Portrait of  Graham R. Gibbs Graham R. Gibbs

g.r.gibbs@hud.ac.uk | 01484 472275


Graham Gibbs has a first degree in maths and worked in computing before returning to the University of Kent to do a masters in Philosophy and a Postgraduate Diploma in Sociology and Social Anthropology. He joined the University in 1979 and his interests include computer assisted learning and the use of computers in the social sciences.

He has published on the sociology of the state and computer assisted learning and been involved in a number of local environmental projects including Keeping Kirklees Warm. He was director of the coMentor research project, which developed software to support the teaching of social theory and philosophy, and of several linked computer assisted learning projects. He has written two books, Qualitative Data Analysis: Explorations with NVivo , for the Open University Press and Analyzing Qualitative Data , for Sage, and a third is on its way

In 2006 he was made a National Teaching Fellow and is now working on a HEA funded project, REQUALLO: Reusable Qualitative Learning Objects: Resources to support the learning of methods of qualitative data analysis in the social sciences.

Guest editors for: Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum: Qualitative Social Research: Technology in Qualitative Research, (with W. Mangabeira and S. Friese) 2002

Membership of editorial board: Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum: Qualitative Social Research (2001-present)

Member of conference organisational committee: CAQDAS 07 Conference: Advances in Qualitative Computing, Royal Holloway College, London (2007).

Teaching Responsibilities

Course Co-ordinator:

  • MSc Social Research and Evaluation (postgraduate)
  • MSc Social Research and Evaluation (Social Work) (postgraduate)

Module Co-ordinator:

  • Qualitative Analysis of Data (postgraduate)
  • Social Research Methods (postgraduate)
  • Evaluation Research, Policy and Practice (postgraduate)
  • Investigating the Social World (undergraduate)
  • Dissertation (postgraduate)

Contributions to

  • Introduction to Qualitative and Quantitative Data Analysis (postgraduate)
  • Philosophy of Social Research and Research Design (postgraduate)
  • Popular Culture (undergraduate)

Research and Scholarship

Research interests

Research Methods, qualitative research, use of computers in research, Computer Assisted Learning, CSCL.

University research group memberships

Graham Gibbs is currently a member of the Institute for Research in Citizenship and Applied Human Sciences, the Centre for Applied Childhood Studies, the Centre for Applied Psychological Research and the Centre for Research in the Social Sciences.

Other research groups



  • Director of the coMentor project
  • Director of the Virtual Learning Environments in Nursing Project
  • Co-director of EduC&IT@H - the School of Human and Health Sciences Computer-Based Learning Project
  • Co-director of BaCITS - University wide basic C&IT skills project
  • Co-director "Online support for QDA and CAQDAS and Evaluation of Learning Needs" ESRC Research Methods Programme Phase 2. This has produced online resources for qualitative analysts.

Grants, awards etc


(2008) Climbié Inquiry Data Corpus Online (with Graham Stone, Antony Osborne, Andrew Teal, Chris Hall). Jisc (Enhancing Digital Resources). £96,001

(2008) Consultancy on Qualitative Innovations in CAQDAS (QUIC) with Nigel Fielding, Jane Fielding, Ann Lewins, University of Surrey. ESRC. £13,500.

(2007) REQUALLO: Reusable Qualitative Learning Objects: Resources to support the learning of methods of qualitative data analysis in the social sciences. (With Ann Lewins, U. Surrey and Colm Crowley, U. Greenwich.) NTFS Project (Higher Education Academy). £221,140.

(2006) National Teaching Fellow (Higher Education Academy) Higher Education Academy. £10,000

(2003-) Online support for QDA and CAQDAS and Evaluation of Learning Needs (with Prof. N. Fielding and Ann Lewins, Univ. of Surrey). ESRC Research Methods Programme Phase 2.£97,736

(2003) Motivation and Student Attrition in Politics and Sociology. (with U. W. of England & U. of Swansea) LTSN Centre for Sociology, Anthropology and Politics. £7,270

(2001) Using a chatbot conversation to enhance the learning of social theory. (with A Teal, C Cameron, R van Kemenade, - U. of Huddersfield, J Phillips – U. of Manchester Met.)LTSN Centre for Sociology, Anthropology and Politics, (£4,000) and U. Huddersfield (£5,000) £9,000

