A Note to Instructors Using this Coursebook

First, thank you!  It is a pleasure to know that students will be able to learn about qualitative research methods at no cost.  College is difficult enough without worrying about buying expensive textbooks.

You have probably already noticed that this book does not have many in-text citations.  This is purposeful, as I aimed to write chapters that were easy to access and engaging, while still covering the basics of what needs to be known about particular topics.  It was also hard to do, as I had to constantly remind myself of that purpose!  When I could not bear to move on without a reference, I often put this in a footnote.  Each chapter (or almost each) has a “for further reading” section, and I’ve indicated wherever I thought necessary the level at which the readings would be useful (e.g., undergraduates, graduate students, advanced students).  It is quite possible to fill out the course with articles pulled from these reading lists – not all in the list but a couple of examples from each that fit the level of your students.  Most of these readings tackle methodological issues but examples of qualitative research are included and indicated with ***.  When I teach undergraduates, I often pull two or three juicy articles for them to read throughout the course.  When I teach graduate students, I always use three book-length examples.  We read these alongside the textbook and my students learn a lot more that way.  There is only so much you can learn from a textbook, even one that is meant to be read engagingly!

I’ve organized the book roughly in the order I would teach graduate students completely new to the subject, but the chapters can be read in a different order.  Each makes reference to other chapters to allow some back and forth throughout the course.  There is thus a certain in-built recursivity (like qualitative research!).  Some chapters may be skipped by undergraduates – I like the epistemology chapter myself but if you don’t think your students need that one, that makes sense to me.  Graduate students always want more on research design and coding but these may also be chapters that undergraduates skip or skim over.  I’ve included a pretty comprehensive glossary that should help students orient themselves if they get lost.

In sum, I hope you find this book useful as a practical toolkit for teaching qualitative research methods!


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Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods Copyright © 2023 by Allison Hurst is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.