Part of my thesis project involves semi-structured phone interviews with COASST citizen science volunteers. I’m patiently awaiting IRB approval for my project, and in the meantime I’ve completed 4 practice interviews with COASST undergraduate interns. I ended up using the ZOOM H2 recorder, which has a lead with an earpiece microphone. It worked great! If anyone needs to do phone interviews, I recommend this audio recorder. A friend also told me he used the Olympus digital voice recorder (VN 8100PC) for his interviews, which was sometimes tucked into his shirt pocket around a campfire… and he said he could hear everything perfectly! Just thought I’d share.
Now that I have 4 transcriptions from my practice interviews, I’m getting more familiar with what the heck I’m supposed to do with my interview data once I actually collect it! I re-read the book Qualitative Data: An Introduction to Coding and Analysis by Auerbach and Silverstein, and organized the practice transcripts into relevant text, repeating ideas, and themes. I first did this in a Word document, but it seemed a little clunky. I learned some people use Excel for this too. Now I’ve downloaded NVivo and am learning my way around that program. There’s a little bit of a learning curve for me, but I think I’ll really like it once I get the hang of it. It’s been fun, and admittedly a little intimidating, to work through the mechanics of coding text for the first time. Luckily for me, I have some great mentors and am getting great advice. I’m excited to see what I’m able to make of the interview data, and looking forward to using NVivo for other projects I’m working on too!