Coding the Complexity of Activity in Video Recordings: A proposal for constructing codes for video analysis using activity theory

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Abstract

This paper presents a theoretical approach to coding and analyzing video data on human interaction and activity, using principles found in cultural historical activity theory. The systematic classification or coding of information contained in video data on activity can be arduous and time consuming; however, it is one of the ways to make sense of complex information, which in turn can add value to the process of exploring selected themes. By reviewing earlier attempts at using Activity Theory as a tool for guiding the examination of human activity in human–computer interaction by Susanne Bødker’s in 1996, three possible areas of expansion to Susanne Bødker’s method for analyzing video data were found. Firstly, a technological expansion due to contemporary developments in sophisticated analysis software, since the mid 1990’s. Secondly, a conceptual expansion, where the applicability of using Activity Theory outside of the context of human–computer interaction, is assessed. Lastly, a temporal expansion, by facilitating an organized method for tracking the development of activities over time, within the coding and analysis of video data. To expand on the above areas, a prototype coding scheme, based on the theoretical principles of activity theory, was constructed in a video analysis software program, as a tool for coding and analyzing video data, without being too descriptive or prescriptive and in a variety of research fields. As of now, the coding scheme is a prototype developed for use in analyzing video data on educational activities; with plans for exploring its detailed application and usability in future work. pp. 96–114
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This paper presents a theoretical approach to coding and analyzing video data on human interaction and activity, using principles found in cultural historical activity theory. The systematic classification or coding of information contained in video data on activity can be arduous and time consuming; however, it is one of the ways to make sense of complex information, which in turn can add value to the process of exploring selected themes. By reviewing earlier attempts at using Activity Theory as a tool for guiding the examination of human activity in human–computer interaction by Susanne Bødker’s in 1996, three possible areas of expansion to Susanne Bødker’s method for analyzing video data were found. Firstly, a technological expansion due to contemporary developments in sophisticated analysis software, since the mid 1990’s. Secondly, a conceptual expansion, where the applicability of using Activity Theory outside of the context of human–computer interaction, is assessed. Lastly, a temporal expansion, by facilitating an organized method for tracking the development of activities over time, within the coding and analysis of video data. To expand on the above areas, a prototype coding scheme, based on the theoretical principles of activity theory, was constructed in a video analysis software program, as a tool for coding and analyzing video data, without being too descriptive or prescriptive and in a variety of research fields. As of now, the coding scheme is a prototype developed for use in analyzing video data on educational activities; with plans for exploring its detailed application and usability in future work. pp. 96–114
Original languageEnglish
JournalKnowledge Cultures
Volume5
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)96-114
ISSN2327-5731
DOI
StatePublished - 2017
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes
ID: 258158090