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Fisher KA, Thornberry PA. Wanted: Support mechanisms for NVivo in rural areas. 2006.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://e-publications.une.edu.au/1959.11/10749
Wanted: Support mechanisms for NVivo in rural areas
This paper explores the experiences of two PhD students in Australia who began as novice users of NVivo and progressed through the introductory phase to the more advanced phase of data analysis using this tool. During this process of frustration, trial and error and the inability to have questions answered instantly in rural Australia we came to the conclusion that there must be a better way to 'learn as you work'. Recognizing gaps in the conditions that make learning and self directed learning possible we proceeded to develop ways to help bridge these gaps. Rural based researchers are frequently faced with the tyranny of distance, transport issues, information technology and communication difficulties. The significant cost involved in non-funded educational sessions detracts from the lifelong learning environment that is frequently embraced and encouraged in the world of research. These conditions hinder education and prevent collegial sharing of knowledge and techniques in the use of programs such as NVivo and have the potential to discourage new researchers from using technology in their research. These issues raised many questions the most important being: how can they be resolved? Is an online course the answer? What funding sources are available to enable education of advanced NVivo courses for people who live in disadvantaged areas? How can access to expertise for novice researchers in rural areas for both NVivo and research methodologies be enhanced? The paper will address the theme of communicating research with software. It will discuss aspects related to the education and learning processes when using NVivo in rural areas. In this presentation we would like to outline the gaps that affected our research process and use of NVivo and ways in which we strived to address those gaps.