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PhD Courses

CHL5131- Theoretical Foundations of Qualitative Health Research (previously NUR1024 - Foundations of Qualitative Inquiry)

This course provides the critical foundations to qualitative health research. It examines the conceptual and philosophical bases of various frameworks/approaches to qualitative research and their methodological implications. Specific debates related to theories employed in the field of health, research questions, designs, the positionality of the researcher, rigour, and ethics will be discussed. The course sets the stage for the 'how-to hands-on' instruction that comes in the data generating and analysis courses. The course may be taken by those just entering this methodological arena, or by those familiar with techniques/methods but missing the theoretical dimension. The course is designed for PhD students who have committed to qualitative theses and those who are taking the Essentials of Qualitative Research (EQR) course series. This course is offered through the Graduate Department of Public Health Sciences, Dalla Lana School of Public Health (PHS-DLSPH). There are no prerequisites. Enrollment for PHS-DLSPH students is via ROSI on a first-come-first-serve basis; all other students must contact the course instructor. Taught by Dr. Brenda Gladstone.  Course Outline

“I really enjoyed the class. I am happy that I took it because it has offered me a good foundation for future qual pursuits.” 

CHL5115 - Qualitative Analysis and Interpretation

This course focuses on the theory, techniques and issues of data analysis and interpretation. Topics addressed include the implications of data collection for analysis and other components of the research process, problems of meaning, concept development, analytic devices, theorization, writing and representation. Students are expected to have their own data to work with, ideally from their own thesis projects, or from other or past research. Prerequisites for enrollment include grounding in the philosophical and theoretical foundations of qualitative research, qualitative research design, and data gathering. Students are expected thus to have completed at least one or two qualitative methodology courses (or the equivalent research experience). Preference will be given to those who have taken other courses in the Essentials series, and to those from programs that are contributing members of CQ. The course is designed primarily for PhD students. Auditors are generally not accepted. Permission of instructor is required for enrollment. This course is offered through the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Taught by Dr. Brenda Gladstone. Course Outline

“It has opened my eyes to significant elements of analysis that I previously did not even know existed or that I’d be able to fathom. This course has tremendously contributed to my learning.” 

CHL8001 - Generative Dialogue in Community Settings: Theory, Method and Ethics

From community engagement to the semi-structured research interview, deliberative process to mediation and the learning organization, dialogue and its core elements (capacity to listen/hear, being heard, speaking one’s truth, navigating institutional agendas, storytelling, dialogue across differences) are central. What is authentic dialogue? How does it apply in research, in public health, and community development practice? This course will explore the nature and lived experience of dialogue in its many forms, as well as the many methods that have sprung up around it and that offer a rich and varied toolkit for health and social care professionals, as well as the ethical and pedagogical issues arising from the instrumentalization of dialogue. This course is intended for students who have taken an introductory course in qualitative methods, or who have equivalent experience, or who seek permission of the instructor. This quarter (6 week) course is offered through the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and is taught by Dr. Blake PolandCourse Outline

EXS5536 Qualitative Inquiry in Sport and Physical Activity

Qualitative inquiry represents a diverse range of approaches to studying the experiences of individuals participating in sport and physical activity. This course seeks to examine qualitative research methods and methodologies in sport and physical activity settings. This course will examine foundational issues of epistemology, ontology, and paradigms, methods of data collection, analysis, and forms of representing qualitative research findings. This course has no prerequisites. This course is offered through the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education and taught by Dr. Katherine Tamminen. Course Outline

JRP1000 - Theory and Method for Qualitative Researchers: An Introduction

This course is offered in alternate years within the Dalla Lana School of Public Health (DLSPH) and the Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Sciences (GDRS). Dr. Pia Kontos in the DLSPH and Dr. Gail Teachman in the GDRS alternate teaching the course every year. This course provides an introduction to a range of qualitative research methods and theoretical perspectives, with particular emphasis on the role that theory plays across the different stages of the research process. It examines the underlying theoretical assumptions of using a particular qualitative research method, and the implications that these assumptions have for framing a research problem, data collection, analysis, and dissemination strategies. The course has no prerequisites, although some knowledge of social theory is preferred. Priority will be given to students from the two units collaborating in its teaching (GDRS and DLSPH) and to students from other CQ ‘contributing’ departments/programs other.  Course Outline (Kontos) Course Outline (Teachman)

“The course was perfect for allowing me to get back into the theory of qualitative research and helping me create a more solid foundation of qualitative research methods. The readings and discussion were very useful, and I felt that you facilitated an optimal learning environment. As I mentioned in class, we were so fortunate to have a small class and two excellent teachers.”

NUR1025 - Doing Qualitative Research: Design and Data Collection

This course addresses theory and practice of qualitative research fieldwork and data gathering. Picking up issues of research design started in NUR 1024, the focus is on the practical, hands-on considerations associated with writing research proposals, entering the field, coordinating fieldwork, techniques of data collection, and data management. Students can begin development of their thesis proposals. Prerequisites: Students must have taken NUR1024, JRP1000 or an equivalent doctoral-level introductory qualiative research course prior to taking this course. Enrollment is by ROSI on a first-come-first serve basis, with preference to those who have taken other courses in the Essentials series, and to students in ‘contributing’ CQ programs. The course is intended for PhD students. This course is offered through the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing. To be taught by Dr. Denise Gastaldo in 2017-18 (not offered in 2016-17). Course Outline (to be updated by D. Gastaldo for 2017-18).

