Reflections and projections

Looking back on 2016, it was a year of highs and lows for me as it was for many, but I am grateful for quite a few professional highs – some of which have already been documented in previous posts. I’ll share a few more highlights from 2016 here, as well as a preview of what’s ahead in 2017.

Teaching Digital Tools for Qualitative Research Online

In the summer term I taught an online version of the UGA course that is aligned with our book, Digital Tools for Qualitative Research. It was an exciting challenge to teach about technology tools in a fully online format, and Liz Pope (a doctoral candidate at UGA) and I will be presenting some of what we learned at ICQI this year. We were able to collect data, including student interviews, and look forward to publishing our findings. Jay Pfaffman was kind enough to help us design the course using the Discourse platform – which I highly recommend.


The Discourse platform

I am a big believer in incorporating synchronous and asynchronous interactions into online courses. By using the Adobe Connect virtual classroom we were able to have a “QDA Roundtable” in Adobe Connect one evening so software developers and trainers could describe the tools that they use. Many thanks to all who joined us that evening! (Daniel Turner, Michelle Salmona, Karen Andes, Kristi Jackson.)


Adobe Connect QDA Software Roundtable

The Qualitative Research Summer Intensive

In July I had the privilege to facilitate two different workshops in Chapel Hill, NC as part of Research Talk and the Odum Institute’s Qualitative Research Summer Intensive. I taught a one day workshop on Analyzing Online Conversations: A Research Framework; and a two-day workshop on Digital Tools. The participants were highly engaged and I found the overall experience to be a very positive one indeed. I look forward to returning in 2018.

KWALON 2016: The Future of QDA Software

In August, I traveled to Rotterdam to join many of my colleagues from the QDA Software world to talk reflect on the Future of QDA Software. I was invited by Jeanine Evers to help organize this event, and we are now working on a special issue of conference papers to appear in The Qualitative Report.

Institute on Qualitative Research with ATLAS.ti at CSU-SB

In September I traveled to California State University in San Bernadino to co-facilitate a week of workshops on qualitative research and ATLAS.ti software with Johnny Saldaña (author of The Coding Manual and many other outstanding texts) and Mihaela Popescu. It was the perfect opportunity for me to use Five-Level QDA, developed by Nick Woolf and Christina Silver. The participants were able to learn first about qualitative methods from Johnny, followed immediately with guidance in how to translate these analytic methods into the terms of the software. It was an extremely rewarding experience.


Participants at CSU-SB’s Institute on Qualitative Research with ATLAS.ti


Dr. Popescu and I at the end of the workshop

Teaching with Five-Level QDA

Indeed, I have learned a great deal in my collaboration with Nick Woolf and Christina Silver as they have been developing their Five-Level QDA approach to learning and teaching qualitative data analysis software. Back in January of 2016 I used their model for the first time to develop a two-day Introduction to ATLAS.ti 1 credit course for University of Georgia students.


UGA students at the conclusion of two days learning about ATLAS.ti (Jan 2016)

I taught a second Introduction to ATLAS.ti course in conjunction with our College Office of Outreach and Engagement in October of 2016, where we welcomed 27 participants from UGA, Clark Atlanta, Auburn, Middle Tennessee State, and Kennesaw State.



Keep an eye out for the Five-Level QDA books (one each for ATLAS.t, MAXQDA and NVivo) coming soon from Routledge.


That about wraps up 2016, now here’s what’s coming in 2017.

Projections for 2017: More writing, less travel

2016 involved *a lot* of work-related travel on top of my normal commute between Athens (where I work at UGA) and Knoxville (where my family lives). There will be less of this in the year ahead so that I can focus on quite a few writing projects.

First, in addition to the special issue of The Qualitative Report (with Jeanine Evers and Franciska de Jong) that is underway on the Future of QDA Software, our special issue on Digital Tools for Qualitative Research (with Judy Davidson and Kristi Jackson) is forthcoming in Qualitative Inquiry, so look for news on that to appear here soon.

Second, our special issue on the Microanalysis of Online Data (with David Giles and Wyke Stommel) is forthcoming in Journal of Pragmatics.  Wyke and I, along with David Atkins, completed a study of how hyperlinks function in chat interactions between service providers and clients, and our findings will appear in the special issue.

In December, Jessica Lester and I submitted a proposal to Sage for a second edition of Digital Tools and we hope to get that underway soon for a 2018 publication date. I’m looking forward to continuing to collaborate with both Jessica and Amber Warren, building on last year’s published study looking at how conversation analysis methods have been taken up in studies of computer-mediated communication. The three of us share a common interest in learning, online teaching and discursive psychology and will spend this year doing some writing around those intersections.

Alyssa Wise and I had a chapter come out last year on analyzing learning in online conversations and signed a contract with Routledge to develop it into a book tentatively entitled, Researching Learning, Insight and Transformation in Online Talk. I will try to remember to post updates about the book in ResearchGate. I will be able to pilot test our chapters when I teach a graduate course on this topic in the fall at UGA and the book is scheduled to appear in 2018.

Finally, Kristi Jackson and I did a couple of presentations last year on deconstructing the common myths about QDA software that refuse to die (playing on The Walking Dead), and we plan to do some writing on this in 2017.

The Digital Tools SIG at ICQI

Judy Davidson, Kristi Jackson and I will again be coordinating the Digital Tools-related sessions at the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry in May, and we are always looking for more people to get involved. Jessica and I will be doing a pre-conference workshop this year, and I’ll be presenting on much of the work that I’ve mentioned in this blog post. This *will* be a travel event for me, but the plan is to go directly from the conference into a writing retreat- so, win-win!

The Corvallis ATLAS.ti Summer Workshop Series

I’m pleased to have been invited to participate in the first-ever summer workshop series on ATLAS.ti to be held in Corvallis, Oregon. I’ll be teaching the first day of the advanced workshops (registration and course outline here) and I have enjoyed collaborating with Ricardo Contreras, Susanne Friese, Nick Woolf and Christina Silver on the planning for the event. This, too, will be a significant travel event, but the plan is again to go directly from here to a writing retreat in the Pacific Northwest.

Well, that about wraps up the reflections and projections from here. Time to get back to writing!

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