Analyzing the Qualitative Data Analyst: A Naturalistic Investigation of Data Interpretation

  • Wolff-Michael Roth University of Victoria
Keywords: expertise, analyzing aloud, conversation analysis, relational analysis


Much qualitative research involves the analysis of verbal data. Although the possibility to conduct qualitative research in a rigorous manner is sometimes contested in debates of qualitative/quantitative methods, there are scholarly communities within which qualitative research is indeed data driven and enacted in rigorous ways. How might one teach rigorous approaches to analysis of verbal data? In this study, 20 sessions were recorded in introductory graduate classes on qualitative research methods. The social scientist thought aloud while analyzing transcriptions that were handed to her immediately prior the sessions and for which she had no background information. The students then assessed, sometimes showing the original video, the degree to which the analyst had recovered (the structures of) the original events. This study provides answers to the broad question: "How does an analyst recover an original event with a high degree of accuracy?" Implications are discussed for teaching qualitative data analysis.



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Author Biography

Wolff-Michael Roth, University of Victoria

Wolff-Michael ROTH is Lansdowne Professor of Applied Cognitive Science at the University of Victoria. His area of teaching have been quantitative and qualitative methods. His research is concerned with learning across the lifespan, from early childhood to retirement, mostly related to science, mathematics, and technology. He focuses especially on the use and transformation of language at work. His latest publications include "Concrete Human Psychology" (Routledge, 2015), "Rigorous Data Analysis" (Sense Publishers, 2015), "Curriculum*-in-the-Making: A Post-Constructivist Perspective" (Peter Lang, 2014), and "Uncertainty and Graphing in Discovery Work: Implications for and Applications in STEM Education" (Springer, 2014).

FQS Debate: Teaching and Learning Qualitative Methods

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