Using Interviews to Enhance Evaluation Practice, October 2024

This course will demonstrate approaches to using interviews to enhance evaluation practice, including the research that supports the best ways to create and conduct good interviews, practical steps to being successfully set up to use interviews throughout an evaluation, options for processing interview data, and visualizing interview data. Challenge questions we will explore throughout the four modules include:

  • What are the different ways interviews can be used at any point in the evaluation process to enhance its quality, relevance, and usefulness?
  • What does the research say about how best to prepare for and conduct good interviews, and how can you put this information to use?
  • What interview challenges should you anticipate, at what part in the interview process, and how can you address them?

This course is delivered in four virtual, instructor-led modules. Read about each of the modules below. Classes will take place online via Zoom. Certificates of completion will be provided at the end of the course to all participants who have successfully completed the modules.

Module 1: Interview Foundations
October 9, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. EDT

Interviews are traditionally framed as a data collection method—something one does to collect data aligned with key questions. A more expansive view positions interviews as a tool that can be used throughout the life cycle of an evaluation: from helping to define the purpose of an evaluation to presentation of findings with an eye toward use, and anywhere in between. In this module, you will reflect on and share your interview experiences, become aware of the use and value of interviews at different parts in the evaluation process, and learn interview fundamentals. In Module 1, you will:

  • Share successful interview experiences and identify themes on what makes excellent interviews.
  • Learn and be able to articulate the value of interviews at different parts in the evaluation process.
  • Describe interview foundations, including relevant research.

Module 2: Setting Yourself Up for Success—Interview Questions, Guides, and Requests
October 11, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. EDT

Evaluation experts and researchers have identified several planning elements and principles that can lead to a more successful interview experience. These include being able to create good interview questions aligned with your purpose, the best ways to structure interview guides, and the best approaches to interacting with individuals you would like to interview. Through a mix of small group work and hands-on activities, in Module 2, you will:

  • Create and evaluate different types of questions using interview principles.
  • Construct, refine, and use good interview guides.
  • Understand best practice with regards to interview requests and be able to put this knowledge to use.
  • Become aware of and able to address common interview challenges that come up during the interview planning process.

Module 3: Interview Competencies and the Secrets to Conducting Good Interviews
October 16, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. EDT

Interviewers need to bring several competencies to the room, and these competencies can be learned and refined. Through a mix of video case studies, small group work ,and hands-on activities, in Module 3, you will:

  • Be aware of the competencies that interviewers need to bring to the room.
  • Evaluate and practice putting these competencies to use.
  • Become aware of different options for dealing with difficult interview situations, and practice addressing them.

Module 4: Recording, Processing, and Visualizing Interview Data
October 18, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. EDT

There is both a science and art to recording, processing, and visualizing interview data. There are also several practical aspects that need to be considered during this phase of the interview process. Through a mix of small group work and hands-on activities, in Module 4, you will:

  • Become aware of different options for recording interview data, including pros and cons of each approach, so you can make informed decisions.
  • Understand different options for processing interview data, what qualitative analysis software is out there, including low and no-cost options, to help you with analysis.
  • Practice processing interview data.
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