(2000) Co3: the implementation of IMS specifications to achieve interoperability between COSE, CoMentor and Colloquia (with Univ. of Bangor and Staffordshire Univ.) Hefce JISC, JCIEL programme (£24,000 to Huddersfield). £100,000

(1998) coMentor Dissemination Project. Hefce JISC Technology Application Programme. £27,470

(1998) Nursing VLE (With Sue Frost, U. Huddersfield). NHS Training Consortium. £9,999

(1996-9) Research Bursary Yorkshire and Northern Region Health Authority. £31,721

(1996-9) Director and lead site, coMentor Project. (with M. Henry, U. Stirling). Hefce JISC Technology Application Programme. £93,955

(1993-) Member of PsyCLE consortium. (With D. Robinson, U. Huddersfield) TLTP 1 £2,000


(2007) Suspect research designs in the evaluation of e-learning. School Innovation Fund. £2,137

(2003) The Cross-Examinations held as part of the Inquiry into the Death of Victoria Climbié: Identifying the Themes in the Data and Establishing a Data Corpus (with Chris Hall, Helen Masson, Rachel Balen and Sue Hanson). University Research Project funding. £28,793

(2000) Basic IT skills Project (with H. Howden-Leach). University Innovation Fund. £100,000

(1999) Development of School Web Pages, (with P. Renwick and V. Senior) School Innovation Fund. £2,000

(1998) Centre for Constructions and Identity, (with T. Butt, N. King, J. McAuley, and B. Roberts). University Innovation Fund. £15,000

(1998) Nursing VLE, (With Sue Frost and Cathy Doggett, U. Huddersfield). NHS/WYCOHS. £10,610

(1997-) Research grant (With Keith Ward & Steve Porritt, U. Huddersfield). NHS/WYCOHS. £26,373

(1995-) University Teaching Fellowship (with D. Cliff and B. Roberts). University Teaching Fellowship. £8,970

(1994) Small grant to undertake seedcorn research on the use of digital video for the analysis of qualitative data in the social sciences. (with Dave Robinson). University Research Project funding. £1,180

(1993-4) Student careers guidance and job applications project (EHE 58). Enterprise in Higher Education Initiative. £13,648

(1993) Achieved award under the University’s Performance Related Pay Scheme

Research Degree Supervision

Sociology of Web 2.0

The interactivity, sociality and openness of Web 2.0 technologies such as Flickr, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter makes possible a new set of online activities that sociologists might study. These include the social and political use of the Web and its use therapeutically (such as in self help groups). However, one might ask, just how new these uses really are.

Video and the Internet

Watching video on the Internet is new but probably doesn’t involve any fundamental changes to the medium of video (although it might be argued that timeshifting and automatic scene skipping might have serious consequences for advertising). However, the ability of anyone to create and share video is new and might have widespread consequences for viewers as well as those in the video and film industry. Will this have an impact on what is considered to be entertainment?

Virtual society on the Internet

More and more people are spending a long time online in virtual realities (such as MMORPG’s and Second Life). Some have argued that these are promoting new forms of sociality and the development of new norms/rules/laws of behaviour. Others are more sceptical about the extent to which people in virtual realities are really separate from the real world.

Teaching and learning in HE

The evidence base for teaching and learning in HE is very large (lots of journals etc. publishing evaluations) but actually very poor quality. It suffers from some serious design flaws. Two things follow from this. First, are there ways that the quality could be improved – better design of research, better management of the results etc. Second, to what extent can we actually measure the impact of teaching approaches on learning?


Much technology is now being used to support learning in HE. Just what are the best ways to design such technology and to use it in e.g. reusable learning objects (RLOs)? What is the best user interface and best pedagogic design for RLOs? If we use communication technology in teaching and learning (e.g. online discussion groups and wikis) how do these work and do they promote different ways in which students communicate with each other?

CAQDAS and QDA and technology

Computer assisted qualitative data analysis (CAQDAS) has developed over the last 25 years as a common technology in qualitative data analysis (QDA). For many enthusiasts of CAQDAS it should have encouraged and supported new and powerful ways of analysing qualitative data. Has it done that? Or has technology had a more subtle or subversive impact on the way qualitative analysis is done?

Postgraduate research opportunities with Graham R. Gibbs

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