Ethical use of new technologies to enhance qualitative research.

Paper #1935 presented at #husITa14 in Melbourne, Australia on Friday 9th July.


Amelia Seraphia Derr (Seattle University, USA).


In the past 10 years, technologies for capturing large amounts of video, audio and textual data have proliferated. In addition, recent advances in computing, including tablet computers and smart phones, are creating new and exciting ways to interact with and create knowledge. In this presentation, we will discuss current technologies that can facilitate the collection, analysis, and presentation of data in qualitative and mixed methods research projects. We will go beyond familiar data management programs such as Atlas.ti and NVivo to explore a variety of exciting new tools for capturing and working with data. The emphasis will be on thinking critically about the strengths and limitations of these new tools and the ethical considerations necessary when thinking of adopting them.

We will demonstrate a variety of free or low cost programs that enhance the qualitative research endeavor. For example, with thousands of applications available for free or for a low cost, smart phones and tablets can function as digital audio recorders, cameras, accelerometers, location markers, and virtual notebooks for field notes. And we will review software available that can aid in the analysis of visual, auditory and textual data with a special focus on Web 2.0 applications such as Dedoose.

Technologies have ramifications in terms of epistemology, methodology and ethics. Ethical questions about data privacy, epistemological “fit” of technology tools, and access to technology are just a few of the questions that qualitative researchers must examine when considering new technologies. We will highlight these concerns in this presentation. Participants can expect to leave with a variety of resources and ideas for how to apply new technologies to all stages of their research and a beginning understanding of the ethical concerns involved with adoption of these new research tools.


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