Methods Of Social Research

For :
Submit your interview questions, following the guidelines provided inModule 3. Your interview questions should be broad, and focus on . They should include probes. As you write them, think carefully about their order and phrasingwith the understanding that in the interview situation, you will have the flexibility to change the order and phrasing, as well as add or omit questions. Think of your questionnaire as a starting point, not a rigid instrument. See Interview Dos and Donts in Module 3 as well.

Students often ask how many questions they should have, and there is no real answer to this question. I have found that the questionnaires that work best for about 10 questions, with great variation in the number of probes. It is up to you to judge how many questions will cover your topic, and elicit interviews that last at least 30 minutes each.

An example of an interview questionnaire is available inModule 3.

For :
Submit your observation plan, following the guidelines provided in Module 3. It should include:
The location of your observation, with a brief description of the setting and participants.
An explanation of why you chose this setting.
An observation schedule that indicates the days and times of your observation sessions. This can be in the form of a table, or a narrative.
Information about how you will gain entry into the setting.
Information about your strategy for note-taking. Give a specific description of the tools you will use to record your information (what type of notepad? What kind of writing device? Why?), and how you will ensure that you are discreet (will you leave the setting at regular interval? How often? To go where? Can you conceal your note-taking? How?).

Module 3 example:

In this course, we will be using qualitative semi-structured interview protocol. Although you may not know exactly what this is yet, take your best educated guess. Evaluate whether this interviewer is doing a good job. What are the strong points about this interviewers work? Do you have any suggestions of what could be done better?

Interviewer: OK, lets get started. How long have you been married?
Respondent: 22 years.
Interviewer: OK, great, next question. What are your biggest areas of conflict in your marriage?
Respondent: Probably when we disagree about how to spend the money, or on some discipline issues with the kids. I think Im harder on our son while shes harder on our daughter.
Interviewer: OK, well that makes sense. Thank you for sharing that. What about your in-laws?
Respondent: Oh, well thats not really an issue anymore.
Interviewer: OK, well thats good. Next question. Did you live together before you got married?
Respondent: Yes, for a short time.

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