1st Edition

Qualitative Analysis Using NVivo The Five-Level QDA® Method

By Nicholas H. Woolf, Christina Silver Copyright 2018
    234 Pages 58 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    234 Pages 58 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Software is cut and dried – every button you press has a predictable effect – but qualitative analysis is open ended and unfolds in unpredictable ways. This contradiction is best resolved by separating analytic strategies – what you plan to do – from software tactics – how you plan to do it. Expert NVivo users have unconsciously learned to do this. The Five-Level QDA® method unpacks the process so that you can learn it consciously and efficiently.

    The first part of the book explains how the contradiction between analytic strategies and software tactics is reconciled by "translating" between them. The second part provides both an in-depth description of how NVivo works and comprehensive instruction in the five steps of "translation". These steps are illustrated with examples from a variety of research projects. The third part contains real-world qualitative research projects from a variety of disciplines, methodologies, and kinds of qualitative analysis, all illustrated in NVivo using the Five-Level QDA method. The book is accompanied by three sets of video demonstrations on the companion website.

    The book and accompanying videos illustrate the Windows version of NVivo. As there are some differences in screen and interface design between the Mac and Windows versions please watch the video 'The NVivo Mac Interface' in the Component Orientation series of videos (available on the companion website).

    The Five-Level QDA method is based on the authors’ combined 40 years of experience teaching NVivo and other software packages used as platforms for conducting qualitative analysis. After many years observing their students’ challenges they developed the Five-Level QDA method to describe the process that long-time NVivo experts unconsciously adopt. The Five-Level QDA method is independent of software program or methodology, and the principles apply to any type of qualitative project.

    Please see the following URL to access the accompanying materials for this book: https://www.qdaservices.co.uk/five-level-qda

    List of Figures

    List of Tables

    List of Boxes


    Case Contributors


    Part I: The Principles of the Five-Level QDA Method

    Chapter 1: Strategies and Tactics

    Chapter 2: Developing Objectives and Analytic Plans (Levels 1 & 2)

    Chapter 3: Translating Analytic Tasks Into Software Tools (Levels 3, 4, & 5)

    Part II: The Five-Level QDA Method in Practice

    Chapter 4: Orientation to NVivo

    Chapter 5: The Architecture of NVivo

    Chapter 6: Mastering the Process of Translation

    Part III: Case Illustrations

    Chapter 7: Orientation to Case Illustrations

    Chapter 8: Case illustration – An Exploratory Literature Review

    Chapter 9: Case illustration – A Program Evaluation


    Appendix 1: Three Levels of Detail of Analytic Tasks

    Appendix 2: Five Analytic Activities

    Appendix 3: Examples of Units in Analytic Tasks

    Appendix 4: Identifying the Units of Analytic Tasks

    Appendix 5: Identifying the Purpose of Analytic Tasks



    Nicholas H. Woolf has worked as an independent qualitative research consultant, coach, and trainer since 1998. He has conducted or consulted on numerous research studies, from single-site to multinational studies in various fields in the behavioral sciences using a wide range of methodologies, from highly structured content analyses, to evaluations, grounded theory-style projects, and interpretive phenomenology. As a trainer Nick specializes in teaching qualitative analysis using ATLAS.ti. He has conducted 285 workshops at over 100 universities and other institutions, primarily in the USA and Canada, for more than 3,000 PhD students, professors, and research and evaluation consultants. In 2013 Nick introduced Five-Level QDA in his keynote address at the first ATLAS.ti user’s conference in Berlin (Woolf, 2014).

    Christina Silver has worked at the CAQDAS Networking Project at the University of Surrey, UK since 1998. She is responsible for capacity-building activities and has designed and led training in all the major qualitative software programs, including ATLAS.ti, Dedoose, MAXQDA, NVivo, Transana, QDA Miner, Qualrus, and Quirkos. Christina also works as an independent researcher, consultant, and trainer, supporting researchers to plan and implement computer-assisted analysis, and contributing to doctoral research programs in several UK universities.