Tools for Qualitative Researchers: Interviews
This section deals with the following:
A Checklist for Interview Researcher
Developing an Interview Protocol
An Interview Protocol Checklist
What Should An Interview Protocol Contain?
Here is an example of interview protocol. It is adopted from the protocol used in project case studies on teaching, learning, and assessment in various campuses around the country.
Tips on Interviewing and Hallmarks of an Interview
1. Identify yourself and set the respondent at ease.
2. The respondents reaction often mirrors that of the interviewer. The respondent will know if you are uncertain and uneasy. Your pleasant, positive, well-informed approach will be reflected in the interviewees readiness to respond.
3. If you want longer and detailed responses, reinforce those kinds of answerssay, Yes, Okay, or I see, or nod. Using similar reinforcers for unresponsive answers gives the wrong signal; save them for responsive answers.
4. To teach and motivate the respondent, use feedback expressions like these: Thanks, this is the sort of information were looking for in this research. its important to us to get this information. These details are helpful. Its useful to get your ideas (your opinion) on this. I see; thats useful information. Let me get that down.
5. Master the probe: repeat the question; give an expectant pause (an expectant look or nod of the head); possibly repeat, summarize, or reflect the feeling tone of the reply. Say: Anything else? How do you mean? Could you tell me more about it? Im not sure I know what you mean by that (bewildered look). Could you tell me a little bit more? However, dont overuse these, or the respondent will think you cant recognize a valid answer.
6. Where probing recall, use probes that give memory cues of items likely to be forgotten. For example, if probing hospitalization, say, Well, people quite frequently forget; it is more difficult to remember just an overnight hospitalization, for instance. Was there any chance you had something like this?
7. When overtly interviewing, sit in a comfortable spot where you can record the responses verbatim, using abbreviations to get them down. Record abbreviations, probes, and interviewer comment in parentheses. Write as the respondent talks.
References for Interview Method
Creswell, J. W. (1994). Research design: Qualitative & quantitative approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Krathwohl, D. R. (1998). Methods of educational & social science research: An integrated approach. (2nd ed.). New York: Longman.
Strauss, A. L., & Corbin, J. M. (1990). Basics of qualitative research: Grounded theory procedures and techniques. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.
Strauss, A. L., & Corbin, J. M. (1998). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory. (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Weiss, R. S. (1994). Learning from strangers: The art and method of qualitative interview studies. New York: Free Press.
Resources on this Page
Interview Researchers' Checklist
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