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A purposive approach to content analysis: Designing analytical frameworks


Internet and Higher Education Volume 8, Number 1, ISSN 1096-7516 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


Content analysis of computer conferences provides a rich source of data for researching and understanding online learning. However, the complexities of using content analysis in a relatively new research field have resulted in researchers often avoiding this method and using more familiar methods such as survey and interview instead. This article discusses content analysis as a methodology, with emphasis on the development of analytical frameworks. The literature indicates that researchers either use or modify existing frameworks or, more commonly, develop new ones, either through grounded theory approaches or the adaptation of existing theories, concepts or models. The development and implementation of two frameworks are then discussed in detail. Both were developed purposively to investigate and evaluate firstly collaborative learning and secondly deep and surface approaches to learning as evidenced in computer conferences. The article concludes with recommendations for framework development.


Gerbic, P. & Stacey, E. (2005). A purposive approach to content analysis: Designing analytical frameworks. Internet and Higher Education, 8(1), 45-59. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved March 9, 2021 from .

This record was imported from Internet and Higher Education on January 29, 2019. Internet and Higher Education is a publication of Elsevier.

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