Graduate Studies Reports Access

Graduate Course Proposal Form Submission Detail - GEO6113
Tracking Number - 5089

Edit function not enabled for this course.

Current Status: Approved by SCNS - 2015-05-01
Campus: St Petersburg
Submission Type: New
Course Change Information (for course changes only):
Comments: USF-STPT approved 3/17/15. to USF Sys 3/18/15. to SCNS 3/26/15. Approved effective 5/1/15

Detail Information

  1. Date & Time Submitted: 2014-10-13
  2. Department:
  3. College: AP
  4. Budget Account Number: 511224 10000
  5. Contact Person: dstewar6
  6. Phone: 34066
  7. Email:
  8. Prefix: GEO
  9. Number: 6113
  10. Full Title: Qualitative Research Methods
  11. Credit Hours: 3
  12. Section Type: D - Discussion (Primarily)
  13. Is the course title variable?: N
  14. Is a permit required for registration?: N
  15. Are the credit hours variable?:
  16. Is this course repeatable?: N
  17. If repeatable, how many times?: 0
  18. Abbreviated Title (30 characters maximum): Qualitative Research Methods
  19. Course Online?: B - Face-to-face and online (separate sections)
  20. Percentage Online: 0
  21. Grading Option: -
  22. Prerequisites: None
  23. Corequisites: None
  24. Course Description: This course explores a variety of qualitative research methods utilized by scholars in the social sciences and environmental studies,to include interviews, mapping, participant observation, surveys, visual techniques and document and archival analysis.

  25. Please briefly explain why it is necessary and/or desirable to add this course: Needed for program/concentration/certificate change
  26. What is the need or demand for this course? (Indicate if this course is part of a required sequence in the major.) What other programs would this course service? This course provides critical training for students in environmental management and sustainable development; it is a required course for master's students in the Environmental Science and Policy Master of Arts in Environmental Management and Sustainable Development. Students pursuing careers in this field are likely to require field research methods such as interviews, observation, archival research and survey methods. Gaining qualitative research skills will make graduating students more marketable and better prepared for professional positions in the field. Environmental management field workers frequently use both surveys and interviews to gather critical data about community use of, and attitudes toward, the environment.
  27. Has this course been offered as Selected Topics/Experimental Topics course? If yes, how many times? Yes, 2 times
  28. What qualifications for training and/or experience are necessary to teach this course? (List minimum qualifications for the instructor.) Ph.D. in relevant discipline.

    Training and experience in implementing qualitative research methods in the social sciences or in environmental policy studies.

  29. Objectives: The purpose of this seminar is to familiarize students with theoretical and applied understandings of the range of qualitative research methods used in the social sciences and environmental studies. Students will become familiar with common ethical dilemmas that arise when working with human subjects, the requirements of the law and institutional standards, and good practice for grey areas in which the guidelines are not clearly definitive. Students will gain experience investigating and summarizing the scholarly literature relevant to their topic; presenting their ideas orally, designing and implementing various research techniques, and applying analytic techniques to data they have collected. Throughout the semester, students will reflect on their roles as researchers, their personal relationships with the community and their subjects, and the iterative process of knowledge construction. The course aims to prepare graduate students to design and implement their own field research for their theses.
  30. Learning Outcomes: 1. Students will demonstrate understanding of the design and purpose of qualitative research methods in the social sciences and environmental studies. (Assessment: journals; project, exams).

    2. Students will demonstrate a firm grasp of the key ethical challenges of research involving human subjects. (Assessment: journals, discussion, exams).

    3. Students will become adept at utilizing a variety of research techniques (Assessment: Project Steps).

    4. Students will demonstrate their ability to analyze a variety of data collected themselves (Assessment: First Draft and Final Draft of research paper)

    5. Students will demonstrate their ability to present their ideas and research orally. (Assessment: oral presentation of research and leadership of class discussion).

    6. Students will demonstrate their ability to summarize key points from scholarly articles. (Assessment: leadership of class discussion; journals, literature review)

    7. Students will demonstrate their ability to lead class discussion and assist undergraduate students in the learning process (Assessment: class discussion leadership).

