Many faculty members at American University use qualitative research methods and analysis; some are recognized experts in such methods. The Research Support Group (RSG) at CTRL supports faculty and students conducting qualitative research projects, as well as qualitative methods classes, through various services and resources.
Qualitative research takes various forms depending on the research question and field of study. Whether you are conducting participant observation in rural Ethiopia, conducting interviews in Nepal or comparing case studies of NGOs working along the US-Mexico border, RSG can offer consultation for data collection, management and analysis. First of all, if you will collect data directly from human subjects, remember to consult AU’s IRB process.
Collegial Networking: Qualitative Research Faculty Group
RSG realizes that professors can share their research skills and knowledge with more than students. To facilitate faculty networking, RSG is organizing a group of AU faculty with qualitative design, collection and analysis experience who want to learn more and also share knowledge. This group meets occasionally to brainstorm events, identify needs and create resources to enhance qualitative scholarship at AU. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to indicate interest to join.
Computer-Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software (CAQDAS)
Qualitative data takes many forms and can be analyzed using diverse approaches. In addition to managing data of various media types, you may begin analysis during data collection. This is when CAQDAS can assist with more than analysis, but also project management and data organization.
RSG supports NVivo and also owns LIWC. View tutorials for NVivo online or contact RSG to schedule a one-on-one training customized to your research needs. RSG trainers can also visit your class to lead an in-class tutorial for students, introducing them to NVivo as an option for qualitative research management and analysis.
There are several other CAQDAS products on the market, each with specific strengths and price tags. Our staff is building capacity and is eager to learn about other CAQDAS used by AU faculty. Please let us know if you use other software. Here is a list of common programs:
- The Ethnograph
- Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC)
- QDA Miner
Free or Open Source:
Reviews of CAQDAS software: