Graduate Student Research

Research Assistant Opportunity

The Office of Institutional Studies at Athabasca University is undertaking a formative evaluation of the eText implementation.  The key informant interviewing phase of the eText implementation evaluation is currently under way.  A number of key informants will be randomly pulled from various target groups of stakeholders including course coordinators, assistants, tutors, course production staff, stakeholders at learner support services, materials management, computing and others for a total of 30 key informant interviews.  The key informants will either be interviewed in person or over the phone.

In addition to randomly interviewing people within each target group and in order to ensure inclusion of all interested stakeholders, an open call inviting key informants to express their views on eText implementation will be placed on the eText website.  Those interested who exceed the randomly selected 30 key informants, will be emailed the questionnaire and asked to complete it and email it back.  All responses will be included in the qualitative analysis.

The proposed qualitative research has already been filed as an activity exempt from full ethics review on the basis of it being for quality assurance purposes conducted under normal business practices of the university.  Timelines for the interviews will span the end of August and the month of September.  At which point transcription and qualitative data analysis will be undertaken.  The Office of Institutional Studies is looking to hire a research assistant to assist with the qualitative analysis.

Applicants are expected to be pursuing graduate studies, preferably at Athabasca University.  An undergraduate degree is therefore required.

  • Qualitative analysis abilities.
  • Experience with qualitative analysis software (NVivo) or spreadsheets (Excel).
  • Experience with MS Word.
  • Excellent listening and writing abilities.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Sound judgment.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Maintaining and utilizing an audio recorder.
  • Accurately transcribing 30 recorded interviews the duration of which is about half an hour each.
  • Grouping qualitative comments based on thematic content.  The comments will be drawn from the 30 interviews and from emailed responses to the questionnaire.
  • Generating a code book for coding qualitative comments.
  • Coding qualitative comments.
  • Assisting in the preparation of a draft report.
  • Transmitting concerns and questions to the project manager.
  • Participating in trouble shooting related to transcription, coding and project development as a whole.
  • Other tasks, as assigned in writing by the project manager and related to the development or furtherance of the research project.

The total hours allocated to this project will span the months of September and October 2014 for six weeks and are broken down as follows:


Task Total Hours*
Transcription of recorded interviews 1.5 hrs / interview transcription for 30 interviews = 45 hours
Grouping of qualitative comments 5 hours
Generating a code book 5 hours
Coding of qualitative comments 20 hours
Assisting in the preparation of a draft report 15 hours
Total 90   hours

*Hours could vary based on qualitative comments and audio complexity.

As per the respective collective agreement.

To facilitate direct supervision preference will be given to candidates based in Calgary, Alberta.  However, candidates outside Calgary will also be considered.  Candidates can work out of a home office.  However, regular meetings with their supervisor at AU Calgary located at the Bow Valley College Building South Campus is required.

Please forward an up to date CV and three references to Sami Houry, Institutional Research and Assessment Officer,


Sami A. Houry, BSc, MBA, CMRP
Institutional Research and Assessment Officer
Office of Institutional Studies
Athabasca University, Calgary
Sixth Floor
345 – 6th Avenue SE
Calgary, Alberta T2G 4V1
C  A  N  A  D  A

Phone: 403.294.7320
Fax: 403.298.2922