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THE FIVE-LEVEL QDA® METHOD 

developed by Nick Woolf and Christina Silver

Five-level QDA is a method for harnessing the power within qualitative data analysis software packages, independent of methodology, software package, or mode of learning. It is not a new method of data analysis but a way of making clear what CAQDAS experts unconsciously already do.

HARNESS THE POWER OF THE SOFTWARE  

Conduct high quality analysis, more efficiently

SHORTEN YOUR LEARNING CURVE 

Reduce the long process of trial and error 

METHODOLOGICAL INTEGRITY

Your analysis drives the process, not the software

What is the Five-Level QDA method? 

Software is cut-and-dried – every button you press has a predictable effect – but qualitative analysis is open-ended and unfolds in unpredictable ways. This contradiction is best resolved by separating analytic strategies – what you plan to do – from software tactics – how you plan to do it. Expert CAQDAS users have unconsciously learned to do this. The Five-Level QDA method unpacks the process so that you can learn it consciously and efficiently.

Who is Five-Level QDA for?

 

Researchers

Whether you are conducting an individual project or working in a team, Five-Level QDA can help you plan your analysis, choose software tools appropriately, and shorten the time to complete your study.

Qualitative researchers undertake multiple projects that vary in focus and methodology, and often select different qualitative data analysis software packages for different projects. Using qualitative data analysis software is therefore not a standardised process based on the capabilities of a chosen software program. Five-Level QDA provides an adaptable framework for implementing and documenting analytic strategies regardless of the methodology or qualitative data analysis software package. It can be used to demonstrate quality through a rigorous and transparent method of translating analytic tasks into appropriate software operations.

 

Students

Whatever methodology you are using for your dissertation, Five-Level QDA can help you plan your analysis, choose software tools appropriately, and shorten the time to complete your study.

Your dissertation is a lengthy, in-depth scholarly study in which you need to demonstrate the skills of conducting high-quality research. Using a qualitative data analysis software package has many benefits but also adds a dimension of complexity to your work. It is essential that your methodology drives the analytic process, and not the capabilities of your chosen software. Five-Level QDA provides a framework for accomplishing this, by identifying the analytic tasks that will fulfil your research questions and providing a process for translating them into appropriate software operations. This facilitates tracking and documenting the progress of your analysis and completing your dissertation efficiently.

 

Teachers

Whichever qualitative data analysis software packages you are teaching, and whether you are doing so in a workshop or semester-based format, Five-Level QDA can help you teach your students to plan their analysis, choose their software tools appropriately, and shorten the time to complete their studies.

Many teachers are uncertain when and how to introduce technology into research methods courses. Five-Level QDA is a method that can be used to ensure that learners fully appreciate that their methodology drives the analytic process, and not the capabilities of the software. It provides a process to teach the identification of analytic tasks and to translate them into appropriate software operations. The method is adaptable to different teaching modes, and has been successfully used in workshops, semester-based and on-line courses. In addition it can be implemented according to the preferred sequence of instruction, whether methods followed by technology, or methods via technology.

Five Level QDA is a trademark owned by Christina Teal and Nicholas H. Woolf, registered as European Community Trademark Registration Number 015596976, and United States Trademark Serial Number 87080134

THE BOOKS

Software is cut and dried – every button you press has a predictable effect – but qualitative analysis is open ended and unfolds in unpredictable ways.

This contradiction is best resolved by separating analytic strategies – what you plan to do – from software tactics – how you plan to do it.

Expert qualitative data analysis software users have unconsciously learned to do this.

 

The Five-Level QDA® method unpacks the process so that you can learn it consciously and efficiently.

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THE VIDEO RESOURCES

The links below take you to the step by step instructional videos for either NVivo, MAXQDA or Atlas.ti.  

These videos supplement our textbook Qualitative Analysis using Atlas.ti | MAXQDA | NVivo : The Five-Level QDA method.  

They take the key learning points to bring the Five-Level QDA method to life and help you harness MAXQDA powerfully.