The FIVE LEVEL QDA(R) Method

for harnessing CAQDAS packages powerfully

Developed by Nicholas Woolf and Christina Silver

A method for harnessing CAQDAS packages powerfully, 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.

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

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OPEN REGISTRATION WORKSHOPS (London):
Mastering qualitative software analysis with the Five-Level QDA®method

2 day workshops in London, UK in early 2018 focusing on using the Five Level QDA method to ensure your use of software is driven by the objectives of your research project.

These small workshops will enable you to develop the expertise you need to produce high quality analysis, whatever your methodology.

Follow the links below to book your space on the workshops.

18-19 Jan : Mastering NVivo with the Five-Level QDA® Method 

12-13 Feb : Mastering ATLAS.ti with the Five-Level QDA® Method 

15-16 Mar : Mastering MAXQDA with the Five-Level QDA® Method 

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QDA = Qualitative Data Analysis

CAQDAS = Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis

                Faculty

QDA Faculty

              Students

QDA Students

            Researchers

QDA Researchers

Harnessing CAQDAS Blog

Calling for a revolution – we have to get rid of codes

Calling for a revolution – we have to get rid of codes
By Nicholas Woolf on Jan 17, 2019 at 06:17 PM in CAQDAS commentary

Codes are the example par excellence for our constant banging on about strategies and tactics. Reminder: strategies are what you plan to do, and tactics are how you plan to do it. When using a CAQDAS program, the tactics are very different in nature from the analytic strategies. A strategy might be to compare the men and women respondents in a study by separately conceptualizing the male responses from the female responses. The tactic to fulfil it will depend on the CAQDAS package you use, but it will involve software tools that allow you to collect together selected items of data that have been tagged or grouped by you in the software so that you can compare them on screen or in printed form. Whatever the tools in your chosen software, they will have nothing to do with the subtleties of male and female characteristics or gender issues. Instead they will involve processing data in the software to accomplish your purpose. These are two extremely different ways of thinking, but because both are called ‘coding’ you unconsciously and unhelpfully think about them in the same way. For this reason we should stop using the term ‘code’ for the strategies level of our conceptualization work.

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Mindsets matter: think about how you think about CAQDAS programs

Mindsets matter: think about how you think about CAQDAS programs
By Christina Silver on Oct 31, 2018 at 02:06 PM in Five-Level QDA issues & ideas

On 17th October 2018 I had the privilege of opening the Digital Tools day at the World Conference on Qualitative Research (#WCQR2018) in Lisbon, Portugal. My talk was called “Mindsets for harnessing digital tools in qualitative and mixed-methods analysis: The Five-Level QDA method”. My main message was that we need to be more explicit about the way we think about the role of digital tools in the research process and our engagement with them.

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Can tactics inform strategies?

Can tactics inform strategies?
By Christina Silver on May 25, 2018 at 08:41 AM in Five-Level QDA in practice

Analytic strategies come before software tactics: that’s the Five-Level QDA approach. But there are times when software tactics can usefully inform analytic strategies. This leads to serendipitous exploration, and fits well with the emergent spirit of qualitative research.

When analytic strategies drive software tactics the use of the software is meaningful – focused on the needs of the research rather than the capabilities of the program. But many CAQDAS advocates say that new software features (tactics) do offer new analytic possibilities (strategies), and so the relationship goes both ways. I agree.

While I usually discuss the downsides of software tactics driving analytic strategies, here is an example from the workshop I led at the MQIC in Berlin earlier this year of tactics appropriately informing strategies.

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