Interview schedule By Sunandamma, M Research Scholar DOS in Library and Information Science University of Mysore Mysore Research Guide Dr. P. Sarasvathi Senior Assistant Librarian DOS in Library and Information Science University of Mysore Mysore Introduction of Interview Schedule This method of data collection is very much like the collection of data through questionnaire, with little difference which lies in the fact that schedules (proforma containing a set of questions) are being filled in by the enumerators who are specially appointed for the purpose. These enumerators along with schedules, go to respondents, put to them the questions from the proforma in the order the questions are listed and record the replies in the space meant for the same in the proforma. In certain situations, schedules may be handed over to respondents and enumerators may help them in recording their answers to various questions in the said schedules. Enumerators explain the aims and objects of the investigation and also remove the difficulties which any respondent may feel in understanding the implications of a particular question or the definition or concept of difficult terms. This method requires the selection of enumerators for filling up schedules or assisting respondents to fill up schedules and as such enumerators should be very carefully selected. The enumerators should be trained to perform their job well and the nature and scope of the investigation should be explained to them thoroughly so that they may well understand the implications of different questions put in the schedule. Enumerators should be intelligent and must possess the capacity of crossexamination in order to find out the truth. Above all, they should be honest, sincere, hardworking and should have patience and perseverance. Definition of Interview Schedule A interview schedule is a interview with pre-coded question to produce quick, cheap and easy quantitative data which is high in reliability but low in validity. These methods are favoured by Positivists but shunned by Interactionists. Construction of interview schedule Since interview schedule is similar to mailed questionnaire in all respects step to be followed for construction of the schedule, its structure and content are same to that of the questionnaire. However, some of the important steps involved in construction of interview schedule are as follows: 1.Determination of type of data needed Interview schedule is an instrument for gathering data for a specific study, its construction should flow logically from the data required for the given study. The data required for a research study can be determined by deep analysis of the research objectives the investigative questions to each of the research objective, hypothesis and the operational definitions of the concepts used in them. the researcher should decide what data are required to answer the research questions and to test the hypothesis. what questions should be put to the respondents to elicit these data. the outcome of this exercise in analytical reasoning depends upon researcher’s perception of the research problem and his insight into it. 2. Determination of the respondents level: understand and determine the respondents their specialized knowledge relating to the problem under study; their level of knowledge and understanding and so on. the choice of words and concepts depends upon the level of the respondents ‘knowledge’. 3. Instrument drafting: After determining the data required for the study firstly, a broad outline of the instrument may be drafted, listing the various broad categories of data, for example, the outline of interview schedule for users opinion regarding library OPAC may consist of such sections as: A) Awareness about OPAC B) Knowledge of searching OPAC C) Usage of OPAC D) Assistance of library staff in using OPAC and so on secondly the sequence of these grouping must be decided. they must be arranged in a logical order- for example, in the schedule outline given above. usage of OPAC cannot precede ‘awareness about OPAC’ because the usage can only be thought of when one is aware of OPAC and techniques of searching. thirdly, the questions to be asked under each group heading must be listed. all conceivable items relevant to ‘data need’ should be compiled. the goal of this listing is to ensure that all questions that are required to obtain the needed data are compiled. in compiling this draft, the content, wording and other aspects should be considered. 4. Evaluation of the draft instrument • • • • • In consultation with other qualified persons, the researcher must rigorously examine each question in the draft instrument. this evaluation may be done in terms. of the following criteria: the relevance of each question to the research objectives and investigative questions. The appropriateness of the type of question: open ended or structured. The clarity and unambiguity of the question The practicability of the question i.e., it should not demand knowledge and information that the respondent does not possess, it should not test his/her memory span and also should not embarrass him/her. The validity of the question i, e., it should not be a leading or loaded question The logical and psychological order of the questions, their clarity and content and the length of the instrument and other aspects of its structure should also be considered. The length in itself need not be the guiding factor in the design. The important adequately covers the subject, but does not include irrelevant items. In the light of the above evaluation, the draft instrument should be revised. the revised draft must be pre-tested in order to identify the weaknesses of the instrument and to make the required further revisions to rectify them. The interview schedule Name Position Rationale John Smith R&D Manager To understand R&D strategy 25/4 and get future R&D expenditures Roy Wilkinson Head of metalurgical research To get facts on competitor Xs latest development. In particular: Potential customers Our position Bob Johnson Lab assistant Date 27/4 An interview schedule is helpful, to track who is going to be interviewed, when and why. CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD SCHEDULE • • • • • • • • • • It asks for and obtains all the information required for achieving the research at objectives. It contains questions relevant to the study and does not include any irrelevant and unimportant questions. It does not aim at obtaining any information which can be more accurately and effectively obtained by other