UU-PhD-801Page 21.1Introduction to Qualitative data analysis: You are probably familiar with the basic differences between qualitative and quantitative research methods based on the previous weeks and the materials provided and the different applications those methods can have in order to deal with the research questions posed. Qualitative research is particularly good at answering the ‘why’, ‘what’ or ‘how’ questions, such as: “What are the perceptions of carers living with people with learning disability, as regards their own health needs?”“Why do students choose to study for the MSc in Research Methods through the online programme? 1.2What do we mean by analysis? As being explored in previous weeks, Quantitative research techniques generate a mass of numbers that need to be summarised, described and analysed. The data are explored by using graphs and charts, and by doing cross tabulations and calculating means and standard deviations. Further analysis would build on these initial findings, seeking patterns and relationships in the data by performing multiple regression, or an analysis of variance perhaps (Lacey and Luff, 2007). Learning Outcomes: To discuss some of the theoretical models within which qualitative data can be analysed, and select the most appropriate one for a particular piece of research. To understand the stages involved in qualitative data analysis, and gain some experience in coding and developing categories. To assess how rigour can be maximised in qualitative data analysis
UU-PhD-801Page 3So it is with Qualitative data analysis. . Qualitative Data Analysis (QDA) is the range of processes and procedures whereby we move from the qualitative data that have been collected into some form of explanation, understanding or interpretation of the people and situations we are investigating. QDA is usually based on an interpretative philosophy. The idea is to examine the meaningful and symbolic context of qualitative data (http://onlineqda.hud.ac.uk/Intro_QDA/what_is_qda.php) A generous amount of words is created by interviews or observational data and needs to be described and summarised. The questions asked may require the researchers to seek relationships between various themes that have been identified, or to relate behaviour or ideas to biographical characteristics of respondents such as age or gender. Implications for policy or practice may be derived from the data, or interpretation sought of puzzling findings from previous studies. Ultimately theory could be developed and tested using advanced analytical techniques.
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