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Using Creative Methods in Qualitative Interviews

Case
By: Published: 2021 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 1
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Abstract

Qualitative interviews can be enhanced through using creative methods within them to prompt discussion and conversation. The research project upon which this case focuses sought to explore the space between policy and practice in pre-entry widening participation work in universities. This is an area where often people focus on telling you about what they should be doing in line with institutional missions as opposed to the messy realities of practice which was what I was particularly interested in exploring. To do this, I opted to use creative methods to encourage participants to think about key issues in different ways and to provide an opportunity to discuss issues beyond a traditional question and answer approach which can encourage reliance on repetition of existing discourses on certain topics. This case explores how two contrasting methods: A drawing task and a LEGO construction task were used within the same interview. It will reflect on their relative success and the barriers to their effective use within the interview setting. Drawing on the idea of creative confidence, I will highlight how the failures during my own research project may help future researchers think about planning for overcoming these barriers early in the research process.

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