Postcard from 2019 The Qualitative Report (TQR) Conference

Fort Lauderdale in southern Florida is a great place to be in January! Earlier this month I was very fortunate to attend the 10th TQR conference at Nova Southeastern University.I had the pleasure of meeting qualitative researchers working in the US, Canada, Australia, Kazakhstan, Jamaica, and Scotland. This year, the TQR conference celebrated its 10th anniversary.

The theme this year was Teaching Qualitative Research, and I was very honored to give the opening keynote address, “Preparing researchers to conduct interdisciplinary, multi-method qualitative research.” Other keynote addresses were delivered by Eli Lieber (developer of Dedoose), “Social science research methods: Design, strategic implementation, and technological advances”, and Sally St. George and Dan Wulff, “We make the road by walking: Learning and teaching qualitative inquiry”. Dr. Ron Chenail, the founder and leader of the conference gave a closing address on Friday afternoon.

It was hard to choose which session to go, since there were numerous presentations relative to my daily work as a teacher of qualitative research. From the many options, here are some of the sessions that gave me a lot to think about:

  • teaching qualitative research in the classroom and in the family (James Bernauer and colleagues, Robert Morris University)
  • mindfulness in conducting qualitative research (Ryan Rominger, University of Phoenix)
  • teachers’ perceptions of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) and what counts in the tenure process (Carroll Bronson & Stacey Floyd, Cardinal Stritch University)
  • approaches to doing rigorous discourse analysis (Neill Korobov, University of West Georgia)
  • using data from Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series to teach qualitative data analysis to undergraduate students (Kristin Smyth, Western Carolina University)
  • approaches to qualitative data analysis (Lynn Butler-Kisber & Mary Stewart, McGill University & LEARN Quebec)
  • strategies to facilitate group interviews with adolescents (Kate Guthrie, University of Georgia)
  • strategies for effectively teaching qualitative research in online contexts (Kathy Geller, Joy Phillips & Kristine Lewis-Grant, Drexel University; Robin Cooper & Vanaja Nethi, Nova Southeastern University; Carsten Schmidtke, University of Arkansas)
  • working with doctoral students doing autoethnography (Jane Southcott, Monash University)
  • teaching about “bias” in qualitative research (Thalia Mulvihill & Raji Swaminathan, Ball State University)
  • using haiku and bonsai in analyze experience in an arts-based research course (Steven Haberlin, University of South Florida)
  • integrating creativity and systematic analysis in teaching qualitative research (Chaya Possick, Ariel University, Israel)
  • challenges of integrating qualitative research methods coursework in an EDD program in educational leadership (Maja Miskovic, Concordia University)
  • a discussion of what qualifies a scholar to claim to be a “qualitative methodologist”? (Jennifer Wolgemuth & colleagues, University of South Florida)

An enjoyable part of this conference was being able to take the time at breaks and over meals to  talk to other scholars. What fun to chat about other’s experiences and ideas about working with multilingual students, publishing, or tracking down and analyzing archival resources! I learned about new books to add to my reading list and ideas for teaching strategies. I was reminded of things I’d forgotten and prompted to think about questions that I had not considered. I listened to thought-provoking conversations and respectful disagreements about arguments presented. This conference is a friendly space for qualitative researchers to learn from one another; and a supportive environment for scholars – both novice and veteran. If you have not attended this conference before, you might consider submitting a proposal to present at next year’s conference. The theme is “Contemporary Qualitative Research”, and the conference is scheduled for January 15-17, 2020.

A well-deserved thank you to the leader of this year’s conference, Dr. Ron Chenail, Adam Rosenthal who did a superb of conference organization, and everyone else involved. Your work on behalf of the qualitative community is greatly appreciated!

If you attended the conference, I invite you to share something about the sessions that you attended in the comment box below…

Kathy Roulston

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