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Post interview debrief – first participant

December 10, 2010

I completed my first interview yesterday. It was easier in some ways than I thought it would be, primarily because my participant was eager to talk so I pretty well just had to get out of the way. He was eager and enthusiastic. However, this aslo made it difficult to keep the focus on PLN’s,  Twitter and the relationship between the two. However, I still think that once I sift through the interview I will find some gems.

Towards the end of the conversation, the participant mentioned something called a Critical Friend Group, a new term to me. A quick Google of the term finds that there is something to this term that I need to follow up on as there seems to be some very similar features to a PLN.

Some quick observations and first thoughts from my memory about this specific interview:

  • This participant was an advanced user of Twitter, following and subscribing to hashtags, crowdsourcing, and actively participating. Along these lines, I need to speak to my supervisor about adding some more descriptive data to my empirical research that covers some bases with regards to who these people are with respect to their Twitter use. I am thinking of some simple stats like number of followers, following, how long they have used Twitter, and the number of tweets should give a good indication of the levels of Twitter users I am interviewing.
  • Twitter came first, PLN followed.
  • It seemed that PLN = professional. PLN = learning about teaching and learning practice and connecting with educators. Not much beyond the scope of professional learning and networking.
  • I wish I would have dug deeper when I asked how they defined PLN
  • I don’t think I uncovered any informal learning, and i am feeling like this is an area where I am weak and am unsure of how to probe to discover this. Informal learning is important in my research, but I am pessimistic that I will unveil any kind of examples of heretofore unknown learning by the participants.
  • The video was left on for the interview, at the request of the participant. I wasn’t expecting this, but it did not seem to distract from the conversation.
  • I think I did a good job of picking up on points and probing for more information, although I need to keep a better focus on PLN, Twitter and the relationship between the two forefront as I move forward. I felt that this interview got a little too deeply into one or the other, and not necessarily the crossover areas between the two, which is the key focus of the research.

More will come in the transcription and analysis.

Tonight I have sent follow up emails to 4 of the participants I contacted 5 days ago. I am 2 days behind my schedule.

I have my second interview tomorrow morning.


From → Thesis Research

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