"I Don't Like Ambiguity": An Exploration of Students' Experiences During a Qualitative Methods Course


  • Serge F. Hein




Although some of the literature on teaching qualitative research methods courses has included students' experiences during courses, these experiences have not been made a primary focus of study and examined systematically. To gain a fuller understanding of students' experiences during a graduate-level qualitative methods course, 13 reflective journals were analyzed. Eight major categories emerged from the analysis: (a) struggling with a new paradigm, (b) changes in perspective on quantitative research, (c) struggling with phenomenological and other qualitative concepts and practices, (d) becoming more aware of one's role in the research process, (e) challenges faced during the research process, (f) gaining new insights into the research process, (g) gaining new insights into phenomenology and the qualitative paradigm, and (h) valuing phenomenological and other forms of qualitative research. Implications of the findings for designing and teaching qualitative methods courses are also discussed.