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E-Qual

As a major UK education centre Loughborough University has 20 academic schools and departments, over 100 research groups, institutes and centres, and over 35 professional services teams.

The University wanted to approach a new learning resource in an alternative way by providing it as a free to acquire iOS app for their students, to support their independent learning. We were brought in to build the framework of this new app, populate it with content, test and build a release candidate ready to be published by the University on the iTunes app store.

Introducing students to the theory and techniques associated with quantitative and qualitative research and based on world leading teaching practice developed at Loughborough University, the E-Qual app gives step by step instructions and worked examples of transcripts and thematic maps in an easy to understand video tutorial form.

It is designed to help develop qualitative, analytic coding skills in an accessible and easy to learn manner.

The app offers students a technology-supported learning environment, to complement teaching, where students are provided with the opportunity to code a section of data themselves and compare their coding to that of the researcher.

Results

Each of the initial six tutorials contain three content types; Original data extract text, a video coding tutorial and a thematic map graphic. So we built content viewers for these elements and the ability to expand text and images full screen for review. This app was developed in a modular, flexible manner so further content and tutorials could be added in the future.

“This teaching aid could potentially support thousands of students within the UK and elsewhere internationally. It offers an additional teaching and learning resource which will complement direct, face-to-face teaching of qualitative research methods across the Social Sciences.” – Quote from lboro.ac.uk blog.

Post release and distributed through the iTunes app store, reviews from iOS users give a nice impression of how the app has been received:

“Fantastic app. Simple yet makes such a difference when understanding qualitative coding techniques”

“Amazing! Really useful for my qualitative dissertation!!! Thank you”

“Life changer. This app changed my life”

Scripting a life changing app was a first for us!