A Pragmatic Approach to Preparing Novice Doctoral Qualitative Researchers

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Noela A. Haughton


Fifty percent of social science and education doctoral students in the United States fail to complete their programs. Within this context, studies addressing research methods pedagogy and qualitative methods in particular, continue to be limited. This mixed-methods case study addresses these issues by: 1) using the Ready Develop Integrate Perform (RDIP) model to frame the competency-based design and implementation of an introductory doctoral qualitative core course and its supporting learning management system; and, 2) examining effectiveness using a framework of direct and indirect assessment evidence from online and face-to-face learners. The current design scaffolds students through qualitative research methodology and methods learning and culminates with the implementation of an individually-chosen authentic research project. A sample of online and face-to-face students, representing 37% of eligible participants (n=23), reported a stronger sense of readiness for independent research and dissertation work. In addition to expanding the qualitative methods pedagogical literature and supporting the improvement of doctoral research education, this paper a competency-based design that may be implemented in any disciplinary setting. The detailed blueprint and implementation advice for university teachers makes this work relevant to a broad multidisciplinary and international audience.  


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Haughton, N. A. (2023). A Pragmatic Approach to Preparing Novice Doctoral Qualitative Researchers. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 23(4). https://doi.org/10.14434/josotl.v23i4.33815


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