Using qualitative research methods in higher education

Wilhelmina Savenye, Rhonda S. Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


RESEARCHERS INVESTIGATING ISSUES related to computing in higher education are increasingly using qualitative research methods to conduct their investigations. However, they may have little training or experience in qualitative research. The purpose of this paper is to introduce researchers to the appropriate use of qualitative methods. It begins by describing how qualitative research is defined, key characteristics of qualitative research, and when to consider using these methods. The paper then provides an overview of how to conduct qualitative studies, including steps in planning the research, selecting data collection methods, analyzing data, and reporting research findings. The paper concludes with suggestions for enhancing the quality of qualitative studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-95
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Computing in Higher Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2005


  • applied research
  • naturalistic inquiry
  • qualitative research
  • research methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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