Team Viewer for remote access & desktop sharing

Posted: February 28th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: research tools | Comments Off on Team Viewer for remote access & desktop sharing

My new favorite tool for remote access and desktop sharing is TeamViewer.  It’s free, it’s easy to use, the UI is nice, and it works like a charm.  There are versions for Mac, Windows, Linux, the iPhone, the iPad, and Android.  So far I’ve only used it on my MacBook, and I was very happy with it.

Why would you want such a tool?  I can think of several scenarios for researchers in which TeamViewer would come in handy.

  • You are remote-teaching a colleague how to use a computer-based tool (like TAMS, for data analysis).  As you speak together (on the phone, via Skype, etc.) you can watch your colleague’s movements on their desktop, and thus better assist him/her in the learning process.  I did this with a colleague of mine recently, and being able to see her desktop while explaining the program made things much easier.
  • You want to observe a research participant’s use of a computer-based tool, but you can’t be there in person.
  • You want to engage in collaborative coding of data with a colleague in real time, but can’t be there in person.

Have you used Team Viewer?  If so, what did you use it for?

More tools for recording phone interviews

Posted: February 21st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: research tools | Comments Off on More tools for recording phone interviews

I stand by my earlier review of using a combination of Skype + AudioHijack Pro for recording phone interviews.  If, however, you’re looking for alternate solutions, here are a couple that have recently been discussed on listservs like medianthro and anthrodesign.  I have not used any of these solutions myself.  If anyone out there has comments and/or feedback on them, please share.

Hardware Solutions

These devices get plugged into phone jacks and/or telephones:

Mini Recorder Control

THAT-1 Telephone Handset Audio Tap

Software Plug-In Solutions

I’ve mentioned Call Graph previously when discussing transcription services.  Call Graph offers a free software plug-in that you can use to digitally record Skype conversations.   The free version has ads on it, but there’s also the option to pay for a premier version that has no ads.  I imagine that Call Graph’s main motivation in offering this tool is to entice you to send your transcription work to them. You can see a tutorial on their plug-in here.

My software of choice is still AudioHijack Pro.

Platforms is a subscription-based platform that supports conference calls.  As part of the service you can have the calls recorded and archived (for a limited time) through the platform.

Google Voice is a relatively new (and mostly free) service, and it seems that it supports recording at any point during a call.  The only limitation is that you may only record calls that you receive, not calls that you initiate.  More information here.

Web-based collaborative qualitative data analysis tool: Dedoose

Posted: February 2nd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: research tools | 4 Comments »

I’ve just recently learned about Dedoose, a web-based tool designed for collaborative qualitative data analysis.

Through browsing their website I found that Dedoose supports both qualitative and quantitative analyses.  Because it’s web-based it has certain advantages: analyses are updated in real time, there is no need to download any software to your computer, and all of your material is stored (safely?) in the cloud.  Provided you have Internet access you and your team members can work anytime, anywhere.

I can’t speak of the user interface because I  haven’t tried it out yet, however Dedoose has received positive reviews on a few of the mailing lists that I subscribe to.  Like SurveyMonkey Dedoose operates on a subscription model — you pay a monthly fee to use it.  You can try before you buy, though:  according to their website anyone can try Dedoose out for free for one month.

I’ll get to that *after* this dissertation is done.  In the meantime, if you have reviews of Dedoose please share them.