Thursday, October 29, 2015
Week #9 Blog
Essential Question: How will you go about making sense of your data?
“Collection and analysis should be a simultaneous process in qualitative research” (Merriam & Tisdell, 2015, pp. 195). I think this might be the main thing that stuck with me this week. It seems obvious, and was something I was already considering. The problem was all of my other duties have been interfering with the amount of time I can put into my research. I think this statement really made me build in some time to look at my data and try to start coding it. The first step of analysis will be to get familiar with my data. This means I need to read and re-read it (Taylor-Powell & Renner, 2003, pp.2). “Think of yourself as having a conversation with the data— asking questions of it, making comments to it, and so on” (Merriam & Tisdell, 2015, pp. 204). I found this statement to be very humorous and true. This will help me to code and interpret data as I go.
“Coding is nothing more than assigning some sort of shorthand designation to various aspects of your data so that you can easily retrieve specific pieces of the data” (Merriam & Tisdell, 2015, pp. 199). I have been trying to sort the tweets my students have been posting. This is a very tedious job, and I have come up with the plan of cutting and pasting for this. I have 4 main categories. I don’t think I could come up with any fewer. Merriam and Tisdell (2015) recommend using fewer categories because it makes it easier to share your results. (pp. 214)
Merriam and Tisdell (2015) also note that the categories should represent the purpose of your study (pp. 204).
I plan to use content analysis where I will code for certain words and then interpret their meaning, as opposed thematic analysis. ("Analyze Qualitative Data Pell Institute", 2015). “After data has been collected, you will need to undergo a data reduction process in order to identify and focus in on what is meaningful” ("Analyze Qualitative Data Pell Institute", 2015). I do not plan to do much data reduction because I have not recorded every little thing. But I will have to do some reduction to make my data a little more manageable.
Near the end of chapter 9, the discussion turned to using computers to sort data. “The computer program only helps as an organizing or categorizing tool, and does not do the analysis for the researcher” (Merriam & Tisdell, 2015, pp. 221). Computers are also a great way to store your information and to create a backup copy. I have become a huge fan of using google for virtually everything and I don’t think I will change for this research project. Another great aspect of using computers is the ability to create visual representations. It is also much easier to change things around (Reademaker, Grace & Curda, 2012) .
Analyze Qualitative Data Pell Institute. (2015). Retrieved October 30, 2015, from http://toolkit.pellinstitute.org/evaluation-guide/analyze/analyze-qualitative-data/
Merriam, Sharan B.; Tisdell, Elizabeth J. (2015, July 6). Qualitative Research: A Guide to Design and Implementation (JOSSEY-BASS HIGHER & ADULT EDUCATION SERIES). Wiley. Kindle Edition.
Rademaker, L., Grace, E., & Curda, S. (2012). Using Computer-assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software (CAQDAS) to Re-examine Traditionally Analyzed Data: Expanding our Understanding of the Data and of Ourselves as Scholars. The Qualitative Report, 17(43), 1-11. Retrieved from http://www.nova.edu/ssss/QR/QR17/rademaker.pdf
Taylor-Powell, E., & Renner, M. (2003). Analyzing Qualitative Data.University of Wisconsin-Extension. Retrieved from http://learningstore.uwex.edu/Assets/pdfs/G3658-12.pdf
The Cloud-Or...No, Your Text Analysis Does Not Get Wet When It Rains... (n.d.). Retrieved October 30, 2015, from http://www.dedoose.com/blog/2013/02/text-analysis-and-the-cloud/