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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Charlotte P Lee
HCDE 519
Seattle Campus

Qualitative Research Methods

Provides hands-on experience with qualitative research methods and focuses on how ethnographic fieldwork methods, such as interviewing and participant observation, are used in human-computer interaction. Students undertake an intensive research project at a field site collecting and analyzing data.

Class description

The goal of this class is to intro­duce you to qual­i­ta­tive research meth­ods, par­tic­u­larly ethno­graphic field­work. We will dis­cuss ethno­graphic meth­ods and how they are used in Human-Computer Inter­ac­tion (HCI)and Com­puter Sup­ported Coop­er­a­tive Work (CSCW). Pri­mar­ily, how­ever, this course will be a work­shop on how one goes about con­duct­ing ethno­graphic research and analysing mate­ri­als. We will focus in par­tic­u­lar on ethno­graphic meth­ods as a set of prac­tices for pro­duc­ing, inter­pret­ing, manip­u­lat­ing, and shap­ing texts. This class is writing intensive and assignments involve being able to spend time "in the field" to conduct observations.

Student learning goals

Students will learn how to develop a research question appropriate for qualitative research.

Students will learn how to collect observational data and interact with research participants.

Students will learn how to develop an interview protocol.

Students will learn how to do iterative, qualitative data analysis.

Students will learn how to write up findings.

Students will learn how to think and look at the world as qualitative researchers.

General method of instruction

There will be some lecture, especially early in the course, however we will devote as much class times as possible to “data ses­sions,” where we col­lec­tively explore and analyze collected.

Recommended preparation

There are no prerequisites.

Class assignments and grading

Stu­dents will under­take quarter-long projects involving the development of a research question, collecting, organizing, analyzing and writing-up data.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Charlotte P Lee
Date: 06/06/2012