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Video analysis with MAXQDA – Methods school

Mucahiddin / IStock
Mucahiddin / IStock

The third part of the GURN Methods school revolved around the analysis of video material. In the course of the workshops, the Ukrainian junior researchers got to know several software tools and how interpretative and standardised approaches can be combined.

The workshops on qualitative video analysis on 9 and 10 December 2020 were led by Andreas Müller. The historian and freelance software and methods trainer specialises in the evaluation of data according to the mixed methods approach. In his two-day seminar for the GURN Methods School, he focused primarily on MAXQDA, a programme for computer-assisted, qualitative analysis.

For social science research, videos conveying news or political messages are an important source, but the medium is not without pitfalls. The analysis of sound and image tracks not only requires the evaluation of the recordings and their staging, but must also take into account the technical peculiarities. Subtitles, comments and social media interactions can also play an important role.

The Ukrainian junior researchers learned how to use various programmes, but above all MAXQDA, to support video analysis. However, before starting to look at the material, it is important to develop a research question and meaningful categories in order to approach the recordings in a structured way. Together with the participants, Müller developed practical instructions for a scientifically transparent approach.

He also gave an overview of the origin of the method, how video analysis is used in social science and commercial research and what current approaches exist. He placed special emphasis on the difference and integration of standardised and interpretative analysis. The practical part then consisted of the use of MAXQDA and both qualitative and quantitative analysis of video material. Not only the manifold possibilities but also the limitations of the method became obvious. Finally, Müller explained how different recordings can be integrated into a multimedia research project.

About the GURN – German Ukrainian Researchers Network project: The cooperation between think tanks and politics are strengthened. GURN focuses on knowledge transfer, capacity building and bilateral dialogue. Current developments and German-Ukrainian relations are discussed in a variety of formats.

Image copyright: Mucahiddin / IStock