The Artisan's Tools. Critical Issues when Teaching and Learning CAQDAS


  • Diógenes Carvajal Universidad Central



qualitative methodology, software, computer-aided qualitative data analysis, training, critical issues


Nowadays we have a wide variety of computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software, CAQDAS, to choose from, and almost every qualitative researcher uses one or two of these programs to analyse his/her data. This demand for CAQDAS has brought not only more sophistication in the newest programs and updates but also the discussion about its methodological implications and the need for more training courses and workshops. A lot has been written about the relation between CAQDAS and qualitative methodology. Nevertheless, the ways the training courses and workshops have been developed and carried out have not been outlined. Who are these courses planned for? Is there any prerequisite that the attendants must fulfil? What must the main goal of these training courses be? This article discusses some facts I have found in my experience as a social researcher and CAQDAS user and trainer in a country where this kind of software is not widespread. The article also focuses on some of the problems that arise when training people in the use of CAQDAS and the consequences the globalisation of training courses and workshops focused on the acquisition of mechanical code-and-retrieve skills have for qualitative methodology. Finally, I propose some critical issues that CAQDAS trainers and qualitative researchers should bear in mind when teaching or learning the use of any qualitative data analysis software. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0202147


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Author Biography

Diógenes Carvajal, Universidad Central

Diógenes CARVAJAL studied Psychology at the Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia, from 1991 to 1995. He has lectured in qualitative methodology (Universidad Javeriana, from 1997 to 1999), and began his work with CAQDAS in 1998 at the Research Department of the Universidad Central, where he is a researcher. He designed and lectured the seminar "Computer Tools for Qualitative Data Analysis", (Universidad de los Andes, second semester 2001) and is preparing a new series of seminars and workshops on CAQDAS with the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Universidad de los Andes and the Research Department of Universidad Central. His main interests are the use of computer programmes in qualitative analysis and its methodological implications, gender studies and the social study of cyberspace.



How to Cite

Carvajal, D. (2002). The Artisan’s Tools. Critical Issues when Teaching and Learning CAQDAS. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 3(2).