  31. Major Topics: qualitative methods

    research ethics

    human subjects

    survey techniques

    participant observation

    document analysis


    content analysis


  32. Textbooks: Qualitative Research Methods in the Social Sciences, 8th edition, Bruce L. Berg and Howard Lune. 2012, Pearson. ISBN-13: 978-0-205-80938-7

    Participant Observation: A Guide for Fieldworkers. Kathleen M. DeWat and Bille R. DeWalt, 2002. AltaMira Press.

    The Essentials of Argument. Nancy Wood. 3rd Edition. Prentice Hall, 2011.

    Survey Research Methods. Floyd J. Fowler, Jr. 3rd Edition. Sage, 2001.

  33. Course Readings, Online Resources, and Other Purchases: Confronting the Ethics of Ethnography: Lessons from Fieldwork in Central America,” Philippe Bourgois, pages 288 – 297 in Ethnographic Fieldwork: An Anthropological Reader, edited by Antonius C. Robben and Sluka, 2007, Blackwell. (Course Reader)

    “Sleeping with One Eye Open: The Perils of Fieldwork in a Brazilian Juvenile Prison,” Kristin Drybread, pages 33 – 52; (Course Reader)

    “Anger Management: Working Through Identity and Objectification in Indonesia,” Greg Simon, pages 105 – 118;

    “The Suicidal Wound and Fieldwork among the Canadian Inuit,” Lis Stevenson.

    “Research Questions: What do you want to understand?” Joseph Maxwell in Qualitative Research Design, 3rd edition, pgs. 73 to 86. Sage, 2013.

    “Introduction,” “Sampling,” and

    “Designing Questions to be good measures,” page 01 – 103 in Survey Research Methods, 3rd edition, Floyd J. Fowler, Jr., 2002, Sage.

    “Some General Rules for Designing Good Survey Instruments,” in Improving Survey Questions, Floyd J. Fowler, Jr.

    “Finding your way through the Forest: Analysis,” pages 92 – 110 in Ethnography: Step by Step, 2nd edition, David Fetterman, 1998,Sage.

    “An Introduction to Content Analysis,” Berg

    “An Introduction to Codes and Coding,” in the Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers, by Johnny Saldana, 2nd edition. (Canvas).

    Chapter 9 “Analyzing Field Notes,” in DeWalt.

  34. Student Expectations/Requirements and Grading Policy: Assessments:

    Writing to Learn Journal 100 points

    2 journal checks @50 each

    Research project

    Annotated Bibliography 100

    Literature review 100

    Field Notebook 100

    Transcripts of 5 Interviews/Coded 100

    Survey and Survey results 100

    Documents/Coded 100

    Maps/Photos 50

    First Draft 100

    Peer Reviews (2 x 25) 50

    Class Discussion Leadership 100

    Final Paper 300

    Midterm Exam 50

    Final Exam 50

    Project presentation 100 points

    Total 1500 points

    Grading Scale:

    Plus Grades ARE used in this class.

    97% and up = A+

    90 – 96% = A

    87 – 89% = B+

    80 – 86% = B

    77 – 79% = C+

    70 – 76% = C

    67 – 69% = D+

    60 – 66% = D

    59% and below = F

  35. Assignments, Exams and Tests: Weekly Readings: Each week for 14 weeks (not including the first week of class), we will read and discuss a set of articles or chapters pertaining to the specific topic or project for that week. You will be asked to lead discussion on particular articles.

    Writing to Learn Journals: Purchase a composition notebook. This notebook should reflect your careful reading of each of the assigned readings for each week. Label each section with the week’s topic and the name of the article. Identify the author(s), the thesis statement or purpose of the article, and reflect on its meaning and significance.

    Your weekly journals will be collected for grading twice in the semester: once at midterm, and once at the end of the term. Each grading is worth 50 points. Your grade depends on the level of detail, understanding, and thoughtfulness displayed in your journal.

