For my small-scale autoethnography research project, I planned to interview 2 people about their intentions, experiences, and learning. Yesterday, I had my first telephone interview yesterday, and found it a fascinating experience. This post discusses what I learned, and not the interview itself; I am rather strict with adhering to my Ethical Approval (IRB) stipulations.
The first and most practical thing I learned is that the interview took far longer than the 30 minutes I estimated in my consent. It took longer not because I asked more questions based on the open-ended ones I already developed, but because the questions and conversation produced a far richer discussion (aka data) than I had hoped.
While I also learned that we did not systematically work through the 6 research questions I listed,
- Why did you choose to use autoethnographic inquiry?
- Who is your intended audience?
- What goals did you have for your readers or learners?
- What role did technology play in your research?
- What did you learn in the process of this autoethnographic inquiry?
- If you were to conduct further autoethnographic inquiry, what would you do differently?
the conversation progressed organically and all the questions were answered in some form or another. I have experienced this before, but have never seen it so unified in this manner. I am not sure if this was the results of a common interest in the area, the autoethnographic qualitative strategy itself, if my questions were spot-on, or if there were other factors that enabled this to occur.
I realized I did not allow for closure in my questions (or the note-taking template I used), so I ended by asking if there were anything else that the interviewee wanted to add or comment about at the end. This quite nicely and unexpectedly turned into a summary of the main points.
Overall, a very rich experience.