Spring 2021 - IAT 801 G100

Qualitative Research Methods and Design (3)

Class Number: 6700

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM



An introduction to qualitative research practices. Covers structures of research that are prevalent across and at the intersection of the areas of art, design, media, human-computer interaction and information studies, introduces research methodologies and tools, and teaches methods for interdisciplinary work. This course will foster a critical discourse among differences in approaches to research.


This course will focus on methodologies associated with qualitative research practices. The course will help you position your research in relation to different worldviews and their application in a range of qualitative approaches and theories that may include Phenomenology, Grounded Theory, Ethnography, Case Study, Feminism, Critical Race Theory, and Decolonisation.

Students will investigate how to utilize qualitative methods and techniques in the context of interdisciplinary research focusing on technology design and use. An acknowledgement of researcher’s role as an instrument across techniques that may include observation, interviews, data collection, interpretation and analysis. Students will develop a qualitatitive plan of study that includes conceptual frameworks, research questions, research design, data collection, and analyical techniques based on a qualitiatve method relevant to their area of interest.



  • Develop a research topic and a research design that supports qualitative inquiry and analysis.
  • Explore a range of qualitative research methodologies in the context of SIAT research.
  • Select and critically apply qualitative methods in the context of technology design, analysis and use.
  • Design an interview guide for a structured, semi-structured interview or focus group, and use that guide in the field to gather qualitative date
  • Develop, skills in the service of data collection, analysis and interpretation.
  • Participate in Interdisciplinary dialogue and critique through peer review.
  • Identify and critically articulate others' research outside of one's area of specialization, by recognizing, analyzing and summarizing research objectives, context, methods, and validity issues.
  • Develop knowledge through the experience of creativity, invention and discovery.


  • Weekly Assignments 20%
  • Methodology Presentation 10%
  • Participation 10%
  • Research Proposal Presentation 25%
  • Final Research Proposal 35%



Required Readings (available in SFU Bookstore; material will be provided online)


Maxwell, Joseph, A., (2012), Qualitative Research Design: an Interactive Approach, 3rd Edition, Thousand Oaks, CA; Sage Publications, Applied Social Research Methods Series, Volume 41.

Booth, W.C., Colomb, G.G., Williams, J.M. (2016). The Craft of Research, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, Fourth Edition http://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/C/bo5821939.html

Cresswell, J. (2016). Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among Five Approaches, Edition 4, Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.


Denzin, N. & Lincoln, Y. (2000) Handbook of Qualitative Research, 2nd Edition, Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
ISBN: 0-7619-1512-5

Eisner, E.W. (1998). The Enlightened Eye: Qualitative Inquiry and the Enhancement of Educational Practice. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Frayling, C. (1993). Research in Art and Design, Royal College of Art Research Papers, Volume 1 No. 1.

Gray, C., Malins, J. (2004). Visualizing research: a guide to the research process in art and design, Ashgate, Aldershot, Hants, England.

Janesick, V. J. (2004). "Stretching" exercises for qualitative researchers, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, California.

Knowles, J.G., Cole, A. L. (2008). Handbook of the ARTS in Qualitative Research: Perspectives, Methodologies, Examples and Issues”, Thousand Oaks, CA; Sage Publications.
ISBN: 9781412905312

Macleod, K., Holdridge, L. (2006). Thinking through art: reflections on art as research, Routledge, London.

Miles, M.B., & Huberman, M.A. (1994). Qualitative Data Analysis: An expanded Sourcebook, 2nd Edition, Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
ISBN: 0-7619-0144-2

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).