Merging and splitting themes in qualitative analysis

To merge or to split qualitative codes, that is the question…   One of the most asked questions when designing a qualitative coding structure is ‘How many codes should I have?’. It’s easy to start out a project thinking that just a few themes will cover the research questions, but sooner or later qualitative analysis tends towards ballooning thematic structure, and before you’ve even started you might have a

Using qualitative analysis software to teach critical thought

  It’s a key part of the curriculum for British secondary school and American high school education to teach critical thought and analysis. It’s a vital life skill: the ability to look at who is saying what, and pick apart what is being said. I’ve been thinking about the possible role for qualitative analysis in education, and how qualitative data analysis software in particular could help develop critical analysis skills

In vivo coding and revealing life from the text

Following on from the last blog post on creating weird and wonderful categories to code your qualitative data, I want to talk about an often overlooked way of creating coding topics – using direct quotes from participants to name codes or topics. This is sometimes called “in vivo” coding, from the Latin ‘in life’ and not to be confused with the ubiquitous qualitative analysis software ‘Nvivo’ which

Turning qualitative coding on its head

For the first time in ages I attended a workshop on qualitative methods, run by the wonderful Johnny Saldaña. Developing software has become a full time (and then some) occupation for me, which means I have little scope for my own professional development as a qualitative researcher. This session was not only a welcome change, but also an eye-opening critique to the way that many in the room (myself included) approach coding