A little while ago a teacher colleague asked for advice regarding resources to conduct qualitative analysis. They’d actually done some excellent analysis using paper-based content-analysis methods, but were looking for both extra literature to guide their process, and any tools that might support them particularly as their data-set scaled.
Unsurprisingly given my background (and the fact I did my MPhil with him), I rather like Neil Mercer’s two papers on sociocultural discourse analysis, in which a number of approaches are outlined and the core claim is that the particular methods should be chosen on the basis of the research question being tackled, with methods applied and combined as appropriate. Those two papers are:
- The analysis of classroom talk: Methods and methodologies (should be free here)
- Sociocultural discourse analysis: analysing classroom talk as a social mode of thinking(should be free here)
There are also, of course, a variety of resources available online:
- The research companion posted a great set of ‘Repositories for teaching and learning qualitative analysis’ recently
- Huddersfield have excellent resources: “Online QDA is a set of learning materials which address common issues of undertaking qualitative data analysis (QDA) and beginning to use Computer Assisted Qualitative Data AnalysiS (CAQDAS) packages.” (also under a CC license)
- Related to that, Surrey have the CAQDAS Networking Project with resources e.g. on selecting an appropriate CAQDAS package
- Sage have some resources online as a companion to the book ‘Successful Qualitative Research: A Practical Guide for Beginners’
- Sage also has a ‘research methods’ site with e.g. resources on discourse analysis
- The Qualitative Report’ has some resources (see left side of page) for specific aims, and publishes on qualitative research
- Resources for qualitative research – collected resources from University of Georgia
In terms of tools and software, the websites above will be more up to date than I am. I wrote a piece for The Psychologist ages ago which included some free software for analysis, but I’m not sure they all still work. Typically it’s possible to get trial versions of nvivo, etc., and other tools (even just excel) are useful depending on the purpose for which they’re being deployed.