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QSR NVivo Software for Qualitative Data Analysis

Evaluations for workshops held in N
ewcastle (10 June 2002) and Cardiff (25 June 2002)


RCBN training workshops on using QSR NVivo software for qualitative analysis were held at Newcastle University Department of Education on the 10th June and Cardiff University School of Social Sciences on 25th June. Ann Lewins delivered the training in Newcastle and her colleague from Surrey University, Christina Silver, taught the Cardiff workshop.

The training was originally requested by TLRP researchers in Newcastle but after advertising the workshop the demand was sufficient to require two events. These were identical in terms of content but an effort was made to locate them in different geographical regions in order to minimise the travel time of potential attendees.

Both workshops were very successful, as is evidenced in the responses to the evaluation. Two written forms were used to evaluate the training – one to be filled in by the participants immediately after the workshop and one to be completed one week after the event.

Immediate event feedback
The following aspects of the event were ranked on a five-point scale. Available responses were: 'very poor', 'poor', 'OK', 'good' and 'excellent'.
Six (out of 10) 'Immediate event feedback' evaluation forms were returned from the Newcastle workshop and eight (out of 10) from Cardiff.

a) Organisation of the event
The rankings for the organisation of the event ranked from 'OK' to 'excellent' in the case of both events. Responses were distributed fairly equally between the three ranks: (n: 'OK' = 4; 'good' = 5; 'excellent' = 5)

b) The trainer / convenor
The trainers at both events were ranked as either 'good' or 'excellent', but mostly the latter: (n: 'good' = 5; 'excellent' = 9 )

c) The pace of the training
The pace of the training was rated from 'OK' to 'excellent' (n: 'OK' = 3;
'good' = 8; 'excellent' = 3).However, two of the 'OK' responses contained the following comments: "too fast", "too much content for the time available". Also, in other sections of the form, related comments included:

"[needed] more time, possibly with a view to enabling participants to try the software on their own data (or a given data set)"

" to use the package properly need two days"

d) Training room and venue facilities
The training room facilities at both venues were rated from 'good' to 'excellent' (n: 'OK' = 3; 'good' = 6; 'excellent' = 5). The venues were rated from 'poor/OK' to 'excellent' (n: 'poor/OK' = 1; 'OK' = 5; 'good' = 4; 'excellent' = 4). No additional comments were made in relation to the facilities.

e) Pre-course administration
Pre-course administration was rated from 'OK' to 'excellent' for both events (n: 'OK' = 3; 'good' = 8; 'excellent' = 3). Related comments included:

"a) organise things well in advance b) set documents etc. well in advance c) information on timetable/contents d) more structured exercises/trials"

It should be considered, however, that the unanticipated need to arrange a second event and the associated requirement to allocate applicants to the different venues delayed both the confirmation of places at each workshop and the sending out of the relevant literature.

f) Personal and event objectives
Twelve out the 18 participants felt that all their personal and all the event objectives had been met. All six who felt that otherwise would have liked to use the software with their own data:

"I would have liked to try out some of my own data - however this was not possible in the time available"

"I had anticipated longer to practice with my own data"

"the possibility of saving the work for use with a NVivo programme at home"

One respondent mentioned that, although all the advertised event objectives had been met:

"A personal objective - not part of this event - was to see how NVivo compared with another software package, Atlas ti. A training event in Atlas ti would then meet this personal comparative objective."

g) Main/most valuable benefits
Most of the comments in this section related to the practical experience of learning to use the software. Understanding the benefits of qualitative data analysis software more generally was also frequently mentioned.

h) Improved performance (knowledge/skills/attitude)
Three respondents felt that the training had significantly boosted their confidence in using software to aid their analysis. Six mentioned their ability to now use the software as important. Three felt that they had become more open to using this kind of software package in their analysis. However, one respondent made the qualified criticism the workshop had:

"little impact on knowledge and skills - but not time for that"

The ability to make informed decisions relating to the use of software for qualitative analysis was specified on three occasions:

"ability to use the NVivo package and decide whether it would be appropriate to use it"

"enables informed choice of software package"

"Prior to the course I would probably have relied on text concordancing software. NVivo is more sophisticated and flexible"

Knowledge relating to the data requirements of the software was also remarked upon. One researcher felt that the workshop would help by:

"aiding forward planning re: analysis and allocation of roles within the analysis"

Whilst another commented that she would now be able to:

"both plan how data is to be developed in its raw form and then use these in the management of the project data"

i) Benefits to future work
Six of the participants felt that they would now use, or consider using NVivo (or similar software) to aid the analytic process in future (or current) research. Four thought that it had improved their general skills for analysing qualitative data. Two mentioned that it would improve the organisation and/or planning of their data analysis. (n.b.: Four respondents left no comments in this section).

j) Other feedback
Most of the general comments on the event were very positive:

"I was happy with the workshop"

"I am now ready to go … thanks"

"I am very happy to have done it!"

"Valuable: good size group"

Two comments not covered in the above sections related to the food provided:

"…small things - I had requested vegetarian food: almost nothing I could eat for lunch."

"It's not a gourmet outing."

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This page was last updated 18th February 2004