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Introduction and guide

A short video guide to this site and to the Caqdas Networking Project site. CAQDAS Networking Site logo

This site is designed for several different kinds of user who have questions about QDA (qualitative data analysis) and CAQDAS (Computer Assisted Qualitative Data AnalysiS) programs. The links below are for some of these categories of users.

Movie icon A video of a talk on online resources including the CAQDAS Networking site (part 1) and this website (part 3) and a look at Methodspace and a discussion (part 2).

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Complete beginner

This is someone who is new to qualitative data analysis in general and especially to the use of software. This might include researchers from backgrounds outside the social sciences who now need to undertake qualitative analysis or possibly those just starting social science PhDs who may have studied a little about qualitative research for their first degree, but who now feel they could do with a revision of the basics.

  • If you really are new to qualitative research then have a look first at some basic information about doing a qualitative research project. The Beginners page will prompt you with some questions you need to answer before starting your project.
  • Next explore the Analysis pages - this should inform you of the basic approaches and philosophy that underpin qualitative data analysis
  • In particular try to come to some clear view of what kind of analytic approach you are going to take. Many of these are reviewed in the Analysis pages. But you may also want to refer to further information about qualitative research approaches that can be found in the Resources menu on the left.
  • When you are clear about what qualitative analysis is and what kind of approach you favour for your project, then consider whether CAQDAS might assist your analysis. Look at the Using software section.
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Undergraduates

As an undergraduate you may be new to qualitative data analysis or you may be doing a more advanced course but need some assistance revising ideas or getting a better understanding of the ideas. You are probably taking a degree in the social sciences, business or education which requires you to follow a course or unit on qualitative research or to undertake a dissertation.

  • If this is the first time you have taken a course on qualitative research then the Beginners page will prompt you with some questions you need to answer before starting a project.
  • Next explore the Analysis pages - this should inform you of the basic approaches and philosophy that underpin qualitative data analysis. There are links in these pages to audio and video materials.
  • Next look at some of the text, audio and video material in the Tutorial sections. The Undergraduates page contains a lot more detail about how to use this material and where you might start.
  • If you are undertaking a project you will need to think about what analytic approach you are using. This may well be dictated by the requirements of the course you are taking. Many of these are reviewed in the Analysis pages. But you may also want to refer to further information about qualitative research approaches that can be found in the Resources menu on the left.
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Postgraduates

As an postgraduate you have most likely already undertaken a course on qualitative data analysis as part of your first degree. But you are probably now doing a more advanced course and need some assistance revising ideas or getting a better understanding of the ideas. You are probably have a degree in the social sciences, business or education but are now taking a Master's degree or taking postgraduate modules or courses in research methods. You will probably have to undertake a dissertation using qualitative research or you are engaged in a PhD using qualitative research.

  • If this is the first time you have taken a course on qualitative research then the Beginners page will prompt you with some questions you need to answer before starting a project.
  • Next explore the Analysis pages - this should inform you of the basic approaches and philosophy that underpin qualitative data analysis. There are links in these pages to audio and video materials.
  • Next look at some of the text, audio and video material in the Tutorial sections. The Postgraduates page contains a lot more detail about how to use this material and where you might start.
  • If you are undertaking a project you will need to think about what analytic approach you are using. This may well be dictated by the requirements of the course you are taking. Many of these are reviewed in the Analysis pages. But you may also want to refer to further information about qualitative research approaches that can be found in the Resources menu on the left.
  • If you are undertaking a PhD now is the time to think about selecting some software to assist your analysis. See the next section, below.
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Thinking of using software

This is someone who is familiar with qualitative analysis methods, but is now thinking about using software or has been advised to use software and needs to select an appropriate program.

  • Start with the Using software section - this will tell you what kinds of things the software can do and what kinds of methodological or analytical approach are best supported by the programs.
  • Next look at the What packages are available section. This will tell you what software is available, what it costs and help you choose the right program for your needs.
  • We have found that many of the problems with using software are in fact more general problems with using the computer. Check through the advice in IT Skills to make sure you know all the basics about using your computer.
  • When you have a copy of the program use the help in the Software Guides pages to get you going.

CAQDAS small log Of interest to UK researchers - Regular courses on how to use software are run at the CAQDAS networking project.

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Researchers

Many researchers will already be very experienced in qualitative methods, but might need to examine alternative approaches they are less familiar with. You may be considering using software for the first time or using software you have not used before.

  • If you need some revision explore the Analysis pages - this should inform you of the basic approaches and philosophy that underpin qualitative data analysis. There are links in these pages to audio and video materials.
  • Next look at some of the text, audio and video material in the Tutorial sections. The Researchers page contains a lot more detail about how to use this material and where you might start.
  • If you are considering an analytic approach you are less familiar with then looK at the material that can be found in the Resources menu on the left.
  • If you are thinking about selecting some software to assist your analysis. See the previous section, above.
  • If you don't already have the software see the What packages are available section.

CAQDAS small log Of interest to UK researchers - Regular courses on how to use software are run at the CAQDAS networking project

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Just starting with the software

This is someone with some or a lot of experience in doing qualitative data analysis but who is new to using software to assist with such analysis.

  • If you don't already have the software see the What packages are available section.
  • Use the help in the Software Guides pages to get you started or to reinforce what you have learned from a course.
  • What you experience as problems with using the software may well in fact be more general problems with using the computer. Check through the advice in IT Skills to make sure you know all the basics about using your computer.

CAQDAS small log Of interest to UK researchers - Regular courses on how to use software are run at the CAQDAS networking project.

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Teachers needing resources

Many of the resources on this site, and especially the items in the tutorials have learning outcomes that indicate the issues addressed by the page and its resources. You can use these to identify what issues are covered by the resource. Also read the accompanying text. Where ever possible, the resources here are either web pages which can be cut and pasted or give as links for use elsewhere or they are documents, audio files and video files that can be downloaded and used in your teaching. In order to make more resources compatible with mobile devices and tablet computers we have often used YouTube for videos. In this case we give the direct link to the YouTube page where the video is found and you can use Share/embed to establish links to it or simply show it from YouTube.

Feel free not only to use any of these resources in your teaching, but also to incorporate them into any learning objects or open educational resources you create. The terms of the licence (below) are that you may only do so for non-commercial activities (that includes education) and if you give credit to the original creators of the resources you are using.

These resources can be used in several ways:

  • Incorporate them directly into you face-to-face teaching. For example you may show one or two videos during a lecture or as part of a discussion or seminar session. It is probably easiest to do this directly from the website. All videos may be enlarged to fill the screen when playing.
  • Make them available as supplementary resources to you teaching sessions. You can do this with just a simple reference to the whole website. But you may find it more useful to refer to parts of the site or even to individual resources.
  • Reuse the resources as part of your own materials. If you do this, remember the terms of the licence below.

In any case, it would be good to know if and how you are using the resources, so please drop us an e-mail (address at the bottom of this page).

 

Creative Commons License
The resources on this site by Graham R Gibbs, Dawn Clarke, Celia Taylor, Christina Silver and Ann Lewins are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

 

 

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