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Qualitative Research Methods: Interview Process

A short course that will teach you how to prepare for and conduct conversational interviews, that will produce rich qualitative data.

Qualitative Research Methods: Interview Process
length
4 weeks
effort
2-3 hours per week
price
Free

About this course

This short course is adapted from a semester length graduate level course taught at MIT covering Qualitative Research Methods. This online course will focus specifically on teaching how to prepare for and conduct a conversational interview for data gathering purposes. We will also discuss the nature of qualitative research as a methodology, how it compares and differs from other forms of research, and how qualitative and quantitative research complement each other in a research project. This is the first in a multi-part series which will be released over the coming year, which will focus on Conversational Interviewing, Data Analysis, and Constructing Theory.

You might have encountered other forms of interview techniques in your studies and training. The form that we are teaching is the preferred method of Professor Silbey's, one that she has used extensively throughout her career. The goal is to construct an interview protocol such that you will be able to guide your interviewee through topics of interest to your study without bringing them up explicitly, in order to explore experiences and accounts without pointing respondents in particular directions. Not sure what an interview protocol is? No problem! You will by the end of the course.

What you’ll learn

  • How to prepare an interview protocol, and how to conduct an interview.
  • How to assess validity in qualitative research.

Prerequisites

None

Meet your instructors

  • Susan Silbey, Ph.D.

    Professor Susan S. Silbey is Leon and Anne Goldberg Professor of Humanities, Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, and Professor of Behavioral and Policy Sciences, Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She also serves as chair of the MIT faculty from 2017-2019.

    Silbey is interested in the governance, regulatory and audit processes in complex organizations. Her current research focuses on the creation of management systems for containing risks, including ethical lapses, as well as environment, health and safety hazards.

    Previous books include The Common Place of Law: Stories from Everyday Life (with Patricia Ewick) (1998), In Litigation: Do the 'Haves' Still Come Out Ahead (with Herbert Kritzer) (2003), Law and Science (I): Epistemological, Evidentiary, and Relational Engagements, and Law and Science (II): Regulation of Property, Practices, and Products (2008).

    Silbey is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards including a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship (2009), Doctor Honoris Causa from Ecole Normale Superiere Cachan in Paris (2006) and the Harry Kalven Jr. Prize for advancing the sociology of law (2009). She is Past President of the Law & Society Association, and a fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.