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Too many research questions for NVIVO to handle in one file?


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Hello,

 

I've got a study, actually a couple of studies, in which I'd like to look at the data a couple of different ways.

 

It's a online site that has 5 different areas (chat rooms, forums, blogs, etc) that 25 people participated in for 9 months.

 

I am interested in

 

1. What are they talking about in the overall program?

2. I have 25 participants – they each have unique attributes linked to demographics – how does that affect what they talk about? (I’d like to choose a couple for individual longitudinal case studies for another study)

3. They have data in 5 different areas of the site – how where they participate in the site impact what they talk about?

4. How does it change each of the 9 months across all the areas of the site? (Could that be linked to individual cases to see how they are changing by each month)

 

I'd like to set it up so that all questions can be answered with the same NVIVO file. However, I looked into cases and assigning attributes, but I think I'd have to do separate groups of cases for questions 2-4, right?

 

Is this something that can be done within sets? Can I run queries within these sets?

 

Am I asking too much of myself and/or NVIVO?

 

THANKS!

 

Joel

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Hello,

 

Firstly you are certainly not asking too much of NVivo as this is what it does well. But it does mean setting up your project correctly so these types of questions can be asked. Once your project is setup, you will be able to answer questions relating to a particular case, across a set of cases from different areas, at a certain period of time.

 

I would suggest the following:

 

  • Create a folder in your Sources for each of the different areas - chat rooms, forums, blogs, etc.
  • Create a Case for each participant. Cases are created in the Nodes folder.
  • The Case will hold the demographic information about each participant, e.g. age, gender, etc. Attributes are created in the Classifications folder.
  • Ensure that when you import data from each of the areas, it is coded to the relevant Case. For example, import Chat Room data from Participant 1 into the Chat Room folder and then code the source to the Participant 1 Case. Do this for each source you import.
  • The timeframe could be setup as a node, e.g. 1 month, 2 months, 3 months, etc. and when data is imported, the source is coded to the particular month.
  • The What are they Talking about question can be dealt with by coding the text to a Free or Tree Node, e.g. Friendships.

 

Once you have done some coding, you can then ask questions of your data via the Coding Query. For example, is it the Females in the age group 20-29 who speak about friendships in Chat Rooms over a 3 month period?

 

Hope that makes sense and helps

 

Regards

 

Sue

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  • 3 months later...

Hi Sue,

 

Thanks for your help. I'm a little stuck now - perhaps you can help me out again.

 

So I've coded all of the sources for each of the chats and have a bunch to tree codes. I've also coded each source to the relevant cases - this codes the entire source.

 

What I'd really like to do is to see all of the codes in context for each individual case. For example, each case (participant) has a number of sources. When I double click on the case, I get all of the sources with all the codes. I really just want to see the codes and coding context like when you click on a free or tree node. Does this make sense?

 

Thanks,

 

Joel

 

Hello,

 

Firstly you are certainly not asking too much of NVivo as this is what it does well. But it does mean setting up your project correctly so these types of questions can be asked. Once your project is setup, you will be able to answer questions relating to a particular case, across a set of cases from different areas, at a certain period of time.

 

I would suggest the following:

 

  • Create a folder in your Sources for each of the different areas - chat rooms, forums, blogs, etc.
  • Create a Case for each participant. Cases are created in the Nodes folder.
  • The Case will hold the demographic information about each participant, e.g. age, gender, etc. Attributes are created in the Classifications folder.
  • Ensure that when you import data from each of the areas, it is coded to the relevant Case. For example, import Chat Room data from Participant 1 into the Chat Room folder and then code the source to the Participant 1 Case. Do this for each source you import.
  • The timeframe could be setup as a node, e.g. 1 month, 2 months, 3 months, etc. and when data is imported, the source is coded to the particular month.
  • The What are they Talking about question can be dealt with by coding the text to a Free or Tree Node, e.g. Friendships.

 

Once you have done some coding, you can then ask questions of your data via the Coding Query. For example, is it the Females in the age group 20-29 who speak about friendships in Chat Rooms over a 3 month period?

 

Hope that makes sense and helps

 

Regards

 

Sue

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Hi,

 

Thought I'd rephrase this a bit...

 

Here’s what I have setup, more or less.

 

Let’s say I’ve got 20 participants of which each has 5 individual sources of data. I’ve setup each of the participants as a ‘Case Node’ and have linked their 5 sources to these ‘case nodes’. I’ve gone in and coded each of the sources of data grounded theory style and have setup a bunch of tree nodes. When you double click on a tree node you get the ‘tree nodes’ in context of the different sources. (You can change the spreading of the codes but it only usually displays the coding you have highlighted).

Now, I’d like to review the ‘Tree Nodes’ in the context of each of the individual participants. When I double click on the ‘case nodes’ for one of the participants it provides me with all of their sources on one long page. The ‘tree nodes’ are there, but it provides the entire source, not just those codes in context. Yuck. It’s hard for me to look at patterns within each of these cases this way.

 

I can kinda get something when I run reports, but it’s not exactly like I’d like. It’s not editable within NVIVO – you can’t recode.

 

Have you run into this problem? Makes it kind hard to do qualitative case studies. 

 

Thanks,

Joel

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Joel,

You need to learn how to use the queries. FOr example, if you simply want to compare what different cases have said about topic X, then run a matrix coding query with your cases in the rows, and topic X (or multiple topics) in the columns.

If you want to compare for different sources, then make sets for each kind of source (chat, blog etc) and assign each source to the appropriate set (right mouse menu) - then use these in matrix coding queries, etc.

I think you are a bit inclined to assume the software can't do things if you can't immediately see it. It's better to have the attitude that 'there must be a way this software can do what I want - I just have to find it or figure out a way' - because there almost always is one.

You will find the on-line help useful, also, try getting a copy of my book Qualitative data analysis with NVivo (Sage 2007) - it's full of advice and suggestions!

Pat

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