OER1131d Short Paper (Part of Symposium OER1131)
Qualitative Innovations in CAQDAS (QUIC)
Christina Silver, University of Surrey
Graham Gibbs, University of Huddersfield
Conference Theme: Collaboration and communities
Abstract: This is a very highly focused project, funded by the ESRC as part of one of its Research Methods Nodes. It forms part of the activities of the longstanding CAQDAS (Computer Assisted Qualitative Data AnalysiS) Networking Project at the University of Surrey that has been assisting researchers and postgraduates in learning about the use of software in qualitative data analysis for over 15 years. One of the current project's aims is to make openly available, via its web site, a large number of textual, audio and video learning resources about how to use the software in analysis. Two things are distinctive. First the target users are postgraduate and other researchers. It covers topics that would not normally be addressed at undergraduate level. Second, it is very tightly focused on use by the learners themselves. Though teachers may use the materials in teaching postgraduates this is not the target group. Because of the nature of the target group, training resources can be much more specialist, detailed and complex. Users are usually very focused on specific learning needs, which they have already identified in their research work. In addition, most of the material is addressing the use of specialist software in specialist ways. The main foci for the learning resources are: i) mixed methods research, ii) geographic information systems data used in qualitative research, iii) dealing with visual data and iv) using digital video material. Despite being tightly focused, the project also has to position itself in respect of other closely related resource materials. This includes materials on general qualitative methods (as discussed in other papers in this symposium) and the companies who write the software used in the resources who have commonly produced their own learning materials. Most of these are also open educational resources. This paper will report on how the project has addressed these issues. This work is embedded in a long-standing project and awareness of its outputs is unlikely to be an issue. However, the specialized nature of the learning resources will mean that for many learners there will be an issue of determining what their research learning needs are and whether they can be addressed by the project resources. The paper will also report on how these issues have been addressed.