NVivo Training, QSR International

The course attended was ‘Nvivo training for Windows’ – it took place in London and lasted for 2 days in December 2014.

From Gemma’s perspective

So although this was the first piece of training I attended, I’ve held off writing the review article until after we had actually used a good amount of NVivo as part of the data analysis for the EMULSION study. I’ve actually used NVivo before as part of my Master’s project, and found it pretty intuitive and just used the online training material to help me get around it and learn the basics. Certainly if you don’t have a pot of money for face-to-face training then this approach is definitely manageable to get you through a small project, ideally if you’re the only researcher.

However, with EMULSION we had a few added complications which the workshop was able to help me figure out such as; how do more than one user working on the same project make NVivo work to facilitate the analysis, especially as this project used inductive coding from Grounded theory.

I have to say that given my previous experience with NVivo I wasn’t really sure how much extra the course would add, but I was pleasantly surprised. The trainer in my case was excellent. She had come from a school of qualitative analysis using highlighter pens and indexing cards but was absolutely bought into the idea of the use of software to make this process a lot more manageable. She personally knew the developers of NVivo and was able to provide some really interesting information about how the system was developed, such as why they chose to use the word ‘node’ as their using of coding (apparently because nodes are the bumps in branches from which new branches form, and this is often the case with qualitative codes – that new ideas spring from information in the data – brilliant!)

The workshop style also works really well, with some example data sets being provided and exercises to work through each of these. But I think realistically the biggest advantage of this format versus doing it yourself is the ability to ask questions (and I asked a lot of questions) to get more detailed information on how your project will work in NVivo. For example – how will mine and Lindsay’s independent coding be brought together – answer – create separate folders to code in, so that when the files are merged they stay separate. But then we can see each other’s coding for the constant comparison and generation of themes. This has worked really well in helping us to work together but separately.

We’ve also kept all of the analysis together, so the guideline thematic coding was done in the same project file as our qualitative work.

The other thing which I’ve enjoyed and has been a recurrent theme throughout our training programme is the opportunity to network with other researchers and hear about other planned research. And in this case the trainer also had a good number of studies and ideas to share of her own which was really great.

If you can afford to attend one of these workshops, I would thoroughly recommend it. It’s certainly given me a really good foundation for continuing to work with NVivo in the future and I look forward to making full use of it’s features in future projects. Certainly it has helped with the analysis in EMULSION and I think it will remain my qualitative data analysis tool of choice.

Here is a link to the course:


A useful database for all research methods training, including qualitative methods training can be found here:


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