Description: This course will outline theory and practice of qualitative research methods within Science, Engineering, Health, foodscape studies 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 some kind of 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.

Course content
The course will present 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 work with own cases during the PhD course, and will use relevant qualitative research methods.
Purpose of the course:
To demonstrate the opportunities of qualitative methods (especially video observations) in science, engineering, foodscape studies, health and medicine.

Lectures with presentation of different methodological overviews. Workshop where participants will work in groups with using video observational methods. The groups set-up own theoretical focus.

During the course each individual has to write a minor paper with focus on qualitative methods, preferable with implementation of observational data. Participants can choose using the data from the workshop or from their own research.

The examination consists of three parts:

1. Participation all three days;
2. Individual paper
3. Presentation and discussion of paper

The examination is based on a weighting of each part (participation/paper/ presentation). The precise details on how the final assessment is calculated will be presented at course start. The exam ends with pass or no-pass.

Mandatory reading:
Bjørner, T. ed. (2015). Qualitative Methods for Consumer Research: The Value of the Qualitative Approach in Theory and Practice. Copenhagen: Hans Reitzels Forlag.

Raymond Gold (1958). Roles in Sociological Field Observations. Social Forces, 36(3), pp. 217-223: Oxford University Press. Online, Moodle, Course, Day1.

Ylirisku, S. P. & Buur, J. (2007). Designing with Video. Focusing the user-centred design process. Springer. Online, Moodle, Course, Day 1.

Derry, S.J., Edt. (2007). Guidelines for Video Research in Education: University of Chicago.

Organizer: Associate Professor, Thomas Bjørner,

Lecturers: Associate Professor, AAU, Thomas Bjørner,, Professor, AAU, Bent Egberg Mikkelsen, and Media researcher, Lene Heiselberg, DR,


Time: 27-29 October, 2015

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

Zip code: 2450

City: Copenhagen

Number of seats: 18

Deadline: 6 October, 2015