data-gathering methods like observation. It contains no questions that are unclear, ambiguous, double, leading, loaded or uninformative, and long. It contains no open-ended or discussion questions unless they are absolutely necessary. It does not contain questions which are beyond the memory span of respondent It contain questions that can be answered as quickly and easily as possible. It avoids unwarranted presumptions about the respondents. It does not restrict the choices of answers so as to bias or distort replies to be given. choices to closed questions are adequate, reasonable, unidimensional and logically consistent. • • • • • • • • • • • • Each question is limited to a single idea or single reference. No embarrassing questions are given without providing an opportunity to explain. appropriate balance between personalization an indirect form is maintained. filter questions are used wherever necessary. topics and questions are arranged in a logical and psychological sequence that is natural and easy for the respondent. transition between one section and another is smooth. inter-related questions are so positioned as to avoid context effects. questions seeking ‘reasons for’ are based on reason analysis. questions and alternative answer choices are properly coded. design requirements like margin, spacing etc., are taken care of appropriate introduction and instruction are included. the instrument has been adequately pre-tested and revised so as to be a satisfactory tool for the particular survey. Interview schedules V/S Questionnaire Schedules • • • • • • • • • • • • Live/ real time Direct Interview More expencive Useful for experts, illiterate people, parents etc., To know views More time per subject Variety of data from a person Informal way Not easy to anayze Flexible One to one interaction Researcher note responses Questionnaire • • • • • • • • • • • • Own time of subject To collect data through questionnaire is relatively cheap More objectives usefull for subjects, teachers, students etc., To collect factual data Minimum time more information Specific data from more subjects Formal way Comparatively easier to analyze Rigid One to many reaction Subject notes responses OPINIONNAIRE Opinionnaire is a list of questions or statements pertaining to an issue or programmer. It is used to study the opinions of people on specific issue. It is commonly used in opinion polls. People are asked to express their responses to the listed questions or reactions to the listed statements. DOCUMENTS SCHEDULE/DATA SHEET • Documents schedule is a list of items of information to be obtained from documents, records and other materials. the items included in the schedule are limited to those that can be uniformly secured from a large number of case histories or other records in order to secure measurable data for e g. In a case to study the use of documents in library, the researcher may have to include: • Daily, weekly and monthly borrowing, class and level of users borrowed the documents, age and gender of the borrowers, subject background of the borrowers, number of books not returned, amount of fine collected, types of borrowers who had overdues, type of documents borrowed, subject wise statistics of books borrowed etc. Schedule for institutions This is used for survey of organizations like educational institutions, business enterprise, social and cultural organizations, industrial sectors and such similar organizations and institutions and so also libraries and information centre’s. It includes different categories of data relating to their profile, functions, performance etc. these data are gathered from their records, annual reports, financial statements and such other sources. Inventories 1. An inventory is essentially a list that the respondent is asked to mark or check in a particular way. Some examples of inventories are: 2. List of interest: The respondents are asked to check those things that interest them a lot. 3. List of personality traits: people are asked to check which of these apply to them. 4. List of spare-time activities: people are asked to check the activity engaged most often. 5. perceived effects of T.V.( simulation of Activities ): the respondents may be asked to check ‘true’ or ‘untrue’ the following items: a. I have copied the way the people dress on TV b. I have made things after they have been shown on TV. c. I have purchased a particular brand after seeing its advertisement on TV. d. I have gone to an art gallery after seeing it on TV, and so on. e. Inventories can be constructed with various purposes in mind or to test particular hypothesis. They invariable form part of a questionnaire/ schedule. Advantages and disadvantages of Interview Scheduling Advantages 1. If the respondent lacks reading skills to answer a questionnaire. 2. Are useful for untangling complex topics. 3. The Interviewer can probe deeper into a response by an interviewee. 4. Interviews produce a higher response rate. given Disadvantages 1. lack of money 2. The interviewer can affect the data if he/she is not consistent. 3. It is very time consuming. 4. It is not used for a large number of people. 5. The Interviewer may be biased and ask closed questions. Conclusion • Interview schedule like mailed questionnaire is widely used in surveys. Both interview and schedule and mailed questionnaire are complete listed of questions on which information is elicited from the respondents. In both cases the content, response structure, the wordings of questions, question sequence , etc., are the same for all respondents. The basic difference between these two tools lies in recording responses. While a schedule is filled out by the interviewer himself/ herself, a questionnaire is filled by the respondents. • This method of data collection is very useful in extensive enquiries and can lead to fairly reliable results. It is, however, very expensive and is usually adopted in investigations conducted by governmental agencies or by some big organisations. Population census all over the world is conducted through this method. References • • • • • Breakwell, Glynis M, Sean Hammond & Chris Fife-Schaw (1995): Research Methods in Psychology. London: Sage Bernard, M., Bartlam, B., Biggs, S. and Sim, J. (2004) New Lifestyles in Old Age: health, identity and well-being in Berryhill Retirement Village, Policy Press, Bristol. Trochim, William, M.K. "Types of Surveys", Research Methods Knowledge Base, 2002 Kvale, Steinar. Interviews: An Introduction to Qualitative Research Interviewing, Sage Publications, 1996 Thank you ?