Your Dissertation Literature Review Using NVivo

I want to apologize up front for some of the technical difficulties that we encountered but I did want to introduce our featured speaker today Christy Jackson hello Christy Kevin for me to just dive right in sure dive right in okay thanks hi everybody it's a pleasure to be here and you'll see my contact information there on this opening slide I'll put that up again at the end feel free to contact me with questions after the session you'll learn more about me on my web page and also on the query web page you'll find information about these in vivo click retreats that I'm holding here in Denver conversation learning interpretation and clicking this is moving beyond the typical lab setting and point-and-click training you'll have about two hours of large group sessions each day and then plenty of small group sessions depending on your interests time for one-on-one time with me and then enough time for independent work in between the retreat is three days but if you're feeling extra motivated you can stay a fourth day at no extra cost and we'd love to see you there so please feel free to check out the website for more information these were developed specifically for doctoral students but anyone is welcome to attend all right so today's session is the second in a series you might be interested in the other sessions as well and I'll dive right in with an overview of the presentation I'm going to begin with a discussion of the focus and the timing of the literature review and a brief aerial view of the process and these are issues that most people agree on however there is a bit of a debate about the purpose of the lit review that I'd like to discuss and once we have a grounding in that debate we can talk about the role of invivo I'm going to go through some of these tools in nvivo you can use for the literature review and then depending on where you come out on this debate you might use those tools differently we'll end with the discussion of the metaphors you might be thinking about frame your literature review process to help keep you grounded and then I'll end with some general tips so first let's start with the focus of the literature review I think Pat Baisley does a really nice little summary of the things to attend to in the literature review the first is the topics the next is the series or approaches that are framing your approach to the topic and then methods those are the tactics you use to collect data or to handle data let's start with the topics I have some examples here one is you might be interested in optimism in low-performing schools you might be interested in mentoring immigrant employees or stress among Olympic athletes those are all very different topic areas but you'll be interested in research and literature that is addressing the same topic area so that's one thing you'll look for but while you're looking for this literature you'll also come across a range of theories or approaches to address these questions and again the these are an exhaustive list they're just examples so you might use critical race Theory you might use constructionism as a way to frame some of your assumptions and then finally your methods or your tactics for collecting and handling data are things like interviews surveys and in good research these are carefully woven together so when you're conducting your literature review instead of focusing too much on the findings or the conclusion or the current state of research you might pay more attention to the design and the connection between the topics the theories and the methods and collecting some of those along the way will help you craft a better literature review those are three good broad things to pay attention to next I've pulled out from one of the many books you can get on dissertation with qualitative data is a table that I generated from this book that describes the timing of the lit review relative to when you collect data so in some approaches to research there's more emphasis on the lit review before collecting data and in others more of the inductive approaches there's more emphasis after data has been collected and you'll see there's some that are during collection the darker this cell the more emphasis there is on the lit review during that phase and I want to emphasize that I'm not trying to direct you how to do this but I do want you to be aware that there are different senses of the timing of the lit review and depending on your approach or your chair and your committee members there may be a sense of the relevance or the type of activities you'll be engaged in at different phases around the lit review so it's good to ask try to get some perceptions from your committee members about how they see the lit review proceeding over time alright and then the process John Criswell has a nice five-step process that talks about the lit review as a way to identify terms right to use in the search and then locating the literature reading and checking its relevance organizing it or analyzing it somehow and then writing up the lit review so this is a very aerial view and you'll get lots of examples where scholars tell you this is the process to conduct a lit review but when it comes down to the specifics a lot of differences can emerge so I want to turn now to one of the common metaphors that's the first metaphor in the debate and it's the foundation metaphor of the purpose of the lit review this is an article produced in 2005 that actually probably surfaced a debate that's been going on for a while but hasn't been articulated and it's research on the lit review and dissertation so you might be interested in looking at this and it it certainly made everyone aware how limited the research was on understanding the role of the literature review and how it influences research and also the criteria for how strong a literature review is there is a rubric of a strong literature review in this article that you may be interested in looking at but what I want to focus on right now is some of the conclusions based on the review of some strong literature review and patience the lit review should not just be a catalogue of articles or books it should situate your study including a historical