WK9-DQ-RSCH 8310

Discussion: Coding, Categories, and Themes

Qualitative researchers approach data collection with an appreciation of the data sources (the participants, documents, etc.) as the key to understanding the phenomenon of interest. The same is true for data analysis. The researcher chooses an approach or approaches in order to systematically move through the words and images to identify codes, categories and themes that will reflect the sources’ experience.

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A code is a word or short phrase that assigns an attribute, idea, or quality to a portion of text or visual data.

A category is a collection of these codes that share attributes, meaning, and/or intent. It is also labeled with a word or short phrase.

A theme is developed from one or more categories and can represent a “manifest” (directly observable) or “latent” (underlying) aspect of the phenomenon.

For this Discussion, you will examine coding, categories, and themes in your qualitative data you previously collected. TWO-PAGES

To prepare for this Discussion:

Review Chapter 8 of the Ravitch and Carl text and Chapter 12 of the Rubin and Rubin text and consider the differences in coding, categories, and themes.

Use the Course Guide and Assignment Help found in this week’s Learning Resources to search for books, encyclopedias and articles related to coding, categories, and themes in qualitative research.

Review your coding of your phone interview transcript. Identify two or more codes that could be grouped into a category. Next, identify samples of text you chose to define the codes.

Do the same for one of the Scholars of Change videos that you coded.

Consider if you can detect a theme emerging from your data analysis process. If you can identify a theme, name and describe it. If you cannot, consider why this is the case.

Use the Course Guide and Assignment Help found in this week’s Learning Resources to search for books, encyclopedias and articles related to coding, categories, and themes in qualitative research.

Review your coding of your phone interview transcript. Identify two or more codes that could be grouped into a category. Next, identify samples of text you chose to define the codes.

Do the same for one of the Scholars of Change videos that you coded.

Consider if you can detect a theme emerging from your data analysis process. If you can identify a theme, name and describe it. If you cannot, consider why this is the case.

Post an explanation of the differences between codes, categories, and themes. Provide examples from your work. Use your Learning Resources and the article you found to support your explanation.

Be sure to support your main post and response post with reference to the week’s Learning Resources and other scholarly evidence in APA style.

Respond to at least one (ONE PG) of your colleagues’ posts and reflect on their data analysis. Explain how clearly you as the reader can see the connections between codes, categories, and themes. In your response, include more examples of your work to compare and contrast your process with your colleagues.

We have now concluded our all-too-brief overview of qualitative data analysis. It is important to note that this process is much more complex than our, admittedly, rudimentary introduction to it. Just keep reading from the many books and articles that have been written on the subject (and even view the many YouTube videos), focusing on the qualitative approach that you might be interested in for your own qualitative study. This week, we will look at what happens once the data analysis is concluded and we have our results. There are many ways to present the results of research, and the results will utilize content from the various stages of the analysis process, specifically as relates to coding, categorizing, and identification of themes. To begin, it is important to understand the differences in these three main analysis stages:

– A code is a word or short phrase that assigns an attribute, idea, or quality to a portion of text or visual data.

– A category is a collection of these codes that share attributes, meaning, and/or intent. It is also labeled with a word or short phrase that identifies the meaning of a collection of codes.

– A theme can be developed from one or more categories and can represent a “manifest” (directly observable) or “latent” (underlying) aspect of the phenomenon.

As you write your results section, you will refer back to the data analysis content and pull out representative samples of these three stages and shine a stronger light on them. The quality of this results section is only as strong as the quality of the description and analysis of the content you created.

For our single discussion this week, we will start by exploring the definition and description of our main analysis stages – coding, categorizing, and identification of themes. This is due on Wednesday. You will include examples of coding from each of the following:

1) your own notes and content

2) drawn from the Scholars of Change videos

3) your phone interview transcript of a Walden student that discussed Walden’s social change mission

4) the Walden social change website

IMPORTANT: Please keep in mind that in this course, we are only focusing on one type of code word – those that express the emotional reaction of the participant. The categories and themes, therefore, will also be emotion-based. While the course readings indicate other code types, you will address those further in the advance qualitative course, or while doing independent study for your dissertation.

Discussion post headings:

Coding Defined

Categorization Defined

Theme Identification Defined

Four Code Examples (From at least two of your sources. Name each source. Note, you might need to discover more than four codes to be able to create a category of three codes for the next item below)

One Category Example (using at least three codes; include the three codes used for this category and justify their use in your chosen category)

One Theme Example (name each source used for this theme)

Insights / Questions

References

The response post, due no later than Friday, will compare and contrast your classmate’s work with your own, further contributing to your and your classmate’s understanding of the concepts.

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