Latest news from Loughborough University

23 Feb 2015

E-Qual app aims to boost understanding of qualitative coding

A Loughborough University academic is sharing her expertise in teaching the notoriously difficult subject of coding qualitative data with the launch of a new app.

Coding is a technique used in the Social Sciences that facilitates the organisation and interpretation of qualitative data. Passages of text are coded according to categories, which are identified by reading and interpreting the data collected.

However teaching qualitative coding to students can be challenging as the topics covered are diverse and the subjective nature of the technique can prove difficult for some to comprehend. The E-Qual app aims to address some of these challenges by demonstrating the basic concept of coding qualitative data, using Thematic Analysis.

The teaching aid could potentially support thousands of students within the UK and internationally. It offers an additional learning resource to complement direct, face-to-face teaching of qualitative research methods across the Social Sciences.

E-Qual has been developed by Dr Hilary McDermott and colleagues from the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, with funding from the University’s Enterprise Projects Group (EPG).

In addition to a visual ‘how to’ guide, it provides students with the opportunity to code a section of a data transcript themselves and compare their coding with that of the researcher.

Dr McDermott explains: “The app offers students a technology-supported learning environment to complement the teaching of thematic qualitative coding, which can be used at any time within any setting.

“By using E-Qual to support their independent learning students will be able to boost their understanding and build up confidence in their analytic approach to the thematic coding process.”

E-Qual is available now to download free from the Apple app store.

Notes for editors

Article reference number: PR 15/16

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, putting it among the best universities in the world, and was named Sports University of the Year 2013-14 by The Times and Sunday Times. Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and has been voted England's Best Student Experience for six years running in the Times Higher Education league. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

In 2015 the University will open an additional academic campus in London’s new innovation quarter. Loughborough University in London, based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, will offer postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities.

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Loughborough University
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