situation and relate your study to the larger body of work the literature should also help you justify decisions you make around the scope of your study and you should critically examine the claims in the literature rather than just report them you are the claims warranted or where do you think they are or aren't warranted this advice ends in a general push in this article to emphasize thoroughness and comprehensiveness in a lit review and this is one way of looking at a strong literature review breath at depth and situating that literature review relative to your study however in response to this article Joe Maxwell responded by saying that well thoroughness and comprehensiveness are important parts of a literature review that really it's the relevance of the material that should trump thee when one has to choose so Maxwell identifies four things that you should think about in a literal you to slightly reframe this argument he says that you should survey a select group of studies instead of a really broad group an exhaustive group that you should provide a lot of detail about the relevance of those few studies and describe the contribution of this to your study and how your study will move beyond what's already been written so this is an emphasis on shifting from thinking of a literature review to thinking of a conceptual framework and when he's asking you to do is make an argument with your literature review instead of simply providing a list or an overview of what's going on so here's a symbol of that systemic kind of metaphor it's showing connections between things instead of looking at something as a foundation the goal is to you know artfully present information about the choices in your study not a review of every study and a tally of what comes up most often all right so those are the two metaphors that we're working with and I realized I I jumped through another slide that had the other visual I want to go back to that quickly so this is the visualization I wanted to bring up for the foundational metaphor so here the literature review might serve as a foundation on which you build the rest of your dissertation and again that's a perfectly legitimate approach and legitimate metaphor but there is a debate going on about how much it should serve as a foundation and how much it should serve to help craft a system by carefully choosing pieces of literature all right so now that I've just provided the metaphors there those two approaches and those are not the only two and I'm using them heuristic lis now that I've done that let's move to the tools and in vivo because we're going to come back to this and after we go through the tools in nvivo we'll consider how you might use the tools differently depending on where you land in this debate all right so first let's talk about memos and links on the right side of my screen I have an article and the article says there exists at the elementary level a lack of research that describes conditions contributing to academic optimism this research helps fill that void by identifying describing and categorizing the norms behavior strategies and other pertinent characteristics that exists in a low SES school that has established and is maintaining an academically optimistic environment and it goes on right so this is a typical information that you find in a research study an article a chapter a book or someone else's dissertation and in nvivo in addition to being able to import this either as a PDF file or a word file you can also journal about this so the journal entry that's been written after somebody read some of this information on the right is most of the studies on optimism seems to be focused on low SES school and I wonder how many occur in high SES school could there be an unwarranted assumption that optimism in low SES is more rare more powerful or more necessary for success than in high SES if so is this presumption just about low SES schools or is it a larger assumption about low SES and success in general this is an example of the kind of ideas you'll start pursuing when you read materials you see a gap you see something that looks interesting and here there are some propositions that have been raised the wonderful thing about invivo is that you can connect your ideas with the specific pieces of the article and these are called see also links and once you connect these you can export the memo as its own Word document and those quotes from the article will come in and endnotes you'll have one Word document with some of your thinking about the research and quotes from the articles that supplement your thinking it's a really really nice little tool so you can do a lot of memo and linking and thinking about the literature by bringing it into nvivo next let's talk about the role of coding there's the same article but we can tag it with codes and invivo calls these nodes so here I've tagged a portion of the text with low SES because that's what the author discusses there's another section that's coded at communication and finally another section at expectations once you code richly to these nodes you can look at relationships among them to see what kinds of concepts or themes are coming up together in the research so here's an example where I have a Venn diagram of low SES expectations and communications and the center where they intersect can be run as a coding query and that quote that just appeared at the bottom of the screen is the same one that was at the bottom of the article my prior slide so that's the portion of the text that intersects all three of those nodes again a really great way to find constellations of things instead of just summarizing and distilling them all right one more option instead of just coding with these nodes you can add demographic characteristics or in the case of literature things like when the article was produced this particular article was it was a study that was done in Michigan you can take any characteristics about the literature and add it to that piece of literature you are going to find in a lot of the help files and the other videos about nvivo the classification system as a strategy for adding this kind of nominal ordinal and interval data I want to show you a shortcut there's plenty