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Qualitative research as interpretation rather than analysis

Posted By: Thomas Roepke on August 3, 2004
Hi Heather,

Unfortunately it looks like the ball has yet to begin rolling. This observation may speak to your study of online learning. I'm a second year doctoral student at Teachers College and all my courses include acccess to "classweb / blackboard". The tool is underutilized to say the least and in some cases completed ignored. I wonder why this is the case.To little time? Not valued by faculty? Hopefully your disseration is already complete, but you may still find this of interest.

I wonder about your theoretical/conceptual framework when you use the term " qualitative analysis". It may be that qualitative research requires interpretation rather than analysis as commonly understood. My dictionary defines analysis as " separation of a whole into its component parts; an examination of a complex, its elements and their relations; a statement of such an analysis." So, do we really analyze qualitative research data...or interpret it, try to assign or explain a possible meaning? Engaging in data "analysis" seems to be a vestage of our past and present habit of clinging to a positivistic search for certainty... the hallmark of modernity. -Tom
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 Using computer-based programs for qualitative analysis by Heather Williams on August 16, 2001
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