Welcome to Qualitative Methods for User Research in Science, Engineering and Medicine (2021)

Description: This course will outline theory and practice of qualitative research methods within science, engineering, health, food, and medicine. A variety of methodological approaches will be introduced. There will be a special focus within video observation and ethnographic studies. Qualitative research has expanded within natural science, typically in a mix method strategy, and often with use of interviews and/or video observation. The complex interaction of users in different contexts is found in a broad range of fields in modern life and is studied in a number of different scientific fields. Qualitative research methods are important tools for approaching the understanding and interpretation of these phenomena. The course will take both a theoretical and a practical approach. The theoretical approach by relevant theories and methods for conceptualizing the design, data collection, data analysis and reporting. The practical approach by some hands-on within video observation and data analysis.

Learning objectives: The course will provide knowledge within new methods and the underlying theories such as a general understanding of interviews, video-ethnographic methods, probes, self-provided photo safaris, customer journey, interactive video footage sessions, card sorting, projective techniques, ethical considerations, data analysis with use of software. The participants will be given skills and competences (understanding, applied and able to analyze) relevant qualitative research methods, both in general and linked to own current project.

Teaching methods: Lectures with presentation of different methodological overviews (60 %) and workshop where participants will work in groups e.g. with using video observational methods (40%).

Criteria for assessment:

  1. Participation all three days
  2. Optional hand-in of paper. Individual paper can be sent by e-mail after the course. Papers will be given individual feedback by course organizers. If paper hand-in 4 ECTS is given. If no paper 3 ECTS is given.
  3. Presentations linked to your current PhD project. The presentation must somehow have a focus within qualitative/mixed methods research. The focus can be within empirical data, ethical issues, theoretical or even more abstract methodological questions. The duration of the presentation must not be more than 8 minutes. Your presentation should include a specific question/problem you would like for discussion/advice.

The exam ends with pass or no-pass.

Key litterature:

  • Bjørner, T. ed. (2015). Qualitative Methods for Consumer Research: The Value of the Qualitative Approach in Theory and Practice. Copenhagen: Hans Reitzels Forlag. Pp. 11-112.

Supplementary literature:

  • Sarah Pink (2007): Doing Visual Ethnography, 2nd. Edition: Sage.
  • Raymond Gold (1958): Roles in Sociological Field Observations. Social Forces 36(3), pp. 217-223: Oxford University Press. Online, Moodle, Course, Day 1
  • Ylirisku & Buur, J. (2007): Designing with Video. Focusing the usercentred design process. Springer. Onlinge, Moodle, Course Day 1
  • Derry, S.J, Edt. (2007). Guidelines for Video Research in Education: University of Chicago

Organizer: Associate Professor Thomas Bjørner, email: tbj@create.aau.dk

Lecturers: Associate Professor Thomas Bjørner (AAU), Professor Bent Egberg Mikkelsen (AAU), Lene Heiselberg (DR)

ECTS: 4.0

Time: 09-11 November 2021

Place: Aalborg University Copenhagen, A.C. Meyersvænge 15

Zip code: 2450

City: Copenhagen

Number of seats: 18

Deadline: 19 October 2021

Important information concerning PhD courses: We have over some time experienced problems with no-show for both project and general courses. It has now reached a point where we are forced to take action. Therefore, the Doctoral School has decided to introduce a no-show fee of DKK 5,000 for each course where the student does not show up. Cancellations are accepted no later than 2 weeks before start of the course. Registered illness is of course an acceptable reason for not showing up on those days. Furthermore, all courses open for registration approximately three months before start. This can hopefully also provide new students a chance to register for courses during the year. We look forward to your registrations.