Thursday, 19 June 2014

The Pilot - Transcribing and Coding

Gosh, it's been a busy day for me! I spent the afternoon in faculty discussing Essay 2 with my fellow MEd students. It was an interesting afternoon, and I learnt a lot about the various approaches other people are taking; there are so many intelligent people in the program, I sometimes feel like I'm out of my depth! We then were given some time to think about our thesis project, so I took the opportunity to finish transcribing the interview I conducted this morning and begin some coding.

Transcribing is no easy process. I had 11 minutes and 13 seconds of video interview, which I realise now, reading it back, is brief mainly because I failed to chase things up with the students. I've made myself some notes and I know what I need to push next time. I have added to my list of 'prompts' and made a note about phrasing my 'clarification' questions as open questions opposed to the more closed 'Do you agree?' type question that I seemed to use too often this morning.

THIS is why you do pilot interviews - to work out all the kinks before you are doing your proper thesis. I understand that a lot better now. I have a feeling I'm going to learn LOADS throughout this pilot project, and not just information about feedback.

Anyways, it took me over two hours to transcribe the 11 minute interview, no word of a lie. I had a program installed that I was hoping to make use of, but it turns out I only had the trial version and that had expired. Luckily I work with a Mac, so I imported the video into iMovie and slowed down the timing to 75% so that I could transcribe it better. I went for a 'verbatim transcription' approach, where I didn't include any punctuation (beyond what Word autocorrected for me), simply typing what each person said word for word. I also wrote in actions, such as nods, as I feel that using video allowed me to record and acknowledge these sorts of non-verbal responses (yet another reason why using video recordings is a good idea for future interviews).

I then printed and read through the transcript a few times, highlighting and annotating different themes and ideas that popped up. I think this is evidence of using the grounded theory to code my responses, but I could be wrong. I'm still a bit iffy on this. My thinking was that I didn't want to use any codes that have previously been identified and used because I feel it might cloud my judgement when trying to determine themes; instead, I want to try to identify themes as they emerge to me and then see if any of these themes are repeated across my interviews.

The themes that I have identified so far (and these may need tweaking/re-wording) are:

* instructive feedback
* constructive feedback
* examples
* working with targets
* verbal clarification
* clear boundaries and expectations
* timely feedback
* better access to targets
*  SPaG/aesthetics
* specific/individualised feedback

I'm going to take this initial transcript (a fresh, un-coded copy) to a colleague at school who has offered to help me triangulate my coding, just to see if I'm on the right track. I'm hoping that he'll come to similar conclusions, but if not then it will be a valuable learning experience, and will help me to create better codes for future interviews.

Anyways, I feel like I've done more than my fair share of work for today. I am now going to power myself off and go to bed. I've had a long day and I deserve a good rest.

Until next time!