Using digital technologies for qualitative research in education

Digital technologies are now widely used for producing and analysing (digital or digitized) data. In this talk at the ‘Digital Methodologies in Educational Research’ workshop on 10th May 2013 at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston I explore how they are used in qualitative research in education. First I explore how (digital) video devices are used to capture learning and teaching and how that is reshaping observational research. Second I look at how these (digital) recordings can be analysed qualitatively through ‘multimodal transcription’ –that is through detailed dissection of what is said and done in interactions between teachers and learners – and how transcription software (such as Transana and Elan) is reshaping this method of analysis. Using examples from research on teaching and learning in classrooms and workplaces I aim to demonstrate the potential of using digital technologies for qualitative research; reflect on the shaping effects of digital technologies on academic practice and the accounts it produces; and explore what ‘digital’ means to qualitative researchers.

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