New Technologies Although most of us develop or adapt our own systems for

New technologies although most of us develop or adapt

This preview shows page 24 - 26 out of 28 pages.

New Technologies Although most of us develop or adapt our own systems for managing our data and cod- ing social interactions, commercial sofrware systems designed specifically for these msks are available. One of these,Noldus Observer Pro, is a system for collecting, analyzing, and presenting observational data (see the ITeb site at ). It can be used ro record behaviors such as postures, movements, posi- tions, and facial expressions. The analyst uses key presses to log events and the times at which they occur. This systemmakes ir possi- ble for the researcher ro work directly from the video record rather than from a written tran- script of it. It also allows the analyst to add notes and conrments that are then stored with
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126 the video data. The system providc facilities for descriptive staustics,lag sequential analy- sis, and reliability analysis. The data can be exponed into spreadsheets, databases, or sta- tistical packages. The Noldus Observer pack- age (which costs severalthousand dollars for the sofrware alone) can be purchased either as software only or as part of a complete hardware/software bundle that includes analog or digital cameras, VCRs, video caprurecards, and time-code generators. Transana, on the other hand, is a free tool for transcription and qualitarive analysis of videotape (see the Web site at www2, wcer.wisc.edr:./Transana/index- html). Severalaffempts have been made, such as the Texr Encoding Initiative (TEI), to intro- duce guidelines for electronic text encoding and interchange (see the TEI Web site at ). The goal of these systems is to create a common encoding scheme for tran- scripts and other text, rhat is, to reduce rhe diversiry of existing encoding practices and to encourage the sharing of data, as well as to make it possible for the data to be read by machines. The TEI is one of the only system- atized attempts made thus far to develop a fully general text encoding model and encod- ing conventions. Because rhese guidelines are meaht to be applicable over a wide variery of data, they are necessarily restrictive in terms of what they permit the user to do, as well as being time-consuming to learn. We would expect the sametrade-off to apply ro any new system-+hat is, the user must choor between the porential hnefits of a common system and its methodological constraints, which, as we have emphasized throughout, also impose implicit theoretical assumprions. WHERE TO FIND MORE To retum to our inrroductory metaphor, we have traveled through a lot of territory in the far-flung field of discourse analysis and have stopped to look briefly at many of its fearures, PERSPECTIVES ON INQUIRY from theoretical and philosophical debates to technical considerations, As on any tour, we could have stayed longer in each place, and interested readers may want to know rnore than we have provided here or in our refer- ences. Van Diik's (1997a,7997b) two-volume introduction covers the many kinds of discourse analysis in much more detail, and each chapter has a list of further readings on its topic. Finally, many
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  • jane smith
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