Documents of learning: graduate students' experiences of tensions when studying qualitative data analysis approaches

Mirka Koro-Ljungberg, David Cavalleri, Hannah Covert, Tinelle Bustam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


This reflective article discusses the learning processes and experiences associated with qualitative data analysis as presented in students' reflection journals. Fourteen doctoral students in a qualitative data analysis course shared their reflective journals with the research team. Data analysis included: (1) analysis of tension type and contexts; and (2) critical discourse analysis of students' texts. The data illustrated various types and contexts of tensions such as: (1) desire for mastery and positioning oneself as a lifelong learner; (2) time required for analysis and time available to complete the research project; (3) holistic and detail oriented analysis; and (4) individual perception of an analysis and group consensus. Based on the findings, the use of reflective journaling can facilitate student learning and instructors' understandings of students' professional growth. The article concludes with some benefits and limitations of reflective journaling as documents of learning in the context of research training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-207
Number of pages13
JournalReflective Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2012



  • data analysis
  • graduate student experiences
  • learning
  • qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy

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