Monthly Archives: June 2014

Breaking My Habits: Starting with the Broadest Codes

I am a very logical thinker, so when I start making code windows I tend to try to create a hierarchy right away. This works well when you know what you are observing and begin your research with clear operational definitions of specific behaviors. When I began my current research project, this was the case. I wanted to calculate the frequency and duration of specific tool use as well as which tools, when used appropriately, resulted in high mathematical accuracy. Due to difficulties related to student behavior and severe academic deficits, I had to change my research questions.

Instead of assuming the tool would help the students, I decided to examine the barriers and affordances to strategic mobile technology integration in core instruction. There were some days when the students were able to use the tool to complete independent work and there were other days when the students did not use the tool as intended or didn’t use it at all. I am looking for trends in the instruction, classroom climate, student attitude/behavior, and lesson content that may have contributed to these differences.

This new approach to my research definitely requires the use of grounded theory. I had to break my habits of trying to predict the hierarchy of codes from the start and really start with broad codes to get a good picture of each lesson. Using a layered approach like this will force me to look at my video data at the macro level first. Because you need to watch videos several times with this approach, eventually I will really get down to some micro analysis.

In this video I show you the broad codes with which I have started and how I am using live outputs to get immediate feedback to get a pulse of the lessons as a whole.


Getting Started – Logistics

I like to be very proactive with my data collection and analysis. I am going to talk you through some logistics that you should consider before you even begin coding. These logistics include:

1) Uploading videos – make it a daily procedure
2) Creating movie packages
3) Video size
4) Stacking videos*
5) Sorting your videos (by date? by student? by topic?, etc.) – Go back to your research questions!
6) Embracing the reference package

*If you are not sure how to stack videos (i.e., utilize multiple camera angles on one timeline), I describe this process in my August 15, 2013 post called “Stacking Videos”

Changing the Names of Codes During the Open Coding Process

As I return to my posts about open coding, I thought it was appropriate to begin with a question I received from one of my viewers. This person inquired about how to change the names of codes/labels you have already coded in a timeline. He asked whether when he changed the name of the code in his code window, it would also change it in the timeline.

It will not automatically change. Since code windows are designed to be used with multiple timelines, we would not normally want that to happen. There is, however, a fast way of changing code names in both places using the find and replace feature. This brief videos shows you have to do this.

Final Thoughts on Kappa: Using Label Mode

This is my last post about calculating Cohen’s Kappa for IRR. Mike from Studiocode reminded me about Label Mode as an alternative to the methods I showed you for adding labels to coded instances at a later point. This alternative is much easier when you have a complex timeline with a lot of labels. It also increases the independence of the raters’ labeling. I briefly model how to use label mode in this video.

After this post, I will return to posts about open coding. On Friday I finished data collection for my current research project, so I will share some tips and tricks as I begin coding my data.

Using “If” Statements to Enhance Visual Inspection of Outputs

This is a follow-up post to my latest Kappa post. In addition to the automatic calculation of Kappa, we can add scripts to change button colors or to add a statement about the significance of our Kappa value (Thanks for the great suggestion, Philip!). This screen cast is a quick review of using “If” statements when scripting.