Bridging Qualitative Methods Research and Practice in Information Studies Education




Information studies education, Qualitative methods, Curriculum development, Syllabus analysis, Graduate education


Information studies education has perennially adapted to changes in the information landscape, shifting recently toward an apparent privileging of data-centered and computational skill building (Raju, 2020; Tait & Pierson, 2022; Wang, 2018). While it is widely acknowledged that information and technology are biased and socially mediated, the question remains how research methods pedagogy should evolve to best equip graduate students with the holistic understanding needed to critically engage with emerging technologies (Galliers & Huang, 2012). This poster presents a research project exploring how qualitative methods play a role in the information studies education. We are conducting a baseline analysis of existing methods courses from various information schools in North America. We are also analyzing syllabi from some of the qualitative methods courses identified, which may reveal key paradigms and practices covered and how they relate to larger trends in information studies education. Using an interpretive analytical approach, we have induced a set of two main preliminary findings. First, pure qualitative methods courses are potentially underrepresented in information schools. Second, qualitative methods course syllabi represent valuable but limited resources for understanding how graduate students are prepared to confront complex information problems from multiple perspectives. In the future, we will also conduct semi-structured interviews with the instructors who provided their syllabi for analysis. Through this poster, we hope to invite our colleagues into conversation about some existing disparities and opportunities in information studies education, bridging the gap between qualitative methods research, practice, and teaching.


Galliers, R. D., & Huang, J. C. (2012). The teaching of qualitative research methods in information systems: An explorative study utilizing learning theory. European Journal of Information Systems, 21(2), 119–134. DOI:

Raju, J. (2020). Future LIS Education and Evolving Global Competency Requirements for the Digital Information Environment: An Epistemological Overview. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 61(3), 342–356. DOI:

Tait, E., & Pierson, C. M. (2022). Artificial Intelligence and Robots in Libraries: Opportunities in LIS Curriculum for Preparing the Librarians of Tomorrow. Journal of the Australian Library and Information Association, 71(3), 256–274. DOI:

Wang, L. (2018). Twinning data science with information science in schools of library and information science. Journal of Documentation, 74(6), 1243–1257. DOI:






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