[NABS-L] Qualitative Research Coding Question

Donald Winiecki dwiniecki at handid.org
Mon Feb 26 21:03:04 UTC 2018

Hi Tabea,

I am a sighted sociologist who teaches and researches in the Boise State
University College of Engineering.  I teach an applied research class, and
virtually all of my research is qualitative.  I and my students do a lot of
coding in interview transcripts, observation fieldnotes and the like.

We use GoogleDocs for all transcripts and fieldnotes.  Students can use the
browser with which they are most comfortable to access the documents and
most of the time we don't experience much difficulty with the very simple
formatting that we use for our transcripts and fieldnotes.

We always start with a codebook based on the theories or models we are
using in the research.  For the initial coding of transcripts and
fieldnotes, each student reads the document and inserts the codes in square
brackets at the end of the sentence to which the code is being applied.
Each student adds his or her initials after the code. If more than one
student wants to apply the same code to the same segment of data, they add
their initials to the code that was inserted by a previous student.

This allows everyone to collaborate on coding, even if several members are
coding the same document.

When we finish one pass through a document, we come together as a team and
-- using the search function of the GoogleDoc wordprocessor -- review
coding of the document one-code-at-a-time, to determine if the coding meets
expectations of the theories or models we're using. This process lets us
refine our codebook and helps everyone to better understand how the theory
or model can be applied to the data.

Be ready, however -- coding can be a *chronovore* (it eats time)!
Regardless, after more than 20 years of doing and teaching qualitative
research stuff, this is one method that seems to allow us to get the job
done in small projects without losing class-time fiddling with fancy




Don Winiecki, Ed.D., Ph.D.
*Professor of Ethics & Morality in Professional Practice*
Boise State University, College of Engineering
Dept of Organizational Performance & Workplace Learning (OPWL)
1910 University Drive, Mail Stop 2070
Boise, Idaho 83725-2070 USA
E-mail: dwiniecki at boisestate.edu
WWW: http://opwl.boisestate.edu
Telephone: (+01) 208 426 1899

Don Winiecki
Certified Braille Transcriber
Handid Media • a non-profit organization
dwiniecki at handid.org

On Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 1:41 PM, Tabea Meyer via NABS-L <nabs-l at nfbnet.org>

> Hey all,
> My name is Tabea Meyer, and I am a Masters of Social Work student
> currently taking an applied research class. I'm conducting qualitative
> research. I'm wondering if anyone has tips and/or methods you have
> used in coding qualitative research that worked well for you that you
> wouldn't mind sharing. I would love to hear what worked well for
> folks, since this is my first adventure into qualitative research.
> Thanks!
> Tabea
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