EDL 771: Qualitative Methods


Major Course Objectives

Educational leaders commonly use qualitative data (narrative responses, interviews, focus groups) to inform both policy and practice within their schools and districts. This course will provide students with information on how to collect and analyze qualitative data to support decisions related to school wide and instructional practices within the district. The course will introduce students to critical aspects of qualitative research designs, data collection and analyses. Students will be expected to identify critical components of qualitative design through the identification and review of qualitative research literature in educational leadership, practice coding qualitative data and developing themes, and developing a qualitative research design that would address an area of interest based on a realā€life situation they face in their school or district. It is expected these projects will be related to and/or support the students dissertation topics and work.

The purpose of this course is to prepare students to use qualitative methods to help them understand and respond to changing requirement and support enhanced instructional program policies and practices. Specifically, this course will support the following outcomes/objectives:


  1. Identify and describe key indicators and technically sound qualitative research methods;
  2. Conduct critical review of literature based on qualitative methodology;
  3. Identify research questions and methods for addressing those questions based on a topic of interest and to support the student’s preparation for a district or school based dilemma or initiative and/or their dissertation study; and
  4. Conduct analyses of qualitative data.