Qualitative Research and Media Analysis – Transana software analysis audio and video data
As a doctoral student in the College of Education at USF, I find that locating comprehensive tools for qualitative research that are cost effective and do a professional job with my video research are difficult to find. During the summer, I received information about a qualitative software tool that seemed to be extremely comprehensive. This tool is called Transana and is an open source project, which is now developed and maintained by David Woods at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research in the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I spent two days training on the tool, which combines the ability of researchers to analyze large collections of video/audio data and transcribe it in code or keywords for analysis.
A major benefit to working with this software tool is that it is cross-platform allowing users to have Mac, Windows or Linux. Other major qualitative software programs, including Atlas ti, NVivo, and Nudist Vivo only work with the Windows platform. A secondary benefit is the cost, which is affordable in comparison to similar software that starts at over $500 for single user licenses in comparison to $65 for Transana.
This software has three components that I found to be useful. The first component allows the researcher to perform text-based analysis utilizing Jeffersonian Notation or other transcript-based notations. The second component allows video clips to be manipulated by cutting and sorting them into thematic areas of coding while leaving the original video intact. In addition, the third area of the tool allows coding of the clips and/or text in order to develop an analytical analysis of the data, which can be seen graphically and through text reports.
Development of Transana has been supported by the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the National Science Foundation through NPACI at the San Diego Supercomputing Center . The Transana project has also received funding from the Talkbank project at Carnegie-Mellon University and the Digital Insight project at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Following this introduction, we will provide more posts to this blog with insights into the how the software works.