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Evaluating the quality of interviews with a process-based, self-reflective tool

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2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Baltimore , Maryland

Publication Date

June 25, 2023

Start Date

June 25, 2023

End Date

June 28, 2023

Conference Session

Research Methodologies – Session 1

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods Division (ERM)

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Paper Authors


Amy L. Brooks Oregon State University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Amy Brooks is a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Oregon State University School of Civil and Construction Engineering and member of the Beyond Professional Identity lab at Harding University. Her current research is using interpretative phenomenological analysis to understand well-being and experiences with professional shame among engineering faculty. She is also part of a research team investigating context-specific affordances and barriers faculty face when adopting evidence-based instructional practices in their engineering courses. Amy's research interests meet at the intersection of sustainable and resilient infrastructure, emotions in engineering, and engineering identity formation.

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James L. Huff Harding University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. James Huff is an Associate Professor of Engineering Education and Honors College Faculty Fellow at Harding University. He conducts transdisciplinary research on identity that lies at the nexus of applied psychology and engineering education. A recipient of the NSF CAREER grant (No. 2045392) and the director of the Beyond Professional Identity (BPI) lab, Dr. Huff has mentored numerous undergraduate students, doctoral students, and academic professionals from more than 10 academic disciplines in using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) as a qualitative research method to examine identity and shame in a variety of contexts. Dr. Huff serves as Associate Editor for Studies in Engineering Education, Journal of Engineering Education, and is on the Editorial Board of Personality and Social Psychology Review. He has a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Harding University, an M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Purdue University, and a Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Purdue University.

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This methods paper presents the interview quality reflection tool (IQRT) to evaluate the quality of qualitative research interviews. Qualitative researchers commonly use semi-structured interviews that rely on the interviewers’ ability to improvise in real time based upon the needs of the study. Given that interviewing involves numerous tacit skills that cannot be delineated by a simple written protocol, it is necessary that researchers develop interview competencies through practice and reflection. While prior literature on interviewing has often focused on developing interview protocols, we know little about how interviewers themselves may be trained to gather high-quality data. In this paper, we focus on how the IQRT may be used to guide the self-assessment of research interviews. We discuss how interviews are used in engineering education, how we developed and applied the IQRT, and how lessons learned through using this tool might lead to improved interviewing skills through careful examination of interview structure, content, and context within the mentoring process.

Brooks, A. L., & Huff, J. L. (2023, June), Evaluating the quality of interviews with a process-based, self-reflective tool Paper presented at 2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore , Maryland. 10.18260/1-2--43453

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