When Qualitative Research is Taught Virtually: Drawing on Experiential Design to Build Deeper Knowledge of Qualitative Observation


  • Joy C. Phillips Drexel University
  • Kristine S. Lewis Grant Drexel University
  • Kathy D. Geller Drexel University




EdD programs, online EdD programs, teaching qualitative research, teaching virtually


This essay discusses the EdD Program design and qualitative research course sequence at Drexel University, a private, non-profit institution. This large program admits up to 140 EdD students annually with approximately 100 attending fully online and 40 attending hybrid offerings at the main campus and at a satellite program in Washington, DC. The essay features a qualitative course observation activity designed by Janesick (2011) to be used face-to-face and details how the activity has been adapted for virtual delivery at East Coast University. As a literature review revealed a paucity of published works on teaching observation qualitatively, the authors seek to contribute to the knowledge base with particular emphasis on faculty teaching in an online program. Based upon the East Coast University faculty’s use of this observation activity, students develop increased understanding of the roles of perception and perspective in qualitative observation.



Author Biographies

Joy C. Phillips, Drexel University

Joy C. Phillips, PhD is an Associate Clinical Professor in the School of Education at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. Her research focuses on educational leadership, policy development and implementation, and school reform with emphasis on investigating the intended and unintended consequences of educational policy implementation. She has served as EdD Dissertation Supervising Professor at three universities; she has graduated 40+ Drexel EdD students.

Kristine S. Lewis Grant, Drexel University

Kristine S. Lewis Grant, PhD is a Clinical Professor of Multicultural and Urban Education in the School of Education at Drexel University. She teaches courses related to equity and social justice, program evaluation, and qualitative research methods in the EdD program. Her research interests include culturally and linguistically diverse family engagement in urban schools, and the recruitment and retention of teachers of color.

Kathy D. Geller, Drexel University

Kathy D. Geller, PhD is an Associate Clinical Professor in the School of Education at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. Kathy teaches sustainable leadership and research courses in the Ed.D. program. She has personally chaired more than 50 dissertation committees (almost all qualitative). Kathy’s research interests focus on applications of transformative learning, transnational leadership and qualitative research.


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How to Cite

Phillips, J. C., Lewis Grant, K. S., & Geller, K. D. (2021). When Qualitative Research is Taught Virtually: Drawing on Experiential Design to Build Deeper Knowledge of Qualitative Observation. Impacting Education: Journal on Transforming Professional Practice, 6(3), 54–61. https://doi.org/10.5195/ie.2021.193



Themed - Online EdD