Spring 2021 - EDUC 866 G001

Qualitative Methods in Educational Research (5)

Class Number: 8562

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 4:30 PM – 9:20 PM



This course introduces students to qualitative research in education and examines topics such as identifying problems, using conceptual frameworks, coding, data analysis, drawing interpretations, and constructing arguments.


This course focuses on the foundations of qualitative research in education. During the course, we will explore key principles, approaches and methods of qualitative inquiry and navigate the complexities of ethical issues and the researcher's role. Our joint reading and analyses of qualitative research studies will point to benefits and drawbacks of qualitative research. This includes considering how qualitative inquiry can potentially contribute to research knowledge in education both in terms of theory building and practice, and how qualitative inquiry can advance justice, equity and social responsibility in our communities. We will also engage in hands-on designing and conducting qualitative research, such as formulating research questions, and collecting, analyzing and interpreting data. Ways of communicating qualitative research will also be explored.


Participation in this course will enable students to:

  • build a foundation of understanding of principles, approaches and methods of qualitative research in education
  • explore, interpret and evaluate different forms of qualitative research
  • develop knowledge and awareness of ethical issues and the researcher’s role in qualitative research
  • develop an understanding of criteria for interpreting and assessing qualitative research
  • develop knowledge how to design and conduct qualitative research
  • gain familiarity with different stages of conducting a qualitative research study from problem setting to collecting and analyzing data, and reporting results


  • Participation, discussion and critique of readings 20%
  • A series of assignments based on key topics addressed in the course 20%
  • An analysis and presentation of one qualitative research approach 20%
  • A research project 40%


More detailed information regarding the assignments will be provided on the first day of classes.


Graduate students at any stage of their program are welcome to enroll to this course, and many of the assignments can be adapted to fit personal research interests and needs.



Additional reading assignments will be accessible through the SFU library and on CANVAS.


Hays, D. G., & Singh, A. A. (2012). Qualitative inquiry in clinical and educational settings. New York, NY: The Guilford Press. ISBN 978-1-60918-245-8
ISBN: 978-1-60918-245-8


Silverman, D. (2011). Interpreting qualitative data: a guide to the principles of qualitative research / David Silverman. (4th ed.). Sage.

Silverman, D. (2005). Doing qualitative research: a practical handbook / David Silverman. (2nd ed.). SAGE.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).