PUB HLTH 7078 - Qualitative Research Methods In Health

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015

Qualitative research is concerned with exploring how people interpret and give meaning to their everyday worlds. This type of research is central to how we come to understand population health issues, as it provides historical and socio-cultural contexts for health and illness. This course comprises an introduction to the skills to review and conduct qualitative research. Students will learn how to recognise and reflect on the strengths and limitations of different qualitative research methodologies, understand the links between theory and practice, critically assess qualitative research, and address ethical and practical issues involved in conducting qualitative research. The course takes a step-by-step approach to the design and implementation of qualitative research and includes: formulating a qualitative research question; collecting, managing, and analysing qualitative data; writing and presenting qualitative findings; conducting ethical research, including writing ethics proposal for qualitative research projects.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PUB HLTH 7078
    Course Qualitative Research Methods In Health
    Coordinating Unit Public Health
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 6 hours per week of online activity
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Incompatible NURSING 7002HO, PUBHLTH 7078
    Course Description Qualitative research is concerned with exploring how people interpret and give meaning to their everyday worlds. This type of research is central to how we come to understand population health issues, as it provides historical and socio-cultural contexts for health and illness. This course comprises an introduction to the skills to review and conduct qualitative research. Students will learn how to recognise and reflect on the strengths and limitations of different qualitative research methodologies, understand the links between theory and practice, critically assess qualitative research, and address ethical and practical issues involved in conducting qualitative research. The course takes a step-by-step approach to the design and implementation of qualitative research and includes: formulating a qualitative research question; collecting, managing, and analysing qualitative data; writing and presenting qualitative findings; conducting ethical research, including writing ethics proposal for qualitative research projects.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Jaklin Eliott

    Course Coordinator: Dr Jaklin Eliott
    Phone: +61 8313 3855
    Email: jaklin.eliott@adelaide.edu.au

    Learning and Teaching Team
    Phone: +61 8313 2128
    Email: postgrad_enq@adelaide.edu.au
    Location: Level 7, 178 North Terrace
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Outline the contribution to, and characteristics of, qualitative research to population health
    2 Demonstrate the capacity to make informed ethical decisions about the conduct of population health research
    3 Critically evaluate the use of qualitative methods in population health research
    4 Recognise and describe some of the major theoretical perspectives which inform qualitative research
    5 Identify the major research methods used to collect data in qualitative research, and critique the advantages and disadvantages of each
    6 Demonstrate capacity to appropriately collect, analyse, and report on qualitative data
    7 Use terminology for the field of qualitative research correctly and contextually with appropriate referencing
    8 Demonstrate ability to work and communicate effectively with others regarding qualitative research
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1-6
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 3-5
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 4-7
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 8
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 1-8
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1-8
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1, 2, 4
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Liamputtong, P. (2013) Qualitative research methods, 4th edn. Oxford University Press: Melbourne.

    The prescribed text is integral to the course and may be purchased from Unibooks:
    Unibooks
    The University of Adelaide
    ADELAIDE SA 5005
    Phone: +61 8 8223 4366 Toll free: 1800 182 003
    Fax: +61 8 8232 7315
    Email: bookshop@unibooks.com.au
    Website: www.unibooks.com.au

    Other essentials readings will be available in electronic format through MyUni.
    Recommended Resources
    Hansen, E. (2006). Successful Qualitative Health Research. New York: Open University Press Quinn Patton M. (2002). Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
    Crotty, M. (1998). The Foundations of social research. Meaning and perspective in the research process. Sydney, Allen and Unwin. [Note that this can be accessed as an e-text through the library catalogue, but you must use Internet Explorer – it cannot be viewed using Mozilla Firefox]
    Online Learning
    3.3.1 MyUni
    All students enrolled in a postgraduate coursework program have access to a Postgraduate Coursework Student Centre on MyUni. This course is available on MyUni at www.adelaide.edu.au/myuni/.
    Please check the website regularly as it may contain announcements that are relevant to your study in the course. If you would like the opportunity to network with other students, you can use the Communication features in the site:
    Discussion Board – Users can post discussion items and reply to other posts. Note: If you would like to have a specific Discussion Board Forum created, please send your request to jaklin.eliott@adelaide.edu.au
    Send Email – This feature enables users to send email to fellow students.
    Group Pages – Groups enable Users to collaborate with each other. Groups usually consist of a smaller group of Users in a course or organisation, such as study groups or project groups. From a Group Page, users may send email, exchange files, enter discussion forums or enter collaboration sessions.
    Note: Only members of a particular Group can access the Group communication features (discussion forums, email, etc.). If you would like to have a specific Group Page created, please send your request to jaklin.eliott@adelaide.edu.au . For example, Group Pages can be created to include students living in the same geographical area or students working for the same organisation.
    Please note that you also have access to individual MyUni sites for EACH course you are enrolled in. Please check the sites regularly as they may contain important announcements that are relevant to your study in the course.

