Virtual Qualitative Research Module Series


The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies offers a series of online, graduate-level qualitative research methods modules.

These modules have been developed with the support of a working group of faculty content experts, the Centre for Teaching and Learning, Western Technology Services, and the outstanding contributions of a senior Western PhD student and a recent PhD graduate.  This module series helps streamline delivery, reduce costs, and relieve strain on people, resources, and workload, while maintaining pedagogical relevance and ensuring an offering of the highest quality.

The series offers a combination of theoretical and practical learning in six areas:

  • Foundations of Virtual Qualitative Research
  • Social Media Research
  • Doing Ethnography Online
  • Virtual Participatory Action Research
  • Foundations in Coding and Interpretation
  • Arts-Based Research

These modules are intended to serve:

  • Professors teaching a course who want to supplement their curriculum.
  • Supervisors who want to help their graduate students sharpen their skills in a particular qualitative research area.
  • Graduate students who would like to enhance their training.

They can also be used in a variety of creative ways – for example, modules could be used as part of independent study courses, integrated into comprehensive examinations, and/or used to complement the writing of academic papers. Instructors could be graduate student supervisors, advisory committee members, and others not limited to the traditional professor/course teaching format.

Are you an instructor who wants to use these modules? Please consider the following steps:

  1. To self-enroll and view the modules, access the OWL site HERE.
  2. Once you’ve self-enrolled, pledge to the Teaching and Learning (Use) Agreement available at the top of the module series page. (Note that you won’t be able to access the modules until this agreement is accepted.)
  3. Review the Faculty Adoption Guide (in the Instructor Resources tab) for more in-depth recommendations for adopting (and customizing) modules for use in your use. For example, you can assess your students' learning in the module(s) using your own assessment methods or you are welcome to use (and modify if desired) the existing exercises and assignments available in the Instructor Resources tab.
  4. Thoroughly review the modules on OWL site: Approaches to Virtual Qualitative Research.
  5. Complete the Qualtrics feedback survey in the Feedback tab.

Graduate students can access the modules by following these steps:

  1. Share the OWL site link with your students: Approaches to Virtual Qualitative Research.
  2. Inform students which module(s) to complete (there is a sample announcement post in the Faculty Adoption Guide).
  3. Please inform students that they must accept the learning use agreement in order to access the modules.
  4. Students self-enroll, accept the learning agreement, and obtain access to the modules
  5. Encourage students to complete the Qualtrics feedback survey in the Feedback tab within the OWL site.