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Teaching strategies to enhance student learning in qualitative research

Angelica Orb and Saras Henderson
School of Nursing, Curtin University of Technology
The purpose of this paper is to examine and validate an approach which will prepare postgraduate students to learn and develop beginning skills in qualitative research. Qualitative research studies confront postgraduate students to a world where there are multiple realities of a phenomenon and where they become an important instrument in the conduct of a study. Moreover, students' awareness and understanding of the qualitative methodologies are essential in conducting qualitative research.

Teaching qualitative research skills in 12 weeks is a challenge, as it is expected that students should be able to conduct a research project during this time. In order to achieve the aims of this research course, students need to work in collaboration and establish effective communication amongst them. It is also expected that students will be actively involved in their learning as well as interacting with their peers. In other words, students are exposed to their own unique experience, and making sense of their own learning reality. Learning about how to conduct qualitative research is a complex task. Hence, a creative and student friendly approach is required if students are to acquire skills to become independent researchers. This paper will discuss the teaching strategies used over the years and the adjustments made to develop qualitative research skills at the postgraduate level. It will also highlight the importance of clarity of purpose, the internalisation of the role as researchers and the beginning mastering of qualitative research skills.

Please cite as: Orb, A. and Henderson, S. (2003). Teaching strategies to enhance student learning in qualitative research. In Partners in Learning. Proceedings of the 12th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, 11-12 February 2003. Perth: Edith Cowan University. http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2003/abstracts/orb-abs.html

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Last revision: 16 Jan 2003. This URL: http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2003/abstracts/orb-abs.html