Interviews provide some of the best data we can gather about learners and learning, but planning and executing a high quality interview is often challenging. Whether interviews happen during writing conferences, at the end of unit of mathematics study, or on the heels of a lab experience, I find it important to consider four different elements: Structure, purpose, those questions that elicit helpful responses, and those questions that can deepen the respondent’s thinking.

I recently shared the poster below with teachers who are new to documentation work, and they’ve been planning with it. I’m looking forward to receiving their feedback and welcome yours as well. It’s based on Qualitative Research: A Guide to Design and Implementation by Sharan Merriam, which I’m happy to recommend (and no, I wasn’t paid to).





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