Principles And Practices Of S S I


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Slides used in applied research course for introduction to semi-structured interviewing.

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Principles And Practices Of S S I

  1. 1. Semi-Structured Interviewing: Principles and Practices <ul><li>Things We Do in Qualitative Interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Use open-ended questions </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid leading questions </li></ul><ul><li>Probe issues in depth </li></ul><ul><li>Let the informant lead </li></ul>
  2. 2. Semi-Structured Interviewing: Principles and Practices <ul><li>Use Open-Ended Questions </li></ul><ul><li>Closed Questions: Questions for which the answer choices are either given to the respondent or understood by the respondent </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What are three ways to prevent a cold [Implies limited correct answers] </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Do you talk to people about your experiences as a student at Eastern? [Choice implied: yes/no] </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Do people here want more or less government intervention? [Implies limited choices] </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Closed questions limit the breadth of information that a respondent has to offer. </li></ul><ul><li>Open Questions: Questions that allow the respondent to answer without presented or implied choices </li></ul><ul><li>Turn the above closed questions into open questions </li></ul><ul><li>Open Question Words: What? Where? Who? When? How? Why?* OR Tell me about… </li></ul><ul><li>* Wh y? Limit the use of “ Why?” questions because it implies that there is a right answer and because there is not always a re ason for behavior (at least not one respondents can identify). </li></ul>
  3. 3. Semi-Structured Interviewing: Principles and Practices <ul><li>Avoid Leading Questions </li></ul><ul><li>Allow people to answer in their own terms voicing their own views, values and experiences. </li></ul><ul><li>Leading questions are phrased to suggest a particular answer or to imply that one answer is expected or more correct: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What do you like about the distance learning portion of the program? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Why is the election process such a problem here? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How good has your experience at Eastern been? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Non-leading questions on the same topics could be asked this way: </li></ul><ul><li>Turn the above into non-leading questions </li></ul>
  4. 4. Semi-Structured Interviewing: Principles and Practices Probing “ Th e key to successful interviewing is learning how to probe effectively … ...that is, to stimulate an informant to produce more information… ...without injecting yourself so much into the interaction that you only get a reflection of yourself in the data. ” Bernard, H. R. (1995). Research methods in anthropology : qualitative and quantitative approaches. Walnut Creek, CA., AltaMira Press.
  5. 5. Semi-Structured Interviewing: Principles and Practices <ul><li>Types of Probes </li></ul><ul><li>Echo - repeat the last thing the respondent said with a slight rise in the voice...&quot;I think x is good... You think x is good...?&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Re-question - &quot;What else do you think about x...?&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Silent – wait, just remain quiet and wait for the respondent to continue </li></ul><ul><li>Re-cap - &quot;Could you repeat what you said about x..?&quot; The repeat will likely yield new information </li></ul><ul><li>Encouragement - Verbal probe with noises such as uh-huh, I see, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Non-verbal - Such things as smile, click, head shake, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Phased Assertion - When you act as if you know something in order to get people to open up. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Semi-Structured Interviewing: Principles and Practices Letting the Informant Lead “ In unstructured interviewing, you keep the conversation focused on a topic, while giving the informant room to define the content of the discussion. Th e rule is: Get an informant on to a topic of interest and get out of the way. Let the informant provide information that he or she thinks is important.” Bernard, H. R. (1995). Research methods in anthropology : qualitative and quantitative approaches. Walnut Creek, CA., AltaMira Press.
  7. 7. Semi-Structured Interviewing: Principles and Practices <ul><li>Some Tips for Interviewing--Asking Questions </li></ul><ul><li>Do not begin interviewing right away </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Friendly greeting and explanations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establish “c u ltural ignorance”—interviewer as learner </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Listen and express interest in what the informant tells you </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More of a friendly conversation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not a strict question & answer exchange </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But remain neutral: don’t approve or disapprove </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Try to encourage informant to expand on their answers and give as many details as possible —informants have a tendency is to abbreviate answers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use “d e scribe” or “t e ll me more about that…” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t rush through questions--explore! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Let informant’s answers determine the direction the interview takes ( keeping within topics of interest ) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use informant’s own language to ask new questions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do this as you learn informant’s “l a nguage ” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Crude measure of success is the volume of response </li></ul><ul><ul><li>80% at least “their” words </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most problems are the fault of the interviewer </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Learn how to re-phrase/re-think questions </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid using “w h y?” questions as much as possible. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Informants will try to give you a ‘right’ answer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Informants may have to “i n vent” an explanation/justification </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Semi-Structured Interviewing: Principles and Practices <ul><li>Some Tips for Interviewing--Openings and Closings </li></ul><ul><li>Greetings/Explanations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Describe reasons for interview </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Describe confidentiality/Receive consent (as appropriate) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explain the types of questions/content (their ability to opt out) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explain your method of recording information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide any special task instructions (if any, e.g. pile sorting) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Closing comments: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Thank the informant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Express a desire to meet again (as applicable) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Set a time for next meeting (if applicable) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Invite the informant to ask questions </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Semi-Structured Interviewing: Principles and Practices <ul><li>Types of Interview Questions </li></ul><ul><li>Spradley, J. P. (1979). The ethnographic interview. New York, Holt, Rinehart and Winston. </li></ul><ul><li>Descriptive Questions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Grand Tour </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Example Questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experience Questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Native Language” Questions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Structural Questions </li></ul><ul><li>Contrast Questions </li></ul>
