4/11 Coding of data
Data can be coded according to categories and sub-categories identified by reading and re-reading the data collected.
Categories and sub-categories provide information relevant to the topic studied and used to help explore and clarify the research question.
Coding usually starts with a summary of the text you are examining. This kind of coding is called descriptive coding because it essentially forms a summary description of what is in the transcript or text.
This process should then move on to develop codes that go beyond description and start to categorise and analyse the data. This is called Analytic or Theoretical coding
Codes can be based on:
- Themes, Topics
- Ideas, Concepts
- Terms, Phrases
Coding can be flat or non- hierarchical, like a list, there are no sub-code levels. For example:
|When asked to discuss 'Making use of the computers in the library', the responses included:||Or, when asked 'What kind of computer training have you received?' the responses included:|
It can also use tree or hierarchical coding which, like a tree, has a branching arrangement of sub-codes. Ideally, codes in a tree relate to their parents by being 'examples of...', or 'contexts for...' or 'causes of...' or 'settings for...' and so on.
|For example, Making use of the computers in the library:||And for What kind of computer training have you received?:|