Qualitative Research With Digital Tools

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The nature of qualitative research design for second language learning has changed considerably with recent technological developments. This workshop introduces participants to how digital tools can be harnessed to create innovative workflows to support the entire research process. This includes becoming networked scholars through a variety of social media platforms; engaging in a paperless literature review process; generating data from online sources and mobile apps; transcribing with artificial intelligence applications; adopting appropriate data analysis software; and representing findings in ways that will reach the intended audience. Not only will participants gain a comprehensive introduction to the most recent digital tool developments as they apply to qualitative research, but, through detailed demonstrations, they will also learn how to analyze the affordances and constraints of such tools as well as the ethical implications of their use. Course materials will be drawn from the instructor’s forthcoming book, Doing Qualitative Research with Digital Tools(Sage, 2020). Topics to be covered will include (with tool examples):

  • Networking through academic social media platforms (Google Scholar profiles, ORCID and ResearchGate)
  • Developing a paperless literature review process using cloud storage (Dropbox), citation management software (Mendeley), annotating apps (GoodReader), and QDAS tools (ATLAS.ti 8)
  • Collecting data through mobile apps (Evernote), social media sites (Twitter), and GeoDocs (Google Earth)
  • Transcribing in ways that synchronize the media file with the text (Youtube), harness the capabilities of artificial intelligence (Otter.ai) and enable “hands-free” transcription (Google Voice)
  • Selecting an appropriate qualitative data analysis software package (e.g. ATLAS.ti)
  • Writing and representing findings in innovative ways (Authorea, Google Docs)

The purpose of the workshop is to provide participants with a comprehensive demonstration (rather than a step-by-step tutorial), of how digital tools can support efficient and effective methodological workflows. Laptops will be useful for exploring some of the software applications and online resources, but are not required.


Penn State University, State College, PA

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