Data Analysis, Sense-Making, and Communication of Findings

Having completed the required readings, you are now at least preliminarily familiar with many different approaches and techniques for conducting qualitative data analysis. It is important that you continue your exploration of these techniques, so as to potentially identify what ones suit you as a scholar and analyst. This means the task will help you deepen your understanding of those techniques, not just in terms of how they might apply and work to shed light on analytical riddles of many different kinds, but also enhancing your general knowledge about the strengths and weaknesses of such approaches depending on the research.

Data analysis Tasks

Utilizing the databases and library resource links given to you, locate TWO (2) research studies that occur one of the techniques you read about in detail in your readings for conducting qualitative data analysis. It is important that you find two studies that employed different qualitative data analysis techniques.

Find studies that have used QDA techniques that you think could be preferred for your own future research. This means the assignment will have ‘legs’ in terms of the long-term benefit it gives to your knowledge and skill development in qualitative methods.

It is not relevant as to what the subject of study is for the two projects or the analytical riddles the author(s) were attempting to solve, though it could be beneficial if the studies are investigating areas of research you think are of potential interest or connection to your eventual dissertation project.

In this way, the task for this week could provide you with important training and familiarity not only with the overall body of knowledge in an area of import but with a possible technique you might be interested in using for your own future research.
The task with the two chosen studies is to analytically dissect the QDA method used within the projects. You will need to create an analytic memo using NVivo for this assignment.

Be sure to explicitly reference your required readings when discussing the QDA methods used within the studies. More importantly, you should be attempting to analyze the project from the four fundamental tasks that are innate to QDA:
• Data reduction
identifying new patterns and themes


Report Analysis

Break down your data analysis of each of the two selected projects along the four categories above. (Be sure to explicitly reference your required readings where possible).

Keep in mind this is not a simple literature review or summary of an individual project: rather, you should be critiquing the two projects based on the QDA method employed.

Your report should break down how the above four tasks have been addressed by the researchers. Additionally, keep in mind that you are trying to ascertain and assess if the chosen QDA technique was the best approach to use for the project. Thus, you are ultimately including in your analytical breakdown a strength/weakness matrix for the employed QDA methods.

This approach to analyzing QDA should reinforce your familiarity with multiple QDA methods.

Finally, you must address one final aspect for both chosen studies:

• Do the conclusions suggest opportunities for further research or expand the potential for other projects. Would those future opportunities be best met with the same QDA method or would a different QDA method be better? Which one and why?

This final question helps orient your scholarly thinking in an essentially valuable way: when conducting research. We should not only firmly place our work within a well-known body of knowledge. Contributing to that body in a new and original way, but we should also be constructing research in a manner that allows others to work with it.

This is the inevitable and essential cycle of knowledge production that develops all the way into a school of thought. So, this last part of the assignment is to get you thinking in this biggest of big picture terms. Your ability to read, analyze, critique, and assess a research project becomes fully activated; When that breakdown lets you envision new research projects and opportunities. This refers to both its methodological approaches and substantive conclusions

In terms of formal assignment parameters, please pay attention to the following:

• Completion of the strengths/weaknesses memo should be 1000-1500 words for EACH chosen research project, totaling 2000-3000 words overall.

• Future research component of the memo should be approximately 500 words for each chosen research project. Totaling 1000 words overall.


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