“The  course material was very helpful in my understanding of the issues and considerations in undertaking qualitative research. The assignments and class facilitation were great ways to apply the knowledge learned from the readings."

SOC6713 - Qualitative Research Methods II: Qualitative Interviewing

This course addresses both the technical and theoretical aspects of qualitative interviewing. It examines the roles of qualitative interviewing in knowledge production and reproduction, the constructive and inter-subjective nature of qualitative interviewing, the practices of reflexivity, hearing data, and interpreting silences. Using primary interview data from immigrant families from the Caribbean, China, Italy, and Sri Lanka, students will learn what types of interview data are needed to understand experiences of immigrant families, how to conduct qualitative interviews to elicit such types of data, how to analyze conceptual baggage in qualitative interviewing, and how to transcribe and analyze interview data. Students will acquire skills in qualitative interviewing by reading good examples and mistakes from transcripts of the 38 immigrant interviews, commenting on and revising the good examples and the mistakes, conducting and transcribing interviews of one's own, and analyzing the interview process, coding interview transcripts, and writing reflective essays. The course is an introductory level course and does not require prior methodological experience. However, because it is a course designed for sociology graduate students, prior experience with social science or completion of JRP 1000 is preferred. Permission of the instructor is required to enroll. The course accepts Master's and PhD level students. This course has a limited enrollment of 10 students, with priority being given to Sociology students. For non-Sociology students, please contact the instructor to be included in a waiting list. It is essential to attend the first class when enrollment-related issues will be sorted out. This course is offered through the Department of Sociology. Taught by Dr. Ping-Chun Hsiung. Not offered in 2016-17. Course Outline

“This course made me know and master the technique of qualitative interviewing, and learn more about methodology. Additionally, it made me to think in a more logical way.” 

SWK4512 - Research Knowledge for Social Justice

This course explores the role of the researcher in promoting social justice and diversity in social work practice and explores models of research with, rather than on communities. Learners will become familiar with methodologies from the margins – methodologies developed to challenge the social inequalities underlying the production and dissemination of knowledge. The course is based upon critical theory premises. Critical theory is a response to post-enlightenment philosophies, positivism in particular, which deconstruct notions of a unitary truth that can be known by one method. Critical theory is diverse and there are many debates amongst those who place themselves within this tradition. However, for the purposes of this course, it is important to note that research is marked by a complex set of strategies that are united by the commonality of socio-political purpose. Critical theorists seek to understand human experience as a means of challenging, of changing, the inequities around them. The course will draw on insights from disciplines such as Critical Race Theory, Indigenous Studies/Methodologies, Women’s Studies, Ethnic Studies, and LGBT/Queer Studies in examining the dynamics of race, gender, power, social change and their intersectionalities in the research process. This course, taught by Dr. Stephanie Begun in the 2017-2018 term, is offered through the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. Course Outline 

SWK 6007H – Advanced Qualitative Research Methods in Social Work

This course will focus on the philosophical underpinnings, techniques and practices that inform interpretive research design and methods in the social and health sciences. Interpretive research—conceptually distinct from the more ubiquitous term ‘qualitative’—signals an attention to the philosophical presuppositions that guide the production of knowledge and meaning making; given different understandings of the nature of human or social reality and whether and how that reality might be known. The remaining seminar meetings examine methods for pursuing interpretive research in the social and health sciences. We will primarily focus on ethnographic, discourse and narrative methodologies (we may explore other methodologies depending on student interest and as time permits). In addition to addressing philosophical foundations, will discuss and practice common strategies to access and collect data (e.g. observation, interviewing, finding existing documents), methods of organizing and representing different forms/genres of data for analysis (e.g. transcripts, electronic texts, images, hand-written notes); and strategies to analyze and represent your analyses for different audiences. This advanced graduate course seeks to support social and health science doctoral students to develop appropriate research designs and research proposals for either their comprehensive paper or their doctoral dissertation research. This course is taught by Dr. Rupaleem Bhuyan in the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. Course outline

SWK6307 - Designing and Implementing Qualitative Social Work Research

This introductory course to qualitative research is part of the foundation curriculum for first year PhD students in Social Work. The course will begin with an overview of the history of qualitative research in social work and the health sciences. We will examine philosophical debates and paradigms that inform qualitative methodology including: positivism and scientific inquiry, the influence of interpretivism, tensions between subjectivity and objectivity, research positionality, reflexivity, ethics, participatory research, and representation of research results.

The course will also focus on data collection and analysis techniques that include: defining the research question, selecting the research setting, choosing data collection methods (i.e. in-depth interviews, observation, document analysis, arts-based methods), using software for data management and data coding (i.e. NVivo, HyperResearch), and analysis writing. Each of these techniques will be discussed in relation to theoretical and methodological approaches (e.g. narrative analysis, discourse analysis, ethnography and grounded theory).

The lab component will involve hands-on exercises and peer consultation to help students design and conduct original qualitative research. Major assignments will include: 1) developing a research proposal and ethics protocol, 2) preparing a sample of data for analysis (i.e. field notes and transcript of an in-depth interview), and 3) preparing an analysis report of key findings.

There are two spaces reserved in this seminar course for doctoral students from CQ participating programs. This course is offered through the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, and is taught by Dr. Rupaleem BhuyanCourse outline

"Most valuable learning in course: How to incorporate issues of reflexivity and responsibility into research, engage with dissemination of knowledge.” 

Students interested in obtaining the "Advanced Training in Qualitative Health Research Methodology" Certificate can learn more about the requirements here.