Understanding Ethnography

By Prof. Nina Sabnani   |   IIT Bombay
Learners enrolled: 275
The purpose of this course is to introduce learners from different disciplines and backgrounds to the fundamental concepts, process and practice of ethnography. The course will offer an introduction to various tools and methods that form ethnographic practice. This is underpinned by an introduction to the concepts, theories and debates that form the theoretical basis of ethnographic research.

While the course will be structured in the forms of video lectures, readings and exercises, we hope to design each of these to give the learner as much practice based learning as possible. This also makes the course relevant to practitioners.

In this way, we hope, the course will aid the learner in honing their existing knowledge of the subject with a view to improve their practice and application of it. Alternately, it will offer an opportunity for new learners to enter into practice supported by an expansive understanding of the subject.

Open to All
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 8 weeks
Category :
  • Design Engineering
  • Multidisciplinary
Credit Points : 2
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate
Start Date : 24 Jan 2022
End Date : 18 Mar 2022
Enrollment Ends : 07 Feb 2022
Exam Date : 27 Mar 2022 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1: Introduction to Ethnography
Week 2: Unpacking Ethnography
Week 3:  Designing an Ethnographic Research
Week 4: Access and Immersion
Week 5: Observation and Participation
Week 6: Ethnographic Interviews: Listening and Speaking
Week 7:  Visual Ethnography
Week 8: Using an Ethnographic Approach: Case Studies

Instructor bio

Prof. Nina Sabnani

IIT Bombay
Nina Sabnani is an artist and storyteller who uses film, illustration and writing to tell her stories. Graduating from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Vadodara she received a master's degree in film from Syracuse University, NY, as a Fulbright Fellow. Her doctoral research at IIT Bombay, focused on the Kaavad storytelling tradition of Rajasthan. Her work in film and illustrated books, seeks to bring together animation and ethnography. Her award-winning films have been made into illustrated books and translated in many Indian languages. Her passion to explore participatory design has led her to make Hum Chitra Banate Hain (We make Images) with Sher Singh Bhil from Madhya Pradesh won the prestigious National award from the President of India for 2016.Nina is currently involved in creating online courses.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centers.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 23 April 2022 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 6 assignments out of the total 8 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup. It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Bombay. It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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