You should carry out this exercise in pairs or in a small group.
a) Select two topics from the list below. You will notice that some of them are fairly factual and others are more personal and sensitive in nature. Try to pick one factual topic and one more personal topic.
- School and work
- Personal aspirations
- School friendships
- Fears and worries
- Subject choice
b) Spend 15 minutes designing a short interview to investigate the opinions of two people on these topics. You will need to discuss issues of design, such as whether you will use a structured or unstructured format, and how you will phrase the questions in order to gain the sort of answers you require.
c) Each person should conduct the short interview with two ‘volunteers’. These volunteers should not be your friends. In some cases you will need to assure them of confidentiality.
d) You will then need to debrief the respondents – tell them what the interview was for and that their answers will be completely confidential.
e) Discuss together the design of the interview and how well it went:
- Did your respondents seem comfortable?
- Were your questions clear?
- Did you gain the sort of information you wanted?
- Did the interview go as you expected?
- Were you happy with both the quantity and quality of the information you received?
- How easy was it to record the responses?
- If you were to repeat this exercise, what would you do differently a second time?