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Smartphones in Qualitative Research - Online

This advanced course provides participants with an overview of the main factors to consider when conducting mobile qualitative research and using smartphones for data collection.(Advanced level). * Price:  £165 for SRA members, £220 for non-members.  It runs in one day and uses Zoom software *


Smartphones offer us a different insight into participants’ behaviour, because they enable us to gain insights live and in real-time. They also offer us a valuable means by which to conduct qualitative research with a range of groups in synchronous and asynchronous ways. We can collect a variety of qualitative data via smartphones including: images, video, text, audio and survey feedback. Moreover, smartphones provide participants with a different way to express and share their insights, feelings and stories with researchers.

This course outlines the benefits of using smartphones for qualitative data collection, and the challenges faced when interacting with participants via this technology. Participants are provided with guidance and practice in building smartphone data collection into their qualitative study. We also explore strategies for enhancing participation via smartphones.

This advanced course benefits researchers who already have a basic understanding of qualitative research methods but are new to conducting qualitative research via online technologies such as smartphones.




At the end of the course, participants should:

  • Understand the practicalities and benefits of using smartphones for qualitative data collection as opposed to other qualitative methods and tools.
  • Be aware of the main considerations when using smartphones in a qualitative study.
  • Be aware of strategies for enhancing participant engagement via smartphones.
  • Know about the different types of qualitative data which can be collected via smartphones (i.e. text, audio, images, video, etc.)
  • Be able to design aa qualitative study which uses smartphones via a practical activity.
  • Be aware of the ethics of using smartphones for data collection.




  • The principles and benefits of using smartphones in qualitative research
  • Collecting data in real-time via smartphones
  • The types of data we can collect via smartphones
  • Strategies for encouraging participation with participants via smartphones
  • The ethics of collecting qualitative data via smartphones


Who will benefit


This course will benefit those who have experience of qualitative methods, but who wish to explore and practice how to effectively collect qualitative data via smartphones, and with a range of participants.


Learning outcomes


  • A good understanding of the issues involved in using smartphones for remote data collection in a qualitative study.
  • Ability to design a qualitative project which utilises smartphones for data collection, via group practical activities.
  • A good understanding of strategies to enhance participation via smartphones.
  • A good understanding of the types of qualitative data which smartphones can help us collect.


Course tutor


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, 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 on qualitative research methods.


  This course contributes 6 hours to the MRS CPD programme


2/8/2022 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
GMT Standard Time

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