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Revisiting ethnography - A conversation between Sue Bell and Charlie Cochrane

Why steam came out of Charlie’s ears

Suzanne and I recently took part in a NewMR webinar event ‘New but not Tech’. We were talking about sense making, and about how people make sense of their experiences. Someone asked if that meant that sense making was an ethnographic technique, and I said:

“No, because in sense making what we are interested in is what is going on in people’s heads.”

With steam coming out of his ears, ethnographer Charlie Cochrane of Jump the Fence posed this question in response:

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The Art of the Long Interview

We use the 'long interview' qualitative research technique in our research when we want the people we are talking to to think and not just tell us the first thing that comes to mind. Here are some tips on how to conduct long qualitative interviews.

What is a ‘long interview’?

A long interview is a one-on-one interview that takes at least an hour and is conversational in style.  Some IDI’s (individual in-depth interviews) fall into the ‘long interview’ category, but only if they are conversational and – it has to be said – long.

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Qualitative Analysis Skills: A Primer Part 1

What does it mean to have an ‘analysis plan’ for qualitative research?

When you have an analysis plan you know who will do what and how you are going to deal with the information.

  • If you have several researchers working on a project, is everyone going to analyse their own interviews or groups independently or will you delegate it all to one person?  
  • Whether you are going to share the task, or if you are doing it all yourself, you need to know the answers  to questions like these

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The Power of Thinking Frameworks

What do you do when you really need to understand something? You need to think. Off the cuff, off the top of your head gut instinct is not going to work if you have a complex problem to solve. One great way to do that is to take the thinking frameworks created by people (like us) who have solved similar problems before.  The framework summarises a wealth of experience into a system of thinking that can be easily followed. This is not short-cut thinking; it is it taking advantage of the thinking that others have done.

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