Popular movies were used in a doctoral-level qualitative research methods course as a way to help students learn about how to collect and analyze qualitative observational data in order to develop a grounded theory. The course was designed in such a way that collaboration was central to the generation of knowledge. Using media depictions had the practical advantage of enabling the group to create fieldnotes from a common set of data collected simultaneously in a short period of time. Fictional representations in popular media can provide the basis to learn about both the methods and foundational assumptions for conducting qualitative research, including the challenges of bracketing prior assumptions.
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Creamer, Elizabeth G., et al. Using Popular Media and a Collaborative Approach to Teaching Grounded Theory Research Methods. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education 24.3 (November 2012), 415-420.
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Original version is available from the publisher at: http://www.isetl.org/ijtlhe/abstract.cfm?mid=1383