Educational Research Methods


A site to support teaching and learning...


Interviews are a class of data collection techniques, that are used in a wide range of research designs, within different research methodologies.

Powney and Watts (1987, p.vii) consider research interviews as ‘Conversational encounters to a purpose’

Powney, J., & Watts, M. (1987). Interviewing in Educational Research. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Kvale (1996) refers to ‘interViews’:

“The qualitative research interview is a construction site for knowledge. An interview is literally an inter view, an inter-change of views between two persons conversing about a theme of mutual interest.” (Kvale, 1996: 14)

Kvale, S. (1996). InterViews: An introduction to qualitative research interviewing. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.

Bell suggests that: ‘“In an interview situation the questions asked are “genuine” ones - genuine in that we do not know the answer to our question when we ask it.”

Bell, Beverley (1995) Interviewing: a technique for assessing science knowledge, Chapter 15 of Glynn, Shawn M. & Duit, Reinders (Eds.) (1995) Learning Science in the Schools: Research Reforming Practice, Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp.347-364.

Interview data                                    Types of interviews

Interview context                                Group interviews

The interview schedule                        Good interview practice

A Beginner’s Guide to Interviews.pdf was produced by educational research students as part of a constructionist class activity.

This is a personal site of Keith S. Taber to support teaching of educational research methods.

(Dr Keith Taber is Professor of Science Education at the University of Cambridge.)