers the outcomes from the educational researches carried out in different fields, disciplines and qualitative methodological approaches. These investigations have as a final purpose to improve the educational processes or contexts. Consequently, the journal will publish disciplinary and multi-disciplinary pieces of work linked to education and more precisely to Pedagogy, Sociology, Anthropology, History, Philosophy, Linguistics, Geography, Mathematics, Physical Education, Music or Political Science.

Qualitative Research Journal

Journal centered around qualitative research

Case Study Research

The Case Study as a Research Method

This paper explains how to use the case study method and then applies the method to an example case study project designed to examine how one set of users, non-profit organizations, make use of an electronic community network. The study examines the issue of whether or not the electronic community network is beneficial in some way to non-profit organizations and what those benefits might be.

Soy, S. (1997). The case study as a research method. Unpublished paper, University of Texas at Austin.

Case Study Research Design

The case study research design have evolved over the past few years as a useful tool for investigating trends and specific situations in many scientific disciplines.

Shuttleworth, M. (Apr 1, 2008). Case Study Research Design. Retrieved Apr 26, 2017 from

Qualitative Case Study Methodology: Study Design and Implementation for Novice Researchers

Abstract Qualitative case study methodology provides tools for researchers to study complex phenomena within their contexts. When the approach is applied correctly, it becomes a valuable method for health science research to develop theory, evaluate programs, and develop interventions. The purpose of this paper is to guide the novice researcher in identifying the key elements for designing and implementing qualitative case study research projects. An overview of the types of case study designs is provided along with general recommendations for writing the research questions, developing propositions, determining the ?case? under study, binding the case and a discussion of data sources and triangulation. To facilitate application of these principles, clear examples of research questions, study propositions and the different types of case study designs are provided.

Baxter, P., & Jack, S. (2008). Qualitative Case Study Methodology: Study Design and Implementation for Novice Researchers . The Qualitative Report, 13(4), 544-559. Retrieved from

How to Do Case Study Research

A guide to using case studies as a research method.

Zucker, D. M. (2009). How to do case study research. Retrieved from:

Naturalistic Observation

In many scientific disciplines, naturalistic observation is a useful tool for expanding knowledge about a specific phenomenon or species.

Shuttleworth, M. (Nov 6, 2009). Naturalistic Observation. Retrieved Apr 20, 2017 from

A (Very) Brief Refresher on the Case Study Method

From the book Applications of Case Study Research

Yin, R. K. (2012). A (very) brief refresher on the case study method. Application of case study research, 3-20.

Case Studies

This guide examines case studies, a form of qualitative descriptive research that is used to look at individuals, a small group of participants, or a group as a whole. Researchers collect data about participants using participant and direct observations, interviews, protocols, tests, examinations of records, and collections of writing samples. Starting with a definition of the case study, the guide moves to a brief history of this research method. Using several well documented case studies, the guide then looks at applications and methods including data collection and analysis. A discussion of ways to handle validity, reliability, and generalizability follows, with special attention to case studies as they are applied to composition studies. Finally, this guide examines the strengths and weaknesses of case studies.

Case Studies (n.d.) Retrieved from:

Controlling for Biases

Bias in Qualitative Research: Voices from an Online Classroom

Abstract The issue of bias in qualitative research is an important one, and demands special attention and discussion in any qualitative research methods class. This reflective paper, written in the tradition of teacher-research, presents an analysis of how my students and I, working in an online classroom environment, learn together about the role researcher self and subjectivity play in designing and conducting qualitative research. While researcher bias and subjectivity are commonly understood as inevitable and important by most qualitative researchers, the beginners in qualitative research classes are generally not very comfortable with the idea of research that is not value-neutral. A systematic and reflective analysis of some of the teaching and learning activities, and of the online exchanges in these classes suggests that issues that require more critical thinking and reflection are dealt better using the power of written word. When students write down how their understanding of an issue is developing, the knowledge gained from the experience of putting the idea in comprehensible sentences is many times the knowledge gained when they make a verbal and often casual comment on the issue being discussed in the classroom. Since online instruction allows students to work at their own pace, factors such as differences in students' ability to communicate - through verbal or written expression, and their level of understanding of the content can be better addressed in an online classroom. The students' and instructor's voices in this paper, and the unique framework in which they are organized convey their increased understanding of qualitative research as a process of self-discovery.

Mehra, B. (2002). Bias in qualitative research: Voices from an online classroom. The Qualitative Report, 7(1), 1-19.

Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research

Choosing between qualitative and quantitative research is not always an easy task. There are some variables and phenomena that seem like they may be measurable numerically, but that really should be described qualitatively before trying to create valid constructs. The sources below should help you choose whether qualitative or quantitative research is right for you. Note that qualitative research is often used in nursing and medicine as well, and you may see sources that talk about it in those domains; generally, the concepts are relatively transferable.

Quantitative and Qualitative Inquiry in Educational Research: Is There A Paradigmatic Difference Between Them?

This paper will discuss and analyse methodological problems of educational inquiry and especially the distinction between quantitative and qualitative approaches of research.

Niglas, K. (1999). Quantitative and qualitative inquiry in educational research: is there a paradigmatic difference between them?.

Quantitative and Qualitative Research: A View for Clarity

This paper compares and contrasts two different approaches utilized in research on education: quantitative and qualitative research. A description of these two approaches is followed by a discussion of how the components of these two approaches differ. Philosophical assumptions, methods/types, purposes/goals, question/hypotheses, those being researched, those conducting the research, and data/data analysis are examined. In order to enhance the understanding of these different approaches, two service-learning research projects are discussed with a focus on these components. Finally, what is gained and lost with each approach is presented.

Castellan, C. M. (2010). Quantitative and qualitative research: A view for clarity. International journal of education, 2(2), 1.

Quantitative Vs. Qualitative Research: When to Use Which

Regardless of the subject of your study, you have just two types of research to choose from: qualitative and quantitative. How much you know (or suspect) about your area of research and your respondents will determine exactly which kind of research is right for you. Most people will need a combination of the two to get the most accurate data.

Mora, M. (2010) Quantitative Vs. Qualitative Research: When to Use Which. Retrieved from:

Nursing Research/Theory: Quantitative vs. Qualitative

Nursing Research/Theory ? Quantitative vs. Qualitative. (2015) Retrieved from:

Nursing Resources: Qualitative vs. Quantitative

One-page guide for students.

Nursing Resources: Qualitative vs. Quantitative (2017). Retrieved from:

Qualitative and Quantitative Research: Comparison of Qualitative and Quantitative Research

Quantitative and qualitative research are commonly considered to differ fundamentally. Yet, their objectives as well as their applications overlap in numerous ways.

Qualitative and Quantitative Research: Comparison of Qualitative and Quantitative Research (n.d.) Retrieved from:

Qualitative and quantitative research for small business

If you?re a time-starved entrepreneur, there?s little doubt that market research can appear a daunting prospect. Where do you begin? You might already feel like there aren?t enough hours in the day as you attempt to establish your business, but it?s vital that you ring-fence some time to sit down and better understand your industry before you go ahead with new business ideas.

Qualitative and quantitative research for small business (n.d.) Retrieved from:

Qualitative versus Quantitative Research

One-page guide to qualitative vs quantitative research.

Qualitative versus Quantitative Research (n.d.) Retrieved from:

Quantitative and Qualitative Research

What is the difference between quantitative and qualitative research? In a nutshell, quantitative research generates numerical data or information that can be converted into numbers. Qualitative Research on the other hand generates non-numerical data.

Quantitative and Qualitative Research. (n.d.) Retrieved from: