Skip to 0 minutes and 9 secondsHello, everyone and welcome to the course. I'm Nick Barter from Griffith University. And I'm Chris Stephenson from Deakin University. We're so pleased you could join us. We have a lot in store for you in week one. Nick, can you tell us about the lineup? Well, we're first going to introduce you to the world of qualitative research. It's steeped in storytelling, which makes it so fascinating. We'll also touch on some strategies to help you zero in on a research question and then explore the many ways you can approach the design of your qualitative study.

Skip to 0 minutes and 42 secondsThis course will help you to appreciate the value of people's personal perspectives and teach you about some of the tools qualitative researchers use to capture and analyse their stories. As you're about to discover, qualitative research focuses on analysing behaviour, language, and culture to better understand why we do the things we do. By the end of the course, you'll be ready to produce a planning document to help you progress your own qualitative research project. You'll be supported by myself and Chris, the course mentors, and of course, each other. Yes, social learning is such a valuable component of the course.

Skip to 1 minute and 19 secondsBe sure to introduce yourselves at the end of this step, so you're ready to join in the many opportunities for conversation and collaboration ahead. We look forward to learning more about you and igniting your passion for research. See you in the discussions.

Welcome to the course

Hello and welcome to ‘Why Experience Matters: Qualitative Research’.

In its simplest sense, research is a systematic way of gathering and interpreting information about our world. People often associate research with statistics, however as you are about to discover, qualitative research has little to do with numbers. Instead, its focus is on people, their stories and experiences.

This week, we focus on the nature of qualitative research, when it can be used and the types of knowledge it produces. We also explore issues relating to researcher subjectivity and spend some time brainstorming possibilities for a potential research project, if you don’t already have one.

Qualitative research is an umbrella term, covering a range of different research approaches, a number of which we investigate this week. What makes them ‘qualitative’ is they all offer ways to help us understand the complexities of our world by exploring experiences, meanings, processes, relationships, interactions, and social structures.

By the end of this two week course, you will know why experience matters and be ready to:

  • explain the value of qualitative research and discuss the research contexts where it is best suited
  • identify key qualitative research approaches and data collection techniques
  • produce a short qualitative research planning document, relevant to a research question.

Meet the team

Your lead educators

Professor Nick Barter is an award winning academic, committed to expanding online education to as many learners as possible. He’s excited by corporate sustainability, specifically developing frameworks to transform strategy into action. For Nick, the beauty of research lies in its power to put a hypothesis to the test. With evidence in hand, we can create positive change and develop solutions to make our world a better place to live.

Associate Professor Christopher Stevenson is an epidemiologist and biostatistician with a particular interest in evidence-based health policy. He is the team leader for post-graduate coursework in the School of Health and Social Development at Deakin University and also teaches postgraduate courses in epidemiology and biostatistics.

Prior to joining Deakin, Chris worked for the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare where he helped design, implement and evaluate Australia’s national cancer screening programs. He also managed the national cancer monitoring program – which included developing new methods for monitoring cancer data.

He is a passionate teacher with a commitment to blending cutting-edge research with the education of future public health professionals.

Your mentors

Angela Victor is passionate about online learning and student engagement. She has taught for many years in the higher education sector and is currently an Educational Designer at Griffith University.

Georgie Lowe has researched and worked in online education in the tertiary sector for a number of years. She is currently a Learning Designer at Deakin University.

If you haven’t already, follow your lead educators and mentors for course updates, feedback and discussions. Simply click on their profile and select ‘follow’.

Your task

Select the comments link below to start a conversation. In this first post we’d like you to share what you’re most hoping to learn in the course. Liking and replying to comments that interest or challenge you is an important way of contributing to the conversations that will make this course a vibrant experience; not only for you, but also for other learners.

When you have completed your task, select ‘Mark as Complete’ to help you track your progress through the course.

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Why Experience Matters: Qualitative Research

Griffith University