    3.3.2 Access Adelaide
    Access Adelaide is the name of the online service that allows you to access and, in some cases, amend your records. It can be found at: https://access.adelaide.edu.au/sa/login.asp .
    You can log into Access Adelaide to view:
    your enrolment details for any term
    your academic results
    your unofficial academic transcript
    your personal details
    the fees, charges and payments on your University account
    your exam schedule
    your graduation eligibility details.
    As a student you can:
    change your address and telephone details (please inform the Discipline as well) change your password
    set a password clue to help you remember your password.

    3.3.3 Student email
    It is important that you set up your student email and check it regularly. Information from your course coordinator and student administration will be sent to you at your University of Adelaide email address. It is your responsibility to check your email. You will need your student number located on your student card to log in. http://webmail.adelaide.edu.au/

    3.3.4 Computers
    Where can I use a computer in the University?
    Computing facilities are provided to students by the University, and there are several suites of computers available, including at the Barr Smith Library and in Hub Central. The University web site has a list of computer labs at: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/its/student_support/labs/

    3.3.5 Internet access
    The University provides a free dial-up service to students without the need for a commercial ISP account. This service is available at the cost of a local call to students residing within Adelaide (please refer to your telecommunications provider for confirmation of call costs). Students residing outside these numbers can dial into the University at STD call rates (www.adelaide.edu.au/its/desktop/dialup/).
    Postgraduate Coursework students will receive a University Funded Quota of 500Mb.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course focuses on the research methodologies and methods used to collect and manage qualitative data. Typically, sessions are scheduled as combined lecture/tutorials including readings that explain the philosophical or theoretical underpinnings of each methodology are coupled with papers reporting on a piece of research where the particular methodology has been used.
    Students are given practical work each week that will help them understand the theory and principles underlying qualitative research, how to conduct qualitative research (including data collection and analysis) and they will have the opportunity to explore specific issues and dilemmas associated with using qualitative research. The following qualitative research topics will be covered:
    The role of theory
    Qualitative methodologies
    Critical appraisal
    Ethics
    Data collection methods
    Managing and analysing data
    Cross cultural research and working with vulnerable/special populations
    Dilemmas in Qualitative Research
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The course comprises three hours every week, which will be a mixture of lectures and interactive exercises, and it is compulsory for all students to attend. Essential readings will be set every week, and we expect that all students will have read these before each session. If students do not do the essential reading/s, they will find it difficult to follow the theory section of the session. We will also provide further readings, for those students who would like more information on a particular topic.
    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.
    Face to Face lectures and practicals 3 hours / week
    Core/background readings 2 hours / week
    Preparation of assignments 2 hours / week
    Group activities for assignments 1 hour / week (when required)
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week Topic Lecture
    Week 1 Definitions & Ethical Aspects What is Qualitative Research
    Ethics of Qualitative Research
    Week 2 The role of Theory
    Theoretical Approach 1
    Why use Theory in Qualitative Research?
    Phenomenology / Hermeneutics
    Week 3 Issues in Qualitative Design Sampling, Rigour and Validity
    Critical Appraisal
    Week 4 Student Group Presentations 1 Controversies in Qualitative Research
    Week 5 Theoretical Approach 2 Critical Approaches:
    Actions Research,
    Feminist & Discursive Analysis
    Week 6 Research with special populations Cross-cultural & indigenous research
    Research with vulnerable populations
    Week 7 Theoretical Approach 3
    Methodology 1
    Ethnography & Critical Ethnography
    Focus groups
    Week 8 Methodology 2 Interviews
    Transcription
    Week 9 Methodology 3 Coding
    Thematic Analysis
    Week 10 Student Group Presentations 2 Researching with Vulnerable Population
    Week 11 Theoretical Approaches 4
    Methodology 4
    Grounded Theory
    Mixed Methods & Health Services Research
    Week 12 Proposing and presenting research Developing a Qualitative Research Proposal
    Writing up your research
    Summing up
    Specific Course Requirements
    N/A
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    N/A
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Assessment Type Weighting Learning Outcome(s) being addressed
    Group Assessment 1 Summative 10% 1, 2, 7, 8
    Assignment 1 Summative 20% 1, 2, 7, 8
    Group Assessment 2 Summative 10% 3, 5, 6, 7
    Assignment 2 Summative 30% 1, 3, 7, 8
    Assignment 3 Summative 30% 1-8
    Assessment Related Requirements
    N/A
    Assessment Detail
    Group Assessment 1 (10%).
    Presenting current controversies in Qualitative Research.
    Students will be divided into groups and will be given a current controversy in qualitative research. Each group will develop detailed and specific information around the nominated subject and will provide a short minute presentation in Week 4.

