Analyzing Online Conversations: A Research Framework

From social media to support groups to learning at a distance, online conversations have long been of interest to qualitative researchers in a variety of fields. Though a majority of research in this area relies on content analysis methods, this two-day course will present a variety of qualitative methods for
analyzing online conversations.

We will introduce a research framework for analyzing online conversations, an approach designed to assist researchers in creating conceptually congruent research designs to answer important questions about what is happening in online conversations. More specifically, the framework will help participants
learn how to:

  • Identify an object of interest for investigation
  • Recognize philosophical and theoretical assumptions that impact research design
  • Create focused and relevant research questions
  • Ensure methodological alignment across aspects of the study design
  • Resolve ethical dilemmas surrounding the analysis of online conversations
  • Transform online conversations into a coherent dataset
  • Select appropriate technologies for working with the data
  • Analyze data using thematic, narrative and discursive techniques
  • Establish the quality of the findings

Course material will be drawn from Looking for Learning, Insight and Transformation in Online Talk (Routledge, 2019).