S1-Week 7-Class

Semester 1 (Week 7)

Theses are the notes I took during the Tuesday afternoon workshop that took place from 14:00 to 17:00 on 7th November 2017.  The tutors were Dr Claire McAvinia and Dr Ita Kennelly.

Topic for today’s workshop

– Research Methods

Learning Activity

Review your research question, methodology and methods.

Consider – how is it all lining up. Does everything fit?

Review individually (5 mins)

Review in pairs (5 mins each)

Justify your choice of methods/instruments to your partner (critical friend)

We will then feedback to the group?


We talked about

(a) recording versus note taking (recording was recommended)
(b) identifying the participants (or not) in my academic paper
(c) allowing the participants to vet the transcripts
(d) allowing the participants to vet the final paper


Something to think about…

Does the analysis of qualitative data involve some quantitative methods?

Does the design and analysis of quantitative data involve some qualitative judgements?

Questionnaire Design

Perhaps jumble up the negative and positive responses in a Lichter scale

Interviews as a Method

Interviewing: a method of data collection that involves researchers seeking open-ended answers related to a number of questions, topic areas, or themes. (O’Leary, 2010)

Interviews yield rich…..
(May, 1997)

Different epistemological conceptions of the role, different rules of the game and potentially different data…
(Kvale, 1996)

Interviews and Ethical Considerations

It would be considered unethical to…

Trying to get interviews at all costs
Not safeguarding anonymity and confidentiality
Making promises you cannot or do not intend to keep
Not being honest about the purpose of the interview or your intentions in relation to the data being collected

Interview Considerations (Planning)

Single or Multiple
In Person or Distanced

Interview Questioning

Structured – fixed and predetermined questions. No new questions added during…
Semi-structured – some questions fully decided, others might not be fixed. Researcher has scope to ask follow-up questions. Mixed framework for analysis.
Unstructured interviews – small set of self prompts to investigate research question. One question can lead to others.

Types of Questions


How to do a research interview (You Tube)

Commentary by Graham R Gibbs, University of Huddersfield

Interprets (summarise what the interviewee has just said)

Balanced (don’t talk too much)
Ethically sensitive

Bad Interview

No eye contact
Asking two questions at the one time
No prompts, no follow-up questions

Good interview

Have a good introduction
Ask the interviewee if they still wish to participate in the interview
Inform the interviewee that they don’t have to answer a question.
Use follow-up questions on interviewee answers.

Developing Your Questions

Decide on research topic
Generalise puzzlements
Create a list of research questions
Generate list of issues, topic, themes, subjects, etc