11.30.2010 New optional (but recommended) reading on ethnography and design available here.

11.18.2010 Assignment 3 handed out in class today. See the assignments page for details.

09.28.2010 Workshop materials are available in the password-protected section of the website. Contact Janaki if you need the username/password combo.

09.27.2010 Bring your 20 notecards to class on 9.28 for our analysis exercise.

09.16.2010 Please e-mail your fieldnotes to Prof. Burrell to be posted in a password protected section of the course website.

09.08.2010 Assignment 1 handed out in class today. See the assignments page for details.

08.26.2010 Welcome to i272!
Last year's lecture slides available here


Course Description

Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:30pm - 5pm
South Hall, Room 110

Professor Jenna Burrell -
Office Hours: Tuesdays, 5pm-6pm, Room 312

Teaching Assistant: - Janaki Srinivasan,
Office Hours: Thursdays, 1pm-2pm, Room 107

[A word version of the course syllabus.]

This course will focus on the use of qualitative methods for research on the development, diffusion, and use of information technologies as well as information and management practices. Its core concern is with an epistemological question - how do we arrive at credible knowledge through qualitative research practices? The methods covered will include interviewing, focus groups, participant observation, and ethnography. Along the way we will confront the issues of quality, validity, and rigor.

This course has several goals: 1) to help students develop a better understanding of how data relates to knowledge 2) to negotiate the logistical limits and respect the ethical issues inherent in any research practice 3) to generate an awareness of the inevitable imperfections and alterations that are introduced by the structures imposed in any research design. 4) to give students hands-on experience with these methods.