The AIM Buddy Project research team is diligently working on analyzing the vast amount of qualitative data we gathered throughout the research study. As mentioned in our previous post, qualitative data is information captured that is not numerical like numbers in a survey. A few of the qualitative data categories we gathered information from are interviews, direct observation, and video interactions. Throughout the 2015–2016 school year, the research team collected 366 videos of buddies interacting with each other as they engaged with the five AIM interactive comics and games.
The AIM research team is now working to analyze student interactions and conversations recorded in these videos to determine if the AIM Buddy Project curriculum prompted character-relevant discussions between big and little buddy pairs. For instance, are little buddies understanding the complexity of honesty and that sometimes it might be acceptable to tell a little lie if it means protecting a friends’ feelings from getting hurt? Are big buddies able to help their little buddies understand why generosity isn’t always possible, and how to make decisions on giving? Qualitative coding describes the process of transforming qualitative data, (video recordings and transcripts of buddy conversations) into cohesive categories to facilitate systematic analysis.
In addition to investigating how the five interactive features promoted character-relevant discussions between buddies, the AIM research team has started to analyze randomly selected videos for key categories including buddy relationship and media use. For example, this video shows a brief collection of clips demonstrating buddy strategies for navigating shared media use that the research team has included in the initial phase of qualitative analysis.
As the research team continues to explore more videos, the code categories are likely to evolve to accommodate variations observed across buddy pairs. This process of identifying constructs of interest will continue until ‘saturation’ is achieved, or when no new categories can be identified in the data. Results of the qualitative coding analysis will be integrated with findings from surveys and interviews to draw a more comprehensive picture of the development of character in elementary school age children and the outcomes of the AIM Buddy Project.