Beyond Transcription: Technology, Change, and Refinement of Method


  • D. Thomas Markle University of New Mexico
  • Richard Edward West Brigham Young University
  • Peter J. Rich Brigham Young University



transcription, data analysis, multimedia, video analysis, methodologies, audio analysis, data reporting, authenticity


Qualitative researchers have evolved their methods continually, often due to technological breakthroughs that have enabled them to collect, analyze or present data in novel ways or to obtain a stronger authenticity or reflection of participant perspectives. In examining historical situations that have led to methodological shifts, we assert that the qualitative research community is currently on the precipice of another such change, specifically in the transcription of audio and visual data. We advocate for the benefits afforded by emerging technologies to collect, analyze, and embed in research reports actual multimedia data, thus avoiding the loss of meaning and unavoidable interpretation bias inherent in transcription. Working with data in its original multimedia (audio or video) state, instead of a transcription, can allow for greater trustworthiness and accuracy, as well as thicker descriptions and more informative reporting. We discuss the challenges still present with this approach, along with suggestions for improving future methodologies.



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Author Biographies

D. Thomas Markle, University of New Mexico

Tom MARKLE is a visiting assistant professor with research interests in the influence of formal education on belief change, conceptual change modeling, and enhancing qualitative research using technology.

Richard Edward West, Brigham Young University

Richard WEST is an assistant professor and evaluation consultant with research interests in the integration of technology into teaching, collaborative creativity and learning, and distance education.

Peter J. Rich, Brigham Young University

Peter RICH is an assistant professor researching how teachers can effectively use video annotation tools to understand and improve their teaching.




How to Cite

Markle, D. T., West, R. E., & Rich, P. J. (2011). Beyond Transcription: Technology, Change, and Refinement of Method. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12(3).