of opportunities for you to look in the help files and you'll get plenty of instructions about for instance importing a bibliographic database which constructs this for you but I want to show you an alternative that's a little bit of a workaround that's less often discussed and that's the role of sets and how to create a set in nvivo so here I've got a screen shot of several articles that have been imported into nvivo and I can choose the ones I want to create a set from in this example I'm using the set of articles that were developed or I should say published between 2001 and 2005 you can create a set simply by right-clicking on them and naming the set once you choose these create a set for them and name it that set will live in your collections area in the software she'd have to go to collections to see them but you can create a set of 2001 to 2005 you can create a set of 2006 to 2010 you can create a set of Michigan instead of Florida they don't need to be mutually exclusive so an article can be in as many sets as you'd like once you've done that you can run a matrix in invivo of those sets for instance all the Articles that were research done in call Ratto research done in Florida Michigan and Texas by both nodes or codes you created like low-ses communication and expectation that cell that has the 22 that intersects expectations and Michigan if you double-click on that cell it will actually open up the literature that is being used to count so the counts may not be relevant to you they might be but you might just be using this distort so then you can open the cell and read the literature a really nice way to be able to slice through the literature and not get stuck in the internal argument one article at a time next I'll just show a brief screenshot of a text query that has a word tree afterwards from this literature so here's the word scores as in test scores and it shows the branches of words that precede and follow the word scores so you can also see how language is used in the literature to make claims or what words are more central and then finally the role of visualizations I have two visualizations I want to show you here in nvivo you can develop something called a project map this project map is a representation of the coding structure or a portion of the coding structure where I have a node for priorities and then underneath that I have nodes where the literature talked about the priority of communication and the priority of goals and those are further subdivided into other codes so this is more of a taxonomy or a hierarchy of relationship and it's reflecting the coding structure but there's another way to thinking in vivo and that's more of a concept map or the relationship of ideas so in this simple concept map I'm looking at optimism because that's the central concept I want to pursue but as I'm reading the literature I wonder if when people talk about challenges and they talk about advantages and they see them optimistically that they tend to frame both the challenges and advantages as opportunities so it doesn't to matter whether it's a struggle or something that's easy there are some schools or people who seem to view everything as an opportunity and in turn that helps filter them into this optimistic view with their optimistic view they may have more school success and I may see in some of the literature that after their school success people have more optimism so I've created a double-headed arrow there again I'm just playing with ideas I don't know if these are true but it's an example of a way to think with visualizations around the conceptual linkages in the data rather than in a hierarchy or a taxonomy in the data alright so now I want to get back to metaphors and the metaphors I talked about earlier that were the foundational metaphor and the system's metaphor you might be interested in this article by Bruce which is a look at the metaphor students use to talk about their lit review and the metaphors are divided into two lists Bruce provides three in each list and I've added some so Bruce would say that listing searching and surveying are words that students use when they've got a more foundational approach to thinking about a lit review and I've added my own list to try to round this out if people use the word thorough exhaustive comprehensive or comparative they're probably positioning the literature review and a more foundational orientation whereas learning facilitating reporting relevant construction or generative are probably more systematic kinds of terms people use for Western a lit review again I'm separating these heuristic aliy and there's certainly some blurry lines but what I'm encouraging you to do is to think about talking to your faculty advisor talking to your chair talking to the committee about how the literature review performs its function and what kinds of words they use to describe it this might give you a sense if it's more foundational or more systematic in turn you could fill out this table what kinds of foundation terms or system terms are people using and what tools or activities are associated with them as you get more clear about your literature and how you want to use it you can fill this in to help you think more about the claims you want to make and how you want to make them finally that takes me to thinking about your metaphors and their relationship to the tools I just have covered so that's what I'm trying to weave all this together if you're in nvivo and you've got a more foundational approach to your lit review then your memos and links are more likely to focus on core ideas in this field of study your coding is more likely to focus on distilling data or summarizing it your queries will be more focused on looking at absence and presence of things and visualizations will be more about logic models and taxonomy whereas if you're looking at your literature review more systematically it's more likely to have memos and links that are about creative ideas or connections in the data with coding and with queries you're more likely to be worried about relevance rather than absence and presence you here to conclude is that really instead of thinking about one or the other this may be a spiral stair step where the steps