Barbara Lee – School of Social Work
This activity is conducted at the beginning of class as a way to connect students with one another, establish classroom culture and norm, and introduce students to qualitative research methods.
Students are instructed to individually write a “ground-rule” or value on a post-it note that they would like to see practiced in the class throughout the academic term. In small groups of 2 or 3, students are to share and combine their “ground‐rules” or values into common categories. Once the small groups had some time to share and discuss, they are instructed to stick the post-it notes on the wall in front of the class and attempt to organize and cluster them into themes. Result: The first step of writing a “ground-rule” or value is “generating initial codes “in thematic analysis (Bruan & Clarke, 2006). The second step of sharing and combining their “ground-rules” or values into common categories is “searching for themes”. The third step of combining all post-‐it notes and attempting to organize and cluster them into themes is the process of “reviewing themes” and “defining and naming themes” in thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006).
The exercise actively engages students in learning the qualitative research method of thematic analysis. Students also develop some foundational “ground-rules” or values that can be drawn upon to throughout the term when working on research projects with one another.