    Group Assessment 2 (10%). Issues surrounding research with a specific special/vulnerable populations
    Students will be divided into groups and each group will nominate a specific “special population group”. They will then identify the issues associated with conducting research (and any issues specific to conducting qualitative research) with this group (hint: think about the ethical sensitivities that might be involved, and consider the NH&MRC guidelines, as well as the practicalities involved). Each group will make a short minute presentation to the class in Week 10.

    Assignment 1: (20%).
    Critical Appraisal of a provided article:
    Each student must submit a written critical appraisal of the nominated article (max 1000 words). There will be time to discuss the critical appraisal of the article in small groups in class.

    Assignment 2: (20%)
    Coding, thematic analysis and a summary of a short piece of data
    Students will be required to code and thematically analyse a transcript that will be provided (max 2000 words).

    Assignment 3: (30%)
    Developing an Ethics Application for a nominated research project
    Assignment 3 requires you to complete an ethics application to the University of Adelaide Human Ethics Research Committee for one of nominated provided research projects:
    Forms for the application can be found at: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/ethics/human/guidelines/applications You must consider the requirements of the "National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007)": http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/publications/synopses/e72syn.htm which has sections on both Qualitative Research and researching with particular populations.
    If you are researching with Indigenous communities, the NHMRC (and hence all Ethics Committees) also requires you to consider "Values and Ethics - Guidelines for Ethical Conduct in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research":
    http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/publications/synopses/e52syn.htm
    Submission
    5.4.1 Submission of Assignments
    Assignments should be submitted through the “Assignments” section of MyUni. Instructions on how to submit an assignment in this way can be found at: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/myuni/tutorials/
    Assignments must be submitted by 11.59 pm on the day that they are due. (note that MyUni will accept your assignment after this time but it will be marked Late.
    Feedback on assignments will be provided to students within 4 weeks of completion of the task so that students can take advantage of this feedback.

    5.4.2 Extension of Time for Assessment Items
    Up to one week
    It is expected that all assessments will be submitted by the specified time on the specified due date.
    However, students may apply for an extension of time to submit an assessment, if they are experiencing difficulty. Applications for extension must be made to the Course Coordinator Jaklin.eliott@adelaide.edu.au in writing (e.g. email) prior to the due date lodgement of the assignment. Anticipate that it may take a few days to receive a reply. The grounds for granting an extension include health problems, compassionate reasons and other extenuating circumstances. Extensions will usually only be granted for a maximum of one week, but can be longer at the discretion of the Chairperson of the Academic Progress Committee if substantiated with evidence such as a medical certificate. Only original documents or certified copies of originals will be accepted.
    You will be notified by email to your University of Adelaide student email account of the outcome of your application. If your extension is granted then it is your responsibility to keep in contact with the course coordinator and to hand in the assessment with a copy of the email (or other document) approving the extension. Failure to submit an assessment item on time without an approved extension will incur a penalty as detailed under ‘Late Submission of Work’.

    Longer than one week
    If you require an extension for longer than one week, please contact the Course Co-ordinator Jaklin Eliott on Jaklin.eliott@adelaide.edu.au to discuss your request. If you require an extension for longer than a week due to illness, a medical certificate will be required.
    Failure to submit an assessment item on time without an approved extension will incur a penalty as detailed under ‘Late Submission of Work’.


    5.4.3 Late Submission of Work
    All assignments should be submitted by 11.59pm on the due date.
    Late submission without an approved extension will be penalised at the rate of 10% of available marks for each day after the due date. Work submitted more than ten days after the due date may be returned unmarked. This action will be taken to prevent students who do get their work in on time being disadvantaged.

    5.4.4 Word Limit
    You are advised to comply with word limits. You are, of course, not expected to achieve exactly the required length and a 10% leeway on either side is acceptable. However, a penalty of 5% of available marks will apply for word limit in excess of the 10% leeway.

    5.4.5 Presentation
    It is essential that you reference all written work accurately and consistently. We ask that use the American Psychological Society Referencing Format (APA 6) and information regarding this system can be found at http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/ .

    A Guide to APA 6th Edition, developed by Monash University will also be provided in MyUni.

    EndNote bibliographic software is a very useful tool for managing your references and it is provided free of charge through the university. Information about EndNote can be found at:
    http://www.adelaide.edu.au/library/guide/gen/bibsoft/

    Be aware that marks will be deducted for incorrect referencing in all assignments.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.