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Department: International Health
Term: 3rd term
Credits: 5 credits
Contact: Larissa Jennings
Academic Year: 2012 - 2013

First of a two-term sequence (with 224.691), which introduces students to qualitative research and provide them with practical skills for conducting research in domestic and international settings. Provides an overview of theoretical foundations of qualitative research and different approaches to qualitative inquiry, including programmatic qualitative research, grounded theory, ethnography, phenomenology, grounded theory, and narrative and case study approaches. Covers how to formulate qualitative research questions and how to design a qualitative research study. Provides description and practice in different qualitative data collection methods, including in-depth interviews, focus groups, and observation. To develop qualitative research skills, the course includes a significant group project component where students design and conduct hands-on local fieldwork projects, which must go through school ethical review and approval.

Learning Objective(s):

By the end of the semester-long course students should be able to: (1) identify epistemological differences between qualitative and quantitative research paradigms; (2) differentiate between various approaches to qualitative inquiry, including ethnography, phenomenology, grounded theory, and narrative and case study approaches; (3) formulate appropriate qualitative research questions and design a qualitative research study; (4) describe and use multiple methods for the collection of qualitative data, including interviews, focus groups, and observation; (5) articulate the relative appropriateness of different types of data collection for a particular study; (6) discuss issues related to data quality and strategies for improving data quality; 7) describe adaptations necessary when conducting research in other cultural and linguistic settings.

Methods of Assessment: Student evaluation is based on participation, and group and individual assignments related to fieldwork projects. These include (1) research questions, interview guide, and consent form; (2) two in-depth interviews; and (3) focus group or observation.
Location: East Baltimore
Class Times:
  • Tuesday 8:30 - 10:20
  • Thursday 8:30 - 10:20
Lab Times:
  • Thursday 3:30 - 5:20
  • Friday 3:30 - 5:20
Final grade applies to all terms
Enrollment Minimum: 18
Enrollment Maximum: 54
Instructor Consent: No consent required


Auditors Allowed: Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction: Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Special Comments: Required to take both 224.690 and 224.691; no grade given until both courses are completed