E-Compendium: Methods in Qualitative Innovation Analytics

29 March 2023

Educational project

E-Compendium: Methods in Qualitative Innovation Analytics

We seek support for a pilot project on the creation of an e-compendium as an instructional format in the course GEO4-2260 Qualitative Innovation Analytics in the IS Master Programme. Students create a “compendium entry” which describes a qualitative method. Entries are published on an online platform, so the students create their own “e-compendium”. It exposes students to novel and more methods than can be covered in the lectures and it can foster exchange between students. The documentation of the approach can also be useful for other courses and instructors.


When we want graduates to contribute to solving major societal challenges such as climate change, sustainability, inequality, health and digitization, it is critical that they know how to analyze innovation-related and societally relevant problems. These problems are often ill-defined, complex, and require answers to open-ended questions. Knowing how to investigate a problem that defies clear-cut theory testing in a structured manner by means of qualitative methods is therefore a relevant skill not only for research but also in practice. Currently, we see a variety of new qualitative research methods arising. This is fueled by the increasing availability of open, digital, and big data. Netnography, topic modeling, text mining, or socio-technical configuration analysis are just a few examples for methods that open up new avenues to investigate innovation-related problems by means of qualitative methods.

Project description

The idea of this project is to have students in the course GEO4-2260 Qualitative Innovation Analytics build an e-compendium of qualitative methods in innovation sciences. This is a course with ca. 40-50 students. It is a mandatory course in the Innovation Sciences Master where it runs in Period 3. The idea is to task students (as one form of assessment in the course) to study a qualitative method of their choice, research examples for how it has been applied in the context of studying innovation-related problems, and describe the method in a “compendium entry”. The students therefore set up their own “e-compendium”. In the first year, the focus will lie on well-established methods. If the pilot is successful, subsequent cohorts can focus on adding novel and emerging methods. They can also review and expand entries (e.g. by adding further application examples for specific societal challenges) as an additional task.

For the pilot project in 2022/23, we will use the existing Wiki function on Blackboard to set up and host the compendium. In case the pilot is successful, the switch to a different platform with existing UU subscription (e.g. UU’s LifelongLearning Platform) could also be considered in subsequent years, so that students maintain access to the resource after graduation and different cohorts can connect and collaborate.

Aims and results

Besides increasing students’ knowledge about qualitative research methods, the intended learning outcomes of the project are: fostering critical thinking and reflection skills, writing and presentation skills, and making use of digital technologies.
The project is particularly suited in the context of this course and master program, which aims to educate students on cutting-edge methods and the state-of-the-art in innovation studies. But the methodology behind (process, instructions, platform) can be useful for other courses as well. We aim to document the approach and make it accessible for other instructors on the Educational Resource Pool. Further, we aim to write a commentary or short article about our teaching experience with such an open and collaborative approach.

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