Skype and Qualitative Research

We (David Ho and myself) recently carried out some interviews out over Skype and as to date our dealings with Skype have been mainly for social reasons we felt it would be useful to research the do’s and dont’s. We came a cross a few interesting articles:

This one from the huffington post concentrates on some generalities in terms of behaviour for job interviews but some of the advice is transferable:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ming-chen/7-deadly-skype-interview-_b_1274107.html

This one goes more into the practicalities of using Skype for research:

tp://www.academia.edu/540705/Skype_A_cost_effective_method_for_qualitative_research

The below goes into great detail about the use of Skype and provides links to additional articles about the subject. It was an invaluable resource.

http://www.jeremywildeman.com/exe-digi-phd/skype-interviews-in-social-science-research/

Key Points

  • It is not as good as face to face interviewing but it is a good substitute and as technology advances so will its effectiveness.
  • It increases the likelihood of getting an interview as it requires minimal effort from the interviewees. Although some may not be familiar with the technology which could be a barrier to their participation.
  • Dropped calls can effect the free flow of conversation.
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