12-4-2018 Notes from "Intro to Qual Coding"


Best Practices:

... [more listed in slide]

Keep a codebook

Memo as You Code (software helps you to keep codebook and memo as you code). AO: IS THIS THE QUAL VERSION OF A NATURAL SCIENTIST’S LAB BOOK? TO find out – how many have published their codebook and the various memos?? Would this help with “reusability” ? Prob not because often they are written for oneself rather than to be legible for a wide audience.

AO: Coding should be an iterative process…but how many people actually go back to the original other stuff and recode that? Esp. not those who don’t use digital tool, no?

  • Presenter: "Coding and analysis are not the same thing though they are linked."

My question: how nuanced do you want the codes to be?

Presenter answer: Depends on how important the theme is to your study. Back to what are your research questions and what is your methodology. Keep those things in mind as you go through the process.

AO musing: The driving intent of coding is to land on the strongest codes that can translate across multiple data points. A solidifying of what the concepts are rather than a continual asking of new questions. Attempt to stabilize on something that cuts across multiple ontologies and epistemologies. If we are doing research right though, should stabilization be the ultimate goal? Stabilization assumes that there is something stable that holds true...How to capture the continually changing landscape? Shouldn’t we try to find people of very different perspectives and might not be able to find shared codes across them?

I asked question: “How many people publish their codes and codebooks after? Coded materials?”

Other audience member: Education books publish their code books in the back as appendices.


Intro to QDA software

  • AO: This is the software that the trainer uses for his research.
  • “Rather than shuffling between your papers… using MaxQDA allows you to have all of this at your fingertips with the quick push of a button.”
  • “You can query, tell me how many issues of racism that women of color said about it?”
    • AO: But doing such work just ossifies the categories rather than opening them up, no? how does it capture intersectionalities or things that you didn't know or didn't have the categories to code for?
    • SLIDE:
      • Potential benefits: can deal with large data sets, frees time to focus on analysis, improves auditability (allows you to show your work), improves credibility
      • What it does not: analytic thinking; error-free auto coding; eliminate bias; advanced quantitative analysis
      • Potential drawbacks: coding irrelevant segments; producing nonsensical findings; pressure to use large data sets and engage excessive features; time to learn the software.

MaxQDA allows you to export the data in a way that you can import into SPSS, etc. (AO: Such softwares help to move data from qual to quant…)

Coding softwares: don’t want the different people on a team to be applying codes differently. Idea is to have everyone code similarly; desire to eliminate differences in coding and even if working as a team, to have everyone agree on one final code. <-- HUGE difference with PECE design principles/substantive logics


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Contributed date

December 5, 2018 - 1:40pm

Critical Commentary

AO: These were brief musings and notes that I took during an Intro to Qual Coding workshop taught by a UC Berkeley PhD student in social work held at the D-Lab on December 4, 2018 from 1 – 3 PM. 


Notes by Author



Cite as

Angela Okune, "12-4-2018 Notes from "Intro to Qual Coding"", contributed by Angela Okune, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 5 December 2018, accessed 20 May 2024. https://worldpece.org/content/12-4-2018-notes-intro-qual-coding