that you walk on represent you traversing back and forth between foundational approaches and systems approaches and the two spirals that frame those stairs would be the foundational strategies and the system strategies and my guess is that most of us go back and forth between these at different times the problem is we go back and forth between them without being conscious of it so by creating math when it comes time to defend the dissertation and then finally I want to give you some general tips that are based on that walkthrough and a lot of the doctoral students that I am with so the first tip is to emphasize relevance over volume even when you're doing a broad scope study and a broad scope lit review next is to integrate the lit review rather than isolate it in the lit review chapter so try to connect it or weave it through the other chapters a great tip from Joe Maxwell is to look for things you can use that's a great motivator while you're going through all the literature to try to find things and I've put a list of all sorts of things that I could think of you might find questions like interview questions or settings in which a problem occurs the kinds of people scenarios historical events or debates that are going on in the field and the logical connections among them those are all things that you can start collecting that you might borrow for your own study it's a good motivator to look for things you can use prepare yourself to revise the lit review at the end of the analysis so if you're doing a lit review as part of your proposal to presume that it's tied up and done as you move through the collection and analysis is a mistake so leave yourself time to look through more literature to go back and edit and to wrap it in well with the entire flow of the chapters and appreciate and track the role of material that doesn't make it into the review just because you go through a lot of things doesn't mean you need to include all of them but it also doesn't mean that they aren't useful you might consider if it's worth of mention of some of those things and then finally and this is probably one of the biggest tips I have for nvivo the two that actually have two tips for you one is pilot a small example first so if you have 200 articles don't bring in 200 bring in 3 if you have an EndNote database that has 75 entries don't bring in all of them bring in three or for so that you can see how the system works and you won't be overwhelmed with the volume of data and then you can kick it around and and see how everything works and then another tip that I don't have on the slide here is in my lit review something that was incredibly helpful is I had a note for all the places people talked about research findings in various articles so whenever a claim was made and and other research was cited I coated it to one of my nodes and whenever somebody was talking in an expository fashion making claims without data and evidence I put that in another node and in the end I ran one of those matrix queries of expository research in one column and research literature and the other column by all of my nose and it was a great way to separate out claims that were made with and without research ok so once again there are three other sessions you might be interested in as part of this series I want you to consider the and people click retreat you'll find more about that on my website and feel free to contact me with information follow-up questions or if you'd like the slides and I don't know Kevin how we're doing with our audio but if you'd like to field some questions I'm happy to take a few now Thank You Christy I'm looking at our question panel right now and right now we don't have any pending questions so with that said I will thank everybody for attending the webinar and thank you for your time and just as a reminder to everyone that they will all receive a follow up with a link to the recording as well as to the slides and that will be coming shortly after the webinar ends and actually we do have a couple of other we did have just one question that came in that's related to this and they wanted to a question I'm can can they can you make the matrices with the invivo for Mac product um you know I I don't use the invivo Mac but I believe so and I think you might have the answer to that Kevin and I'm and uh just as a those people who are attending we do have one of our trainers Cindy Jacobs here next to me and she is saying that the yes you can use the Magda matrices within be able format so that should not be a problem there were a couple other things that I did that aren't available but there's a great list on the queue s our website that I just haven't looked at recently that has a good comparison of the features that are available so you might go to the Q s our website as well and look for Windows versus Mac comparison and there'll be a nice list that that will probably answer some of those questions too yep great and there was one other question I can answer here wanted to know if Viva was capable with Mendeley and the answer to that is yes you can import that information from Mendeley as well as from endnote and that's for the vivo for Windows product and so that is possible and last but not least worship we're getting a few other questions about the slides and stuff and yes everybody will receive a copy of the slides as well as a copy of the recording and again those will be made available to everyone within the next couple of days so everyone will receive a follow-up email with both the link to the recording as well as to the slides and if you want them sooner just send me a quick email I'll send em right out to you great thank you and actually I should say that also from the invivo for Windows product Zotero is also possible you can import the data from Zotero as well and refworks is the other in case anybody in the audience happens to be using that as well all right so thank you everyone for your time and for those questions that we didn't get a chance to get to we'll be sure to answer those individually and we hope everyone has a great day we see you upon our next webinar on in this series Thank You Christy thank you Kevin bye-bye

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