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QRSI Spotlight: Doing Qualitative Research Online

QRSI Spotlight: Doing Qualitative Research Online

From the QRSI website:
Every day, millions of people use the Internet and social media (e.g., Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, virtual communities) to communicate and relate with others. This trend will only accelerate with the availability of portable, web-enabled devices such as smartphones and tablets. Moving forward, qualitative researchers will not be able to fully understand the people they study unless they pursue a deep exploration of their participants’ online activities. This course will address issues inherent to qualitative research and data analysis as collected, gathered, and retrieved from online sources.

Topics will include:

  • Designing and evaluating qualitative projects with online data-collection components
  • Using different perspectives to understand and analyze data from online sources. This discussion considers benefits and cautions for “insider” and “outsider” positionality within the community
  • Unique methodological characteristics of working with social media, online communities and other computer-mediated technologies, including:
    • Defining the field
    • Determining the quality and extent of a researcher’s participation
    • Deciding what counts as data
    • Finding ethical ways to represent online participants
  • Analyzing qualitative data collected from online contexts
  • Writing findings

Examples will be given throughout from the instructors’ own research with computer-mediated technologies, traditional websites, social media, and other online sources.

Instructor: Kevin Swartout
Date: Wednesday, July 26
For more information about QRSI and other available courses, please click here.


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