Qualitative research is fast gaining popularity both locally and globally as a method of conducting research. Hence, new methods and paths are constantly being developed to assist researchers in further improving and enhancing qualitative data analysis. Today, computer assisted qualitative data analysis software has been developed for analysing qualitative data. One such „state-of-the-art‟ tool that has made inroads in various fields of qualitative research is NVivo. This paper will explore some inherent facilities available in NVivo that were used to analyse a multi case, single site case study that attempted to understand the unique naturalistic situation of learners‟ asynchronous online interactions (AOI) towards achieving learner autonomy in an online learning environment. The data collection techniques employed were conducting semi-structured interviews with a tutor and six learners, analysis of learners‟ learning logs and analysis of learners‟ threaded online interactions. This data were then further triangulated. As a result, the researchers were able to make new discoveries and align old strategies to accomplish their mission of analysing the case study data. This paper will discuss and explore the six strategies that were used in this quest. The strategies include: working with data, organising data, breaking data into manageable units, synthesizing data, searching for patterns and deciding what and how to tell others. Finally, one must remember that NVivo is merely a tool and the quality of research that emerges is dependent on the researcher‟s own imagination and reflections into the data.
This paper originally published as Gurdial Singh, RK & Jones ML, Qualitative data analysis: making new discoveries and aligning old strategies, 4th International Qualitative Research Convention 2007, Malaysia, 3-5 September 2007, 1-22.