2 responses to “Mind your language”

  1. Gail Ollis

    Mixed methods for me. Given a good piece of qual research, I almost always have some quant questions I wish the researcher had asked to give me some context. Similarly, interesting quant results make me want to know WHY – they are crying out for some richness to complete the picture.

    Transcription can be made easier by use of a foot pedal to control playback, and by voice recognition software. The software can’t magically unpick an interview for you, you need to “parrot” it all back in your own voice. Although I am not much faster this way (about a day for an hour) I do at least find it less tiring than typing. The other solution, of course, is to pay someone else to do the transcription; I have done this with a few because I had too much to cope with, but I do feel I have missed out a bit by doing so. A weird thing with the parroting is that I tend to slip into repeating what I heard, accents and all; not deliberately imitating my participants, just parroting in too much of a parrot fashion.

    Analysis is a little easier with software, too. Try Dedoose (Dedoose.com) – you can have a free month to see if you like it, without signing up for anything, and then just pay for the months in which you actually use it. If I recall correctly it’s $10 a month for students. I found it easier than Nvivo ( though this may be because I had been on an Nvivo course already and knew what sort of features to expect). It’s cloud based so is (imho) better than Nvivo if you want to use it on multiple machines. I looked for alternatives to Nvivo because the uni would only install it on a uni machine and I work mostly at home. Dedoose seemed my best bet but I can dig out what the other options were if you need them.

    In short, don’t let the DD307 experience deter you. The process, while still labour intensive, isn’t quite so hard with decent tools. And that labour intensive bit is also delightful at times. It’s hard to really take things in during an interview, where part of you is listening and part of you is watching the time and part is figuring out what to say next and….! There’s a lot of interesting stuff in first impressions and field notes, but going back through them afterwards is where a lot of the magic happens 🙂

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