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ERIC Number: EJ1110265
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1359 6748
A Consideration of the Case for Using Life Story Interviews in the Evaluation of Widening Access Interventions
Raven, Neil
Research in Post-Compulsory Education, v21 n3 p278-290 2016
Whilst published data sources exist for evaluating interventions aimed at widening higher education access, there is value for practitioners in conducting their own research. However, recognition of the contribution afforded by generating new data raises questions over which research methods to utilise. One method relatively new to widening access, but that has been applied in other fields to good effect, is the life story interview. This study assesses the case for its adoption. It does so by employing a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis, which is able to direct attention to a method's strengths and weaknesses, as well as encourage consideration of opportunities favouring take-up alongside threats likely to inhibit use. Drawing upon desk research, including a recently reported pilot study by the author, along with practitioner feedback, the findings suggest that the method has a valuable role to play in evaluating widening access activity. Here, the paper identifies a number of comparative strengths the life story interview possesses. Although it has limitations, these, it is argued, can be managed through research design and a mixed-methods approach. Moreover, assessment of external opportunities and threats suggests the potential for wider adoption, whilst aligning strengths to opportunities indicates how this could happen.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A