Practice Interviews & Map Updates

Hi everyone, it’s Ally with some research updates! Now that we have our sample, Hailley and I have been revising our interview questions and practicing. We’ve conducted two practice interviews so far. First, Hailley interviewed me and tested her questions out for the first time. After removing some repetitive questions and adding a few wrap-up questions, we interviewed an intern from the Student Engagement Network. This Friday I’ll take the lead on two practice interviews! I’m definitely feeling more confident with our process and can’t wait to give it a shot. 

New Map Ideas

In preparation for Friday, I’m thinking more critically about what we want these maps to look like. During our practice interviews, Hailley and I noticed that some aspects of student engagement weren’t captured by the maps (length of involvement, leadership roles, connections between experiences, etc). Yesterday I created a new map of my student engagement journey that includes some of these pieces. I followed the same color key that Hailley and I established last week. However, I added timelines on the bottom to show how long I was involved in ongoing experiences, such as undergraduate research and organizations. I also added blue circles to indicate leadership roles and pencil arrows to indicate connections between experiences. 
Here’s my practice map from yesterday!
I’m still deciding how I feel about this new map. I think it provides more information about my engagement experiences that went undocumented in my original map. However, the new lines/circles definitely make the map more crowded. Hailley and I are also back and forth about showing an example map to students during interviews. On one hand, this will standardize the maps and help students communicate the information we’re looking for. However, this would also limit the student’s creativity. The differences in maps could be really intriguing to analyze. For example, I put stickers near one another on my map while the Student Engagement Intern layered her stickers on top of one another. I’m eager to see the creative differences that emerge in this week’s practice interviews.

Big Things Ahead!

Hailley and I are planning to check for similarities/differences in the maps from this week’s practices interviews and then decide whether we need an example map for standardization.  After we make these decisions and practice more interviews we’ll be ready to contact our sample. In the meantime, I’m reading some chapters on creating a code book for qualitative data. This will be an important step for this project so I’m excited to learn  more about the process. Overall, I’m really looking forward to seeing our code book come together and leading interviews this Friday. I’ll definitely post some updates next week!
map GIF by Topshelf Records
   [Map Gif via Giphy]

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Head of Education & Outreach Services at Northern Kentucky University. When she's not in the library, Hailley is an avid oatmeal connoisseur, baseball scorekeeper, bike rider, embroidery queen, and reader of memoirs. Check her out on Twitter @hailthefargoats.

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