Guest Lecture Psychology: Qualitative Methods

12.12.2023 at 5:30 p.m.
Using Positioning Analysis to Understand Student Development and Well-Being

Nancy Budwig, Department of Psychology, Clark University, Massachusetts, USA


While increasing numbers of students are attending colleges and universities, in recent years attention has been shifted from students attending college “getting in” to graduating. Only 60% – 65% of students who start college in the USA actually graduate. And even for those students who are regularly attending, there is said to be an “engagement crisis.” Recent studies have focused on what causes students to be academically success and one key outcome is student engagement. This has led to national efforts to infuse more engaged learning pedagogies into the college experience. In this talk, I will argue that simply adding more engaged learning experiences for students will not solve the problem. Using positioning analysis, I will examine the sense-making activities of college students, giving voice to their perspective on the situation. Going beyond quantitative measures correlating student outcomes, I will illustrate the power of qualitative methods for studying student development and well-being.

The talk will be held in a hybrid format. Interested students, researchers as well as guests are welcome to join us at the SFU Berlin, Columbiadamm 10, Tower 9, 12101 Berlin (Hörsaal/Lecture Room 1) or online:

Zoom Meeting:
Meeting-ID: 891 6838 7650
Kenncode: 382617

Bio Sketch

Nancy Budwig is a Professor of Psychology at Clark University, Massachusetts, USA. She has been at Clark as a faculty member of the Psychology Department and as part of the academic administration. She also has served as a senior fellow at the American Association for Colleges and Universities. Budwig’s research examines the development of knowledge and practice. Trained in the areas of human development and the learning sciences, she examines issues of the development of knowledge and practice in both formal and informal learning contexts. Dr. Budwig is particularly interested in how participation in communities of practice contributes to the gradual construction of meaning systems. Currently, Budwig focuses on student development and well-being, examining the transition from high school to college using a qualitative methodology called positioning analysis.


Department Psychology
Sigmund Freud University Berlin
Campus Tempelhof
Columbiadamm 10, Tower 9
12101 Berlin – Tempelhof

Tel.: +49(0)30 695 797 28-0