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Research Synthesis




Stakeholder Research

Credit Hours


An overview of classic grounded theory coding techniques and current practices used in design research.

The field of design began integrating social science methods for understanding users in the early 1990s. This course builds on that early work. Students will learn how to develop code lists, how to code data and how to conscientiously substitute other approaches when coding is not the best fit for the project. Students will have access to transcripts of a large qualitative data set and employ various methods with the same data: manual methods such as grounded theory coding and automated tools such as sentiment analysis to understand the value of different approaches to interpreting qualitative data.

Learning Objectives

Students will become conversant in both classic grounded theory coding and more design-driven analytic practices

Learning Outcomes

Students will emerge with a framework that organizes possible analytic strategies, enabling them to better choose analytic methods based on desired outcomes and design problems.

Format & Grading

Weekly assignments will be completed within rotating small teams.
Weekly assignments 80%
In-class participation 20%

Enrollment Restrictions

IDN 504 Introduction to Observing Users is a prerequisite to this course. Open to all students at the Institute of Design.