    Weekly Leadership of Discussion: As graduate students participating in a joint course with undergraduates, you are expected to exercise leadership and to share your more advanced experience and understanding with the undergraduates in the class. I will be calling upon you to help lead the class discussion of the reading each week, and I may ask you to meet individually with undergraduate students who are struggling to understand the material. (100 points)

    Project: The main work of this class is the creation of a major research project in the form of a community study. This project will be completed through a series of steps. We will be reading about, discussing and conducting these steps in class and outside of class.

    Step One: Picking your Community and Brainstorming your Topic

    Step Two: Researching the Literature: Annotated Bibliography and Literature Review

    Step Three: Participant Observation and Direct Observation/Fieldnotes

    Step Four: Informant Interviews/Transcribing & Coding

    Step Five: Document analysis/Coding

    Step Six: Designing and Implementing a Survey

    Step Seven: Photographic/Visual Analysis

    Keep all of your data for each step of the project in a binder, with tabs, in a well-organized fashion, to turn in with your final paper. Include your annotated bibliography in the folder as well as all photos and maps. This binder should include your raw data as well as your coding sheets.


    Your final paper will present an analysis of all of your data. This analysis will be typed, double-spaced, normal margins, 12 point font, with a title, your name, the class number and page numbers. References and citations will be provided for any outside information used in the paper. Your project paper should be written in excellent Standard English, free of grammatical, spelling, structural or typographical errors. Papers that have excess grammatical errors will not be graded. Your final paper is worth 300 points. Each step of data collection also accrues points (please see the grading schematic for this information). Your final paper should be 13 to 15 pages.

    Peer Review: Each student will submit a first draft of not less than 7 typed pages, due on November 20. Bring three hard copies of this draft to class. Each student will offer comments and suggestions on the first drafts of two other students. Each peer review is worth 25 points.

    Oral presentation:

    You will present your final paper to the class orally in a formal, conference style presentation (100 points). For the final presentation, use visual aides such as PowerPoint or Prezi; dress appropriately; practice with note cards (do not read your paper) and stay within the time limit. Your job is to inform, entertain and engage your audience. You cannot do this if you are not prepared, organized, and enthusiastic about your work. This final presentation should help you prepare for the many professional presentations you will need to do as you complete your academic and professional careers.

  36. Attendance Policy: Course Attendance at First Class Meeting – Policy for Graduate Students: For structured courses, 6000 and above, the College/Campus Dean will set the first-day class attendance requirement. Check with the College for specific information. This policy is not applicable to courses in the following categories: Educational Outreach, Open University (TV), FEEDS Program, Community Experiential Learning (CEL), Cooperative Education Training, and courses that do not have regularly scheduled meeting days/times (such as, directed reading/research or study, individual research, thesis, dissertation, internship, practica, etc.). Students are responsible for dropping undesired courses in these categories by the 5th day of classes to avoid fee liability and academic penalty. (See USF Regulation – Registration - 4.0101,

    Attendance Policy for the Observance of Religious Days by Students: In accordance with Sections 1006.53 and 1001.74(10)(g) Florida Statutes and Board of Governors Regulation 6C-6.0115, the University of South Florida (University/USF) has established the following policy regarding religious observances: (

    In the event of an emergency, it may be necessary for USF to suspend normal operations. During this time, USF may opt to continue delivery of instruction through methods that include but are not limited to: Blackboard, Elluminate, Skype, and email messaging and/or an alternate schedule. It’s the responsibility of the student to monitor Blackboard site for each class for course specific communication, and the main USF, College, and department websites, emails, and MoBull messages for important general information.

  37. Policy on Make-up Work: Late Work Policy:

    Written work will not be accepted late unless you have a verifiable medical emergency involving yourself or an immediate family member (such as a child, spouse, parent).

    Academic Honesty: please familiarize yourself with the University’s policies on academic integrity and the punishments for violation of these policies. Violations include cheating of any kind, plagiarism, using duplicate work, data fabrication, etc. The policy is posted on our course page in Blackboard. I have a zero tolerance policy for violations of the Academic Integrity policy. Punishments for violations include an F in the class, an FF for cheating, and expulsion from the university.

  38. Program This Course Supports: graduate degree in Environmental Sciece and Policy
  39. Course Concurrence Information: MLA in Florida Studies

- if you have questions about any of these fields, please contact or