Students will conduct fieldwork data collection assignment, (interview), and write a short report on of this data collection experiences.
The purpose of the fieldwork assignment is to provide you an opportunity to engage in qualitative data collection and analysis/reflection in a way that allows you to learn and make mistakes in a safe context. This is part of the process of becoming a qualitative researcher/scholar.
Note that your grade will primarily be based NOT on the success of your data collection efforts, but on your ability to reflect on the process and recognize areas for improvement by drawing mainly from the class readings.
Interview Data Collection Memo
Select an interview participant – someone to interview who relates directly or loosely to a research interest of yours (more than one interview is encouraged but not necessary). Before you conduct the interview, consider the suggestions from the readings for:
selecting a participant
developing rapport and relationships
the interview structure
formulating good interview questions or guides
the process of conducting the interview
Audio or video record the interview(s).
Transcribe the interview(s).
In a minimum of 5-7 pages (double spaced, 12pt font, with 1 inch margins), generate a reflective memo of your interview data collection. Have an “analytical conversation” with yourself about your process and its relationship to the nature, quality, and amount of data you were able to collect in the interview. Feel free to critique your attempt at conducting this interview. Detail your praise and/or criticisms of your own thinking, decisions, and behaviors as well as your assessment of your level of success.
Remember, one purpose of this assignment is to demonstrate your knowledge of the readings. Therefore, in your memo, specifically reference content from the readings regarding interviewing and qualitative inquiry.
In your memo, specifically focus on the following:
Why this data? Describe why you selected this interviewee and how it informs your knowledge of the topic you are investigating.
What did you look for and how? Describe your approach to the protocol and interview process. Address the above six bullet points.
What patterns are emerging? What did you find? Think about the meanings you are extracting from the data. Do you see any patterns emerging?
Reflections and impressions of findings. What are your thoughts and feelings (personal response and subjective perceptions) regarding the data?
Reflections and impressions of approach. What are your thoughts regarding your methodological decisions and strategies you used in your approach to the interview(s)? Honesty and pragmatism in your reflections is encouraged. Make an effort to reach a level of conceptual depth that connects your thoughts about the readings together with your decisions about the interview process and your performance and effectiveness as an interviewer.
Future directions. What directions might you anticipate for further data collection and/or abstract analyses? Any further insights gained from the interview(s) data or your memo of it/them?
Transcript and other notes appended. In addition to your memo, include a copy of the verbatim transcription(s) (deidentified) along with any reflective notes you took on the interview(s) during analysis.
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