Ease on Down the Code: Complex Collaborative Qualitative Coding Simplified with 'Code Wizard'

12/30/2018 ∙ by Abbas Ganji, et al. ∙ 0

This paper describes the design and development of a preliminary qualitative coding tool as well as a method to improve the process of achieving inter-coder reliability (ICR) in small teams. Software applications that support qualitative coding do not sufficiently assist collaboration among coders and overlook some fundamental issues related to ICR. We propose a new dimension of collaborative coding called "coders' certainty" and demonstrate its ability to illustrate valuable code disagreements that are missing from existing approaches. Through a case study, we describe the utility of our tool, Code Wizard, and how it helped a group of researchers effectively collaborate to code naturalistic observation data. We report the valuable lessons we learned from the development of our tool and method: (1) identifying coders' certainty constitutes an important part of determining the quality of data analysis and facilitates identifying overlapping and ambiguous codes, (2) making the details of coding process visible helps streamline the coding process and leads to a sense of ownership of the research results, and (3) there is valuable information hidden in coding disagreements that can be leveraged for improving the process of data analysis.

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