  10. 10. Semi-Structured Interviewing: Principles and Practices <ul><li>Descriptive Questions </li></ul><ul><li>These questions seek to open the door and start to get an idea of how things work </li></ul><ul><li>Grand Tour </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Typical - “D e scribe a typical day here. ” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Specific - “D e scribe what happened yesterday, beginning with when you woke up. ” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Guided - “ Could you show me around your community/office/campus? ” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Task - “I would like to ask you to draw a map for me of the surrounding community and explain to me what it is like here. ” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Example Question </li></ul><ul><li>“ Y o u mentioned challenges your church faces in helping returning vets integrate into your church. I would like to hear some examples of these challenges? ” </li></ul><ul><li>Experience Questions </li></ul><ul><li>“ T e ll me about some of your experiences of trying to help homeless men in this community. ” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Native-Language” Questions </li></ul><ul><li>“ Y o u mentioned how ‘mniha’ has changed here. Tell me more about how ‘mniha’ works. ” </li></ul><ul><li>D e scriptive questions form the basis of all ethnographic interviewing . </li></ul>
  11. 11. Semi-Structured Interviewing: Principles and Practices Structural Questions Verify terms learned via descriptive questions and the relationships between them “ W h at are some of the different kinds of ‘loha’ that occur here?” “ I’m interested in knowing all the different symptoms of ‘mambo-layo’ that you talked about. ” “ Y o u said that women here are afraid to go out alone because of ‘teasing’. What are some ways you have seen ‘teasing’ take place? ”
  12. 12. Semi-Structured Interviewing: Principles and Practices Contrast Questions These questions also seek to find out what an informant means by various terms: “ W h at are the differences between the ‘hardcore homeless’ and ‘newbies’? ” “ E a rlier you said that the ‘second generation’ of Hmong immigrants view violence differently than the ‘first generation’. Give me some examples of the difference between the two. ”
  13. 13. Semi-Structured Interviewing: Principles and Practices Putting it All Together: A Checklist to Guide the Interview Process
  14. 14. Semi-Structured Interviewing: Principles and Practices <ul><li>Field Guides </li></ul><ul><li>(experiment with a style that works for you) </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose: to help us identify and explore relevant topics with key informants. </li></ul><ul><li>Length: 10-20 Questions/Question Elements, plus instructions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Should focus on the research topic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May be subdivided into subtopical areas </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Introductory Statement: Purpose of study, confidentiality, disclosure statement </li></ul><ul><li>Types of questions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Begin with descriptive, open-ended questions to explore/identify terms and concepts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Move from descriptive to structural and contrast questions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ways to use EFG: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As a starting point - a set of cues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NOT to be followed like a structured survey </li></ul></ul><ul><li>TYPICAL PROBLEM OF INEXPERENCED INTERVIEWERS: STICK SLAVISHLY TO GUIDE </li></ul>
  15. 15. Semi-Structured Interviewing: Principles and Practices Note Taking Process Collect Raw Field Notes Notebook for raw field notes Small notebook for informal observations Write Expanded Field Notes Write up immediately after interview/observation Hand write clearly in notebook for expanded notes or, Type up expanded notes, if possible Code Field Notes
  16. 16. Semi-Structured Interviewing: Principles and Practices <ul><li>Writing Raw Field Notes </li></ul><ul><li>Write in a “r a w notes ” notebook </li></ul><ul><li>All team members should take notes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Exception is during an activity where the person facilitating the activity does not take notes. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Record questions as well as answers </li></ul><ul><li>Jot down cue words, probes or phrases you used to encourage more </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Usually not word for word, as much as possible however </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Record especially appropriate quotes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Keep track of key terms/phrases </li></ul><ul><li>Make Sketches, Diagrams, Maps </li></ul><ul><li>Keep in Mind: THESE NOTES ARE THE RAW DATA--THE “EVIDENCE BASE” </li></ul>
  17. 17. Semi-Structured Interviewing: Principles and Practices <ul><li>Writing Expanded Field Notes </li></ul><ul><li>Allocate time the same day </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1 hr interview --> 2-4 hours expanding </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Place identification information at the top </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Topic, date, informant(s) (pseudonym) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Description of setting and informant(s) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Include contextual information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Who recommended the informant(s) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How you found the informant(s) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How this interview fits in with other information </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Main body of expanded notes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Majority of your notes here </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scripting method preferred (not summary but actual words “v e rbatim ” ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Record non-verbal behavior </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Summary (process & content) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How did the activity go? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Informant(s) truthful/frank? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Informant(s) participate? willingly? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Biases? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conclusions related to study questions? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Important issues to follow-up </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Semi-Structured Interviewing: Principles and Practices <ul><li>Coding </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Management and Analysis Tool -- based on learning objective AND emerging themes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Classifies words </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Functions: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Organize data </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Retrieve data </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce data </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Find patterns </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Forces you to read your data </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Types of codes: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Numbers (with codebook) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Letters or mnemonic (help to remember code meaning) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Words </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Colors </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where to code: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Usually in the margins of expanded notes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Adjacent to last line of the relevant text </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When to code: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Start with a coding list that can change as you go (add, drop codes, re-coding) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Can wait until a significant amount of data has been collected or wait until the end of the study </li></ul></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Semi-Structured Interviewing: Principles and Practices <ul><li>Examples of Codes </li></ul><ul><li>Letter Codes for Food Security Interviews </li></ul><ul><ul><li>FS--Food Source </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SL--Seasonal Differences in Food Intake </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PV--Poverty (description) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>HP--Hope </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>WR--Worry or Insecurity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CH--Changes Over Time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CP--Community Problem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>HP--Household Problem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>KP--Child Problem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>WP--Woman’s Problem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MP--Man’s Problem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CA-Cause </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>EF-Effect </li></ul></ul>