By Dr. Jodee Jacobs
Research Specialist, College of Doctoral Studies
Dr. Jacobs was selected to represent GCU’s College of Doctoral Studies in attending the international conference for MAXQDA, Qualitative Software in Berlin Germany. Out of 30 poster submissions, Dr. Jacobs was one of the 19 selected to present her poster regarding her study on collaborative efforts between transition specialists and secondary special education teachers working with students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder transitioning from secondary to higher education. Her poster highlighted the results of the study along with demonstrating creative design, presenting the project’s overarching goals, methods, use of MAXQDA software and key results and discussion of study findings.
The primary focus of the poster presentation was to demonstrate how doctoral learners use MAXQDA software to analyze and interpret their qualitative research results. Therefore, the main goal was to share with doctoral learners, who attended this conference, how this software can complement the data analysis process. Jacobs noted the significant aspects to her presenting her research is the software being user friendly and time effective for a novice researcher.
Throughout her dissertation process, Jacobs first embarked on a quantitative methodology and was asked during the Academic Quality Review of her proposal to change her methodology from quantitative to qualitative. After re-writing the proposal, Jacobs decided with the help of her dissertation chair to embark on a qualitative case study design. “I had no idea what conducting a qualitative study or data collection entailed and was asked by Dr. Ronald Berman to pilot the use of this software for the college to analyze the data for my dissertation.”
Jacobs was able to analyze her data quickly and no time was lost in learning how to use the software. Time is of the essence for doctoral learners in dissertation. The main benefits to this software is how intuitive this is which resulted in CDS adopting this software as the qualitative software for doctoral learners to use once they reach data analysis. While doctoral learners at GCU are not required to use this software, CDS chose this over others due to the simplicity of using this program.
The conference was three days of intense, in-depth information about the most recent update from 2012 version to 2018 and all things related to the simplicity of using this program. Jacobs was able to take this information back to GCU and assists doctoral learners on how to use the program. It was truly an honor and pleasure to attend this conference and in meeting the software developers and to represent GCU College of Doctoral Studies.
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About College of Doctoral Studies
Grand Canyon University’s innovative doctoral degree programs prepare learners for leadership roles in their professions, communities and society. Our dynamic online learning community, integrated dissertation process, wealth of resources and collaborative environment support a successful and meaningful doctoral journey. We believe earning a doctoral degree is a journey and similar to climbing a mountain—challenging, invigorating and completely rewarding when you reach the top. Our goal is to help you conquer your own mountain and succeed on your doctoral journey. Readers of The Doctoral Journey blog, presented by the College of Doctoral Studies, will find resourceful and knowledgeable posts regarding the doctoral process, research best practices and dissertation tips among other topics from GCU’s doctoral faculty.