Qualitative Research Methods
Course Summary:

Qualitative research is used in everyday settings to answer questions related to issues of interest and their underpinning phenomena. You will attain a sound grounding in applying appropriate qualitative research methods. Theoretical content covers: qualitative methodologies, qualitative research methods, and presenting qualitative results. Course workshops promote critical thinking and provide opportunities to practice using qualitative research methods. While learning is self-directed, workshops and online forums allow discussion of theoretical and practical questions throughout the course

Course Objectives:

  • Developing a hypothesis, a research problem and related questions
  • Framing the problem with the correct research methodology
  • Collecting data that accurately addresses the research problem
  • Measuring the effectiveness of a program
  • Using data to make decisions
  • Providing technical guidance to contractors for inclusion in contract documents related to research projects
  • Evaluating feasibility of research proposals
  • Presenting data to support programs to decision makers and other consumers

Course Outline

Introduction to The Process of Conducting Research

  • Research Design Introduction
  • Steps in the Process of Research
  • Identifying a hypothesis and/or research problem, specifying a purpose, creating research questions
  • Reviewing literature
  • Ethics of research and informed consent

Introduction to Qualitative Research

  • Essence of Qualitative Data
  • Sampling
  • Collection Techniques

Interpreting Qualitative Data

  • Qualitative Data Analysis Procedures
  • Coding
  • Thematic development

Sampling Concepts

  • Defining the Target Population
  • Representative Sample
  • Potential Consequences of Unrepresentative Sampling (Gaming the System)
  • Over Representative Subgroups / Weighting
  • Design Effect
  • Sampling Methods (Cluster, Stratified, Simple Random)

Quantitative Data Collection Instruments

  • Choosing a good instrument
  • Interval and Ratio Scales

Introduction to Applied Statistics

  • Identifying the dependent and independent variables
  • Confidence levels
  • Math that manipulates data

Descriptive Statistics

  • Summarizing and describing a collection of data
  • Univariate and bivariate analysis
  • Mean, mode and standard deviation
  • Percentages and Ratios
  • Histograms
  • Identifying randomness and uncertainty in data 

Inferential Statistics

  • Drawing inference from data
  • Modeling assumptions
  • Identifying Patterns
  • Regression analysis
  • T-test
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Correlations
  • Chi-square

Introduction to Mixed Methods Research

  • Advantages
  • Design Components
  • Explanatory Mixed Methods Framework

Data Mining – Finding the Patterns and Problems in the World of Data

Writing About Quantitative Findings 

Writing About Qualitative or Mixed Methods Findings

Critically Critiquing Research Reports 

Applying Research in the Security Environment