Sunday, 2 December 2012

Research Workflows

I find Luker’s reflections on the differences between computer-assisted qualitative coding, and a purely manual process very interesting. Reading Knight’s view of qualitative coding, he seems to view the processes as highly interchangeable. Based on my personal experience, digital vs. analog based workflows are not interchangeable. Luker’s observation at the computer-assisted workflow had her focusing on the minutia and work out to large themes fits with my experience of working with reading materials. When working with print materials I find it much easier to hold a mental map of the content and be able to find things based on feeling image of where it was. For example, I was able to find a specific non-indexed paragraph in a 500 page book I read five years ago by flipping through the book and locating where in the structure the content I was looking for fit. By contrast, when working with digital text, I can find specific details via keyword searches, but my sense of where things are located relative to each other, or on the scroll bar is negligible. Thus far, I’ve used both where possible; printing the digital material I was working with. As far as research applications, I think my ideal would be a combination of the digital and analog where appropriate. However maintaining the necessary links to go back and forth would be a significant workflow challenge.

I was going to write about shaping analysis, but I didn’t, here is the Yes Prime Minister clip I was going to use anyway:

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