2015 Fall - Winners

2015 fall call winners

Borbala KOVACS
Department of Political Science
Teaching Reflexivity in Qualitative Research Methods

The Interviewing course I am teaching in the winter semester (2015-2016 academic year) is new and is explicitly hands-on. Its key goals are twofold. One is to offer students the opportunity to have first-hand experience with planning and carrying out a qualitative research project which draws on semi-structured interviews. This means that students will have the opportunity to go through the process of articulating a researchable research question best tackled using a qualitative research design that relies on semi structured interview data, put together a topic guide, pilot the data collection instrument and improve it in light of the piloting experience, recruit participants, carry out the interviews and experience the first stages of an inductive computer-assisted qualitative data analysis process (please refer to the course syllabus in Annex 1 ). In addition to learning the nuts and bolts of doing interpretive qualitative research, a second, more challenging goal is to teach them the way a qualitative researcher thinks and reasons, a core element of which is reflexivity. As Hennink et al. (2011: 19-23) argue, it is on-going reflexivity that makes a perceptive qualitative researcher, able to produce high quality interpretive qualitative research. How to best teach reflexivity in the research process with human subjects is what this teaching development project focuses on.

The starting point of the project is the question: How does one teach reflexivity to students studying interpretive qualitative research methods? Might this be achieved through classroom exercises and teaching techniques geared towards buttressing student reflexivity in relation to their learning process? In other words, the goal of the teaching development project is to explore whether and, if yes, how a set of exercises meant to elicit student reflection on the learning process in the course (see Annex 2 for a tentative list) might help students become more reflexive, including of the hands-on interview-related assignments which are part of the course, thus learning the type of reflexivity we want interpretive qualitative researchers to develop.
What I want to investigate are the following:
- do students' reflective skills develop over time when exposed to the consistent use of classroom activities geared towards eliciting reflexivity about their own learning?
- of the set of activities used to elicit reflection, which seem most effective and why?
- how does the reflexivity learning process unfold at an individual level?

Hennink, M., Hutter, I. and Bailey, A. (2011) Qualitative Research Methods, London: Sage.

School of Public Policy
Establishing the Case Teaching Method at SPP

The key objective of this teaching development project is to incorporate case-study teaching into core courses on public and economic policy taught at the School of Public Policy. For that purpose, the grant supports a major effort by a group of faculty to include cases in core courses they are currently teaching, as well as to encourage, suggest and advice other resident and short-term faculty who are occasionally teaching on these courses how to apply this teaching method. The effect of the project will hence not be limited to the involved persons, but will have lasting effects on future generations of syllabi through a collection of resources (cases), which are systematized into syllabi of specific courses and seminars, and transfer to other current and future faculty via institutional personal and formal channels.
The applying faculty members are Evelyne Hübscher (MAPP Program Director, teaching core courses on policy analysis and the policy process), Michael Dorsch (SPP assistant professor, teaching economic analysis for public policy), Anand Murugesan (SPP Assistant professor, teaching economic analysis for public policy) and Sara Svensson (visiting professor teaching policy analysis and the policy processes through all four programs of the School of Public Policy). The group is in close contact with other School of Public Policy faculty members who have already indicated interest to start or increase the use of the case study teaching methodology (e.g. Agnes Batory, Marie-Pierre Granger, Youngmi Kim, Wolfgang Reinicke, Simon Rippon and Yahya Sadowski)