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  • 00:00

    [MUSIC PLAYING][How Can I Use Creative Approaches in My Interviews?]

  • 00:10

    BETHANY MORGAN-BRETT: We often getasked as methods trainers how to introduce creative techniquesinto the qualitative interview.So an interview doesn't have to be just two peoplesat face to face asking and answering questions,and you might consider using additional toolsto encourage conversation.Now, creative techniques can be particularlyuseful for interviewing children, people livingwith learning disabilities, or other people whostruggle to articulate what they want to say.

  • 00:42

    BETHANY MORGAN-BRETT [continued]: These methods can also be fun and engaging whichcan help draw your participant more into the research.In this video, we offer five creative technique ideaswhich can be used in interviews and would also besuitable for online research.The first creative technique is art-based interviewing.In this technique, you might ask your participantto create something, to paint or draw a picture,or model something which represents an elementof your research question.

  • 01:11

    BETHANY MORGAN-BRETT [continued]: So for example in a life story interview,you might ask a participant to draw a favorite memoryfrom their childhood or perhaps draw their family tree.Or in a research project on environmentalism,you could ask your participant to modelthe impact of global warming using plasticine or pipecleaners.These pieces of art might be createdin advance of the interview, and then used as a talking point.

  • 01:35

    BETHANY MORGAN-BRETT [continued]: Or it might be that you ask your participantto create it in front of you, and then ask them to commentateon their artistic decisions.Art can be a really great way to offer freedom for expressionand new insights into people's emotional responses to a topic.The second creative method is the story completion method.In this method, the interviewer presentsa stem for hypothetical story based on a set topic.

  • 02:01

    BETHANY MORGAN-BRETT [continued]: For example, the researcher might begin a storywith a fictional character who has a dilemma whichneeds to be resolved.Or it might be that the story is in the first person invitingthe interviewee to respond in a hypothetical way.The participant is invited to complete the story,and the researcher then analyzes what that ending of the storyreveals about the understandings and discoursesaround that topic.

  • 02:26

    BETHANY MORGAN-BRETT [continued]: This method is particularly useful for researchin highly sensitive topics which participantsmight feel uncomfortable about answering direct questionsabout.And you could use this method to uncover deep understandingsand experiences of the topic but without the direct questioningthat's involved in a standard interview.The third creative method is the use of diaries or journaling.

  • 02:50

    BETHANY MORGAN-BRETT [continued]: In this method, you can ask your participantsto record their experiences of a particular event or simplyof their daily lives for a set period of time.You could offer them a structure whichthey have to follow, perhaps setting outwhat they need to record at set points through the dayor through a week.And this will allow you to make stronger comparisonsacross your participant's data.

  • 03:12

    BETHANY MORGAN-BRETT [continued]: Or you could let the participant recordwhatever information they feel isrelevant for that period of time.Although this might be a more hard way to compare data.Participants might write their diary entrieswith a pen and paper, or they might add their entriesinto an online platform or an app,or you could ask them to record voice memos.You could ask your participant to complete these diariesin advance of the interview.

  • 03:36

    BETHANY MORGAN-BRETT [continued]: And then this could provide a basis for discussionwhere you explore the diary entries together.And this brings us on to the fourth creative interviewingtechnique which is photo, video, or voice elicitation.In this method, you can ask your participantsto take photographs, or make videos, or voice memosabout their everyday practices and interactionsthat they can then share with you.

  • 04:01

    BETHANY MORGAN-BRETT [continued]: You might also want to offer some direct questionsor prompts to direct their recordings.Like with the diary entries, thesecould be completed in advance and formthe basis for the interview discussion that's to come.Now, the final creative techniquethat we'd like to share with you is the go-along interview.Interviews don't necessarily require two peopleto be sat in a room together talking one on one.

  • 04:25

    BETHANY MORGAN-BRETT [continued]: Interviews can also take place while doing something else.This might be a hobby, or shopping, eating, working,for example.And in a go-along interview, you'dfollow your participant around about in their daily activity.So for example in a shop along, youmight follow your participant around a supermarketto observe and discuss their consumption choices.

  • 04:46

    BETHANY MORGAN-BRETT [continued]: You might film these go-alongs perhapsusing wearable recording devices such as GoPros.And this could be a really interesting and rewarding wayto collect interview data, but you should alsobe mindful about how people changetheir behavioral practices if they knowthat they're being observed.So we hope this video has given yousome inspiration into creative techniquesthat can be used to illicit conversation in an interview.

  • 05:12

    BETHANY MORGAN-BRETT [continued]: We hope that its shown you that an interview doesn't haveto be so rigid in its format and that a creative element mighthelp your participants open up about their experiences.Have a think about what method youmight like to put into practice in your own research.[FURTHER READING][MUSIC PLAYING]

Video Info

Series Name: How to Do Qualitative Interviewing

Episode: 9

Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Publication Year: 2021

Video Type:Tutorial

Methods: Creative interviewing, Qualitative interviewing, Qualitative data collection

Keywords: communication skills; creative interviewing; diary methods; interview techniques; life story; observational methods; qualitative interview; qualitative research methods; Sensitive topics; Story telling; video recording ... Show More

Segment Info

Segment Num.: 1

Persons Discussed:

Events Discussed:



Dr. Bethany Morgan Brett, PhD, Lecturer at the University of Essex, discusses the use of creative approaches in interviews, including art-based, story-completion, diaries or journals, photo/video/voice elicitation, and go-along techniques.

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How Can I Use Creative Approaches in My Interviews?

Dr. Bethany Morgan Brett, PhD, Lecturer at the University of Essex, discusses the use of creative approaches in interviews, including art-based, story-completion, diaries or journals, photo/video/voice elicitation, and go-along techniques.

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