Learning to Do Qualitative Data Analysis: An Observational Study of Doctoral Work
AbstractUsing examples from written assignments and supervisory dialogues, the authors report a longitudinal observational case study of a doctoral research project, focusing on the teaching and learning of qualitative data analysis on a project that involved coding and analysis of nursing talk. Written drafts contain concrete exemplars illustrating the problems and solutions discussed in supervisions. Early problems include the difficulty of knowing where to start with coding, ambiguities in the definition of codes, inaccurate reporting and recording of data, failure to distinguish researcher and actor categories, and overinterpretation of evidence. Solutions to these problems required their accurate identification, communication of practical solutions, and care in the interactional management of delivery and receipt of feedback. This detailed analysis informs readers of sources of validity, rigor, and, eventually, creativity in carrying out a social research project. It also assists in explicating an apprenticeship model for the learning of research skills.