Guided Tour - Collaboration
Video files tend to be large and can present obstacles to convenient sharing of source data files. In particular, most human-subjects-sensitive video data should not be transfered over the Internet without certain security precautions in place. To address this issue, Transana includes a file management tool that includes the capacity to transfer video files across the Internet in an encrypted, secure format.
One important aspect of doing research in an academic setting is sharing results. Video can often be very useful during academic conferences (or meetings with colleagues or supervisors) to vividly demonstrate a particular finding.
To address this, Transana provides a presentation mode where you can show excerpts of your video (Transana clips) using Transana in parallel with presentation software. This approach also facilitates flexible data sessions where the audience may ask questions about the data and the researcher can use all of the data in Transana to ground the responses in source video.
Transana supports the qualitative analysis of video for all sizes of projects. For those projects with a lot of video to be analyzed by multiple researchers, Transana has a multi-user version. Transana-MU allows a research project to centralize its data, allowing the data to be shared by many researchers at once, even if those researchers are not in the same location. Changes made by one researcher are automatically and instantaneously reflected on screen for all other researchers working on the project at the same time. See About the Multi-User Version of Transana for more information.
Complex data, complex analysis
As mentioned earlier, Transana allows researchers to display multiple transcripts simultaneously during analysis. In addition, Transana allows users to combine multiple media files of the same event. Finally, Transana allows multiple researchers to work simultaneously and collaboratively. This allows for unprecedented complexity in the data and analytic approach.
Imagine, for example, that you go into a classroom with three cameras. All three show different aspects of the classroom as the teacher introduces the task for the day. When the students break into small groups, two of the cameras capture the work of two different small groups, and the third camera follows the teacher as she moves from group to group, sometimes overlapping with one of the other cameras, sometimes not.
With Transana, you can pull all three of these video sources into a single analysis. At times, they overlap, while at other times they diverge. To be able to cope with this, you will probably will end up with separate transcripts for each camera, as the audio captured by each camera is at least partially independent of the other cameras. You might find it helpful to create a fourth transcript as well where you note aspects of the classroom instruction that are observable across cameras, a sort of "bigger picture" view of the teaching and learning that is going on in that complex environment.
And to really make sense of this data, you may well want to collaborate with several colleagues. You'll probably want a subject matter expert to share his or her insight, as well as a specialist in the learning sciences or didactic practice, or you may wish to invite colleages from the areas of sociology, psychology, or antrhopology to contribute to your analysis. Your colleagues could create their own clips with their own coding or they could use your coding and collection structures. All of this can be perused and debated by the entire analytic team.
(This screen shot is of two synchronized video sources, a screen capture and an over-the shoulder camera video, with independent audio tracks, analyzed with three transcripts by two researchers. Transana can handle up to four simultaneous media sources, five simultaneous transcripts, and a very large (not known) number of simultaneous users.)
I can't tell you that Transana makes such an analysis easy. But I can tell you that with Transana, such an analysis is possible. I don't think there's any other software on the planet that can facilitate such a sophisticated analysis as well as Transana can.