Qualitative Research Methods: Conversational Interviewing

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

Qualitative Research Methods: Conversational Interviewing

There is one session available:

25,907 already enrolled! After a course session ends, it will be archived.
Starts May 18
Estimated 3 weeks
2–3 hours per week
Self-paced
Progress at your own speed

About this course

Skip About this course

This short course is adapted from a semester length graduate level coursetaught 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 isthe 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.

At a glance

  • Institution: MITx
  • Subject: Humanities
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Prerequisites:

    None

  • Language: English

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn
  • How to prepare an interview protocol, and how to conduct an interview.
  • How to assess validity in qualitative research.

We will cover the following topics:

  1. The Science of Social Science
    • What is Social Science?
    • How does Social Science differ from the physical sciences?
  2. The Process of Qualitative Research
    • How does Qualitative Research differ from Quantitative Research?
    • What is Fieldwork?
    • Conversational Interviewing and it's use in research
  3. Establishing Validity in Qualitative Research
    • What are the criteria for validity when conducting Qualitative Research?
    • What are the tests for validity?
  4. Conducting Conversational Interviews
    • Interviewing as Data Collection
    • Drafting an Interview Protocol
    • Interviewing Techniques
  5. Interview Examples & Discussion
    • Demostratons of Good and Bad interview techniqueswith detailed discussion
  6. Logistics and Ethical Concerns
    • Logistics of Conducting Interviews: Finding & Inviting Subjects, Recording Interviews, etc
    • Ethics & Human Subject Research

About the instructors

Who can take this course?

Unfortunately, learners from one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register for this course: Iran, Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine. While edX has sought licenses from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer our courses to learners in these countries and regions, the licenses we have received are not broad enough to allow us to offer this course in all locations. edX truly regrets that U.S. sanctions prevent us from offering all of our courses to everyone, no matter where they live.