ERIC Number: ED421485
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Designing Structured Interviews for Educational Research. ERIC/AE Digest.
ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation, Washington, DC.
This digest reviews the basic building blocks of a structured interview, points out some of the pitfalls in interviewing, and suggests ways for researchers to avoid these difficulties to produce questions that have the best possibility of generating reliable and accurate data on the topics of interest. The data collection instrument is a document containing questions presented in a systematic and highly precise fashion. A structured interview uses such an instrument to gather data face-to-face or over the telephone. It is also possible to conduct a computer-assisted telephone interview, in which the data collection instrument is stored in a computer and the interviewer records responses directly into the computer. The researcher must compare the relative benefits of these types of structured interviews with those of the mail questionnaire. If a structured interview is chosen, the first step is to formulate the broad overall questions that the survey is intended to answer. The second step is to translate these broad questions into measurable elements as hypotheses or more precise questions. The target population must then be identified, and the study can then proceed to the development of a pool of specific questions designed to elicit the desired information. The main criteria for appropriate questions are relevance, selection of the respondents, and ease of response. Important considerations in deciding on the format of questions are "how" the question is to be delivered, the type of information the respondent is expected to provide, and the possible alternative responses. Making these decisions results in the selection of open-ended, fill-in-the-blank, binary choice, scaled response, or unscaled response questions. (Contains five references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Data Collection, Educational Research, Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education, Research Design, Research Methodology, Telephone Surveys, Test Construction, Test Items
ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation, 210 O'Boyle Hall, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC 20064; phone: 800-464-3742.
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation, Washington, DC.