Qualitative data

Non-numerical information that may come from open-ended questions, observations, work samples, pictures, audio or other sources. Qualitative data is data that is not easily reduced to numbers. In a school setting, qualitative data may come from observations, work samples, conversations, written documents and more. Thematic analysis of qualitative data is helpful for exploring emerging issues, providing rich description and context about a complex issue and building theories about what might explain trends and patterns in quantitative data. Qualitative data tends to help us answer questions about the ‘what’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ of a phenomenon, rather than questions of ‘how many’ or ‘how much’.

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