Question 2 a: Agnes’ interviews

Good answers:

  • Some people used good terminology such as interview schedule, rapport (the quality of the relationship between the interviewer and the interviewee), leading questions ( not a good thing in an interview as leads to problems with the validity of the data as pps are influenced to say a certain answer by the wording of the question).
  • Some good attention to the command term EXPLAIN; where people considered HOW Agnes could prepare and WHY this was a good thing.
  • Some people gave some great reasons on HOW she come up with good questions including searching through the comments on the Donate not hate website and talking to a few group members first to get ideas.
  • Some people also came up with great ways to increase the rapport

Common problems:

  • Lack of appropriate terminology in the answer or using terms wrongly
  • People described what she might do but didn’t always link this to the extract but did not say WHY this would be helpful.
  • When giving reasons WHY she should prepare in certain ways people didn’t always link this to any improvement such as to the ethics, validity, reliability etc of the data

Model answer

1.      To prepare for the interviews Agnes might have searched through the facebook group “Donate not Hate” comments thread to get ideas for the interview schedule, that is the list of questions that she will use as a guide. (this is the HOW bit)
This would ensure the questions are focused on matters that are relevant to the interviewees as they are based on actual comments from ingroup members rather than Agnes’s preconceptions. This would make her data arguably more useful and meaningful (valid). (This is the WHY bit)
2.      Agnes needs to think about how to record the interview, e.g. using a Dictaphone app on her iphone and she needs to practice using this to make sure she doesn’t mess up on the day! (HOW)
This is important because she needs an full and accurate transcript of the interview as relying on making notes from memory could lead to problems subjectivity and a lack of validity of the data. (WHY)

Indicative content

There are lots of other possible things she can do to prepare, e.g.

  • Training on how to do a good interview
  • Check equipment is working okay
  • Think about improving the rapport by dress appropriately etc and finding out a bit about the PPs in advance
  • Doing a pilot study (mock interview/dry run/practice)
  • Thinking about how the data will be coded

To gain credit for any of these you need to show detailed knowledge of issues relating to semi-structured interviews but also link to the extract in your HOW and WHY comments, avoid generic responses.