Monthly Archives: July 2014

Week Eight… with more practice this too shall make more sense

Did you get better at coding this time? Why or why not? Did you take what you learned from the feedback and make the codes more at a low inference? What was different?

During a practice of this last exercise, I focused on low inference coding.  I found that during my initial coding attempts I used too many key words but after a review of the last few class recordings, my attempts to focus more on low inference codes is beginning to take shape.  I have to keep reminding myself that low inference codes can be a short phrase or even much longer and be a sentence.  As I practice with these codes, I am continuously reminded to translate what is being said without adding any additional judgements or trying to interpret the contents.  I also need to remember that if my codes are brief, there will probably be a level of misinterpretation. As was noted in my recent emic coding exercise, my codes should be more specific in most instances. Dr. Warrens notes from the feedback …”Positive’ is pretty vague. What does it refer to? How is it different from “Positive Experience?” Low inference simply means you are describing things simply, but still descriptive enough that you could come back to it a couple of months later and know what it means and can explain it to your peer coders.”  This totally makes sense and since this was my codes, I have reviewed these codes and focused on this… descriptive enough, but simply put.    

Because I missed some of the group work, I have tried to code a few of the latest transcripts following the low inference code.  I think that working together in a group provides a better foundation for comparing the coding structure. I need more practice with this, but have continued to grow where I am in my understanding.  I think where I am today is due to some of the crucial pieces that I missed – I will attempt to connect and help to bridge my gaps by conversing with some students.  

As I started with in the beginning, I am really intrigued by this sort of coding – I see that this level of feedback can provide a deeper understanding and support the research. I think this sort of feedback in the research process develops over time as to how to code, the types of codes and the connections between the codes.  

Slowly… I am making progress with this… progress.  I know more than when I started and will continue to learn.

Week 6… I think my rehash needs more “rehashing”

Give me a reflection on what you have learned from your most recent and dangerous coding attempts. What are you happy with? What are you struggling with now that has not changed or changed for the worse? Is it about the method or the larger perspective with qualitative research?

I am struggling a bit, well maybe more than a bit.  I get the whole emic and etic piece, but I missed something — I missed one of the weeks of group work and I think it is why I am struggling a bit now.  It is like I am trying to build a bridge, but I don’t really know what the bridge looks like.  I know, this is research and I should let the codes speak for themselves.  Maybe that isn’t the right analogy… but basically, I think I get the coding piece, it is the application of the coding.  I can see themes, I can read the words and determine what I think is the right coding, but I feel like I am missing something.  I added this image to help me distinguish between emic and etic.  reality

I found an article this week that I think helps me “to build the bridge”.  The article “Project-based learning and student knowledge construction during asynchronous online discussion” helped me to see the parts that construct the whole.  It also helped me to review my original questions… I think I was just touching the surface as to what I really was asking.  My original questions:

ETIC:  My questions:  1) Does the integration of a chat feature in online learning help or hinder communicatory activities?  2) is there a level of peer to peer interaction that emerges through chat conversations.

I think a better question relating to peer-to-peer interactions could be asked as to the level of “application” of the interactions.  It seemed in the reviewing of the chat log, the answers were very simple and when looking at developing a higher level of discourse.  My original emic coding includes many different words that emerged, we seemed to be commenting on what the codes mean, but I am left to wonder “why”.  Unless I am missing something, I thought that in emic coding, there should be some sort of theme that emerges from the coding.  I think maybe that is my struggle.  I need to re-listen to the past classes.  I definitely need more practice with this.  I am pretty intrigued by it though because I think there is complexity to this type of research that supports the larger body of evidence vs. just a bunch of numbers.  I have recently read some quantitative research and found myself asking “why”?  Sure the numbers are there, but what does that really mean except I asked some questions and this how someone answers.  This type of research seems to paint a better picture as to the why and quite possibly how.

One observation that I have found in my own experience with online learning is that asking the right questions is important, but also allowing learners to construct knowledge through questing strategies.  Garrison, Anderson, and Archer (2000) proposed the idea of the student construction can follow 4 stages which lead to deep understanding of critical discourse.

Reflecting back to my codes and the content, I don’t see a level of asking why — it seems we are just asking questions, not raising the level of inquiry.  There are some triggers, possibly some exploration, but not sure about the dilemma… I am going to attempt to use that image — I think that it might support where I am now and where I need to be going.

Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (1999). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education. The internet and higher education2(2), 87-105.