In order to begin coding your data for your plan and report, read your
interview and field notes transcripts looking for relationships, themes,
and concerns that are relevant to your professional context.
For examples of the data coding process, please refer to the example
data coding node.
Use the following framework to guide the marking and coding of your data.
The following general steps outline the process through which you will
1. Read through data.
2. Reread data marking significant points.
3. Reread data sorting, categorizing, and coding significant points in
terms of issues.
(Note: Successful coding often requires multiple runs through your data.
Thus, repeat this step if necessary.)
4. Insert coded data into the downloadable "Data Coding Grid" form.
5. Select a manageable set of issues for analysis.
6. Draft your plan based upon the results of your coding.
step 2: marking
After carefully reading through your data at least once (Step 1), you
need to mark your data. That is, underline, highlight, or circle points
that seem significant or relevant to your professional context. In marking
your data, consider:
are mentioned consistently across your data.
that are significant anomalies--that are important because they indicate
special or unique circumstances, standards, or procedures.
Points that contradict one another.
Connections (among persons, sites, documents, procedures, objects, etc.)
that are made explicitly.
Connections or traces (among persons, sites, documents, procedures,
objects, etc.) that are implied.
step 3: coding
After marking your data for significant points and connections, you
need to reread your data, sorting and categorizing the points for more
specific issues for analysis. That is, you should develop a system of
notations or symbols and literately code the marks in your notes and
transcripts using this system. In identifying relationships, themes,
and concerns that are relevant to your professional context, code for
issues such as:
worker-worker or student-student relationships,
or teacher-student relationships,
initiation of contact or discourse, and
of contact or discourse.
step 4: inserting
coded data into "data coding grid"
After coding all of your data, download the "Data
Coding Grid" form. Then, cut and paste coded examples from your
data into the appropriate categories in the grid.
As noted above, some examples will fit into more than one column of
your grid. Once you have plotted your coded data into these issue categories,
you can begin considering which issues are most significant to your
professional context. This grid also should allow you to develop better
your "Contextual Analysis Plan."
Remember to use the downloadable Word form
to complete your data coding grid.
step 5: selecting
issues for analysis in relation to your context
After completing your data coding grid, you need to select two or three
issues that you will analyze in more detail. To determine which issues
are most significant for your report, you should review the examples in
your data grid noting which columns contain the details most relevant
to your professional context. Use the following questions to guide your
Can you locate
details in your notes to illustrate your issues?
you support their relevance to your professional context?
Can you make connections among your issues?
Consult the calendar
for observation and field notes scheduling and deadlines.
Professional Contexts Project Links:
Formatting Reference | Project
2 Overview | Interview | Example
Interview | Observation | Example
Field Notes | Example Data
Coding | Contextual Analysis
Plan & Report
421 syllabus | 421