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Dedoose: A Refresher for Education Researchers

12/3/2013

“Technology is so much fun but we can drown in our technology. The fog of information can drive out knowledge.” - Daniel J. Boorstin, former Librarian of the United States Congress

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Information. Never in the history of mankind has it been more accessible than it is at this very moment.  And never before has it been so overwhelming—particularly when working with varieties of information and trying to use it to weave rich, evidence-based stories.

Education students writing course papers, graduate students working on their dissertations, and experienced researchers alike are focused on some very important academic work.  For example, how critical is it that we better understand how policy can help disadvantaged youth thrive in school?  How about informing the development of curricula to enhance the success of STEM programs?  Or work to improve education in developing countries, preschool intervention effectiveness, or language acquisition?

With the advent of immersive web accessibility, gone are the days of that semi-romantic notion of the lone researcher diligently trudging through acrid smelling tomes and diving head first into a complex data set in the hopes of finding that potentially hidden and elusive gem of information that would catapult their findings from interesting but loose theory to an evidence-based and clear formulation.

Our present world, with its modern marvels of Wi-Fi hotspots, pocket phones and increasingly powerful computers hidden within portable, razor-thin tablets, has given birth to a buzzing thoroughfare of speed and efficiency that is unparalleled on a global scale.

The ability for a populace of truth seeking educators and researchers to be exposed to seemingly infinite amounts of knowledge at the touch of the proverbial fingertip is the realization of a long-dreamt desire.

And yet, even though the helping hand of technology has launched various fields of study into new realms of discovery and has effectively made the gathering of data in those disciplines easier, it has also brought with it an unexpected and unintended dilemma.

We now seek to collect more and more varieties of data than ever before, yet the information we now have access to can far exceed our ability to efficiently process it.

Technology in this regard has become a double-edged sword where it has exposed to us more points of access for our research, yet gathering, processing and sifting through these data have remained, until recently, inefficient and unrefined.

Enter Dedoose.

Dedoose is a highly effective tool in helping bridge the gap between the unfiltered wave of raw information and the end result of a polished presentation of interactive data visualizations as representations of your data.  After data have been fully processed, Dedoose helps you present your story through charts, tables and plots in attractive, informative and presentation-ready formats.

Dedoose Delivery

Constructed by individuals with keen knowledge of qualitative and mixed method research who know firsthand the frustrations of running into limitations with traditional qualitative data analysis software, Dedoose helps to manage and analyze all the different types of data that education researchers collect while supporting the use of methodological rigor and facilitating the efficient generation of visualizations and reports for presenting research findings.

Web-based and secure since 2006, Dedoose is natively collaborative and teamwork optimized for utilization by any number of geographically distributed team members in real-time.  It is an innovative and evolving software system that is well-known amongst the academic and commercial research community with a reputation for being a powerful and inexpensive alternative to other traditional solutions and software.

Its powerful features have been used by top level academic and marketing team researchers for a range of projects and data exploration including:

  • Interviewing teachers, students, parents, and administrators
  • Conducting surveys with key information-rich constituents
  • Creating policy reports
  • Preparing pure academic journal articles and chapters
  • Testifying to the Senate HELP Committee…wink wink, right Sara?

A fantastic tool for experienced education researchers as well as those entirely new to the field of research—intuitive, approachable, and powerful—Dedoose is the evolving tool in a world of technologies that will continue to expose us to more information at an ever-increasing rate.

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