Dynamic descriptor fields are an advanced type of option list field available in Dedoose. Typically used very sparingly, dynamic descriptors let you see and explore change over time when you collect qualitative data at multiple time points as their values are determined when a descriptor is linked to a resource. To illustrate when a dynamic descriptor might be used, imagine you are doing an 18-month study on elementary school student reading skills and will interview the students three times. Some of the descriptor data for each participant will be the same at all time-points, but some will change, for example, student gender, ethnicity, and family SES group might stay the same over the course of the project, but the time of measurement (e.g., baseline, time 1, time 2) or classroom grade (e.g., 3rd, 4th, 5th) might change. If you make time of measurement or class grade dynamic descriptors you will be prompted to set the value (e.g., baseline, time 1, time 2) when linking the qualitative resource to a descriptor. Subsequently, your excerpting and tagging activity for those qualitative resources will be linked to the specific time point. With data like these, Dedoose allows you to explore change over the three time-points and there is a set of graphs built into Dedoose to facilitate exposing patterns of change and drilling into the meaning of the patterns that emerge.
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