This course has been designed during the Covid-19 pandemic, specifically with qualitative researchers in mind. The aim, via slide-sharing sessions and interactive workshops, is to think in creative ways about the practical and ethical issues involved in converting your research project for online (virtual or digital) research design and data collection. We encourage participants to consider online research as a strategy that can complement in-person or offline approaches. Further, the course embraces a creative, responsive and participatory approach to the generation of qualitative insights. At the end of the course participants should be equipped with the knowledge and skills to convert their research for online settings.
The specific focus is on methods available and key issues to address:
- The challenges and benefits of conducting qualitative research in online spaces and settings
- Online interactions and how these influence data collection
- Ethical issues for online research
- Encouraging an engaged, committed and reflexive approach
- Tips for conducting one-to-one interviews online
- Tips for conducting focus groups online
- Tips for analysis of and engagement in text-based forums
- Introduction to virtual ethnography and participant observation
- To consider the key principles of qualitative research and how data collection and creation can be achieved online
- To consider questions of the data quality and richness generated via online means
- To examine, explore and assess diverse approaches to online qualitative data collection and creation
- To equip participants with the knowledge and skills to convert their research for online settings
- To consider ethical and personal issues (including reflexivity) in relation to online qualitative research
Who will benefit?
It is essential that participants are already familiar with the principles of qualitative research, or have attended the SRA Foundations in Qualitative Research course. Participants at the early, middle or final stages of a qualitative research project will benefit. The course is suitable for those with a specific topic in mind as well as those who simply want to enhance their skills. However, the course is specifically designed for those about to embark on or design the ‘fieldwork’ phase of a qualitative research project.
Karen O'Reilly is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Loughborough University and a Freelance Researcher. She has taught ethnographic and qualitative methods for over 25 years, including the Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Collection and Analysis, the Swiss Summer School in Social Science Methods, at the Universities of Aberdeen, Essex, Loughborough and Oxford; and in Germany, Norway and Hong Kong. Karen is a highly experienced ethnographer whose many publications include two widely cited books: Ethnographic Methods (Routledge, 2nd ed. 2012) and Key Concepts in Ethnography (Sage, 2009). She has also been instrumental in the design and evaluation of Masters level Research Methods courses and programmes in several universities. Karen provides short courses for the SRA on a regular basis.
Dr Karen Lumsden is Assistant Professor in Criminology at the University of Nottingham and has a PhD in Sociology from the University of Aberdeen. She has over 15 years’ experience teaching qualitative research methods at postgraduate level and to academics and practitioners. This includes courses at the Universities of Aberdeen, Glasgow and Essex, Kingston University, and for the SRA. Karen has also designed and delivered social research methods training for police officers and staff via the East Midlands Policing Academic Collaboration (EMPAC) and for research consultancies. She has authored a number of academic books and journal articles in the areas of sociology and criminology, and on qualitative research methods. Karen is Chair of the Editorial Board of Sociological Research Online.
This course contributes 6 hours to the MRS CPD programme
n.b. This course runs over two consecutive mornings:
Part 1 - 23 September - 9.30 am to 1.00 pm
Part 2 - 24 September - 9.30 am to 1.00 pm