Lean Research Skills for Conducting Interviews is MIT D-Lab’s first online course with the edX platform and back by popular demand! Instructors: Elizabeth Hoffecker (MIT D-Lab) & Zoe Dibb (Girl Effect). Seven-week course – starts January 21. Find out more
Who should take the course
- Academics, students, and professionals preparing to conduct interviews who want to strengthen their social science research skills
- Anyone working on a thesis, business plan, etc., that involves gathering information directly from people.
What you’ll learn
- The steps and the skills needed to conduct quality interviews
- How to apply the Lean Research principles to the interviewing process
- How to identify and correct problematic interviewing techniques and behaviors
- Strategies for dealing with challenging interviewing situations
- How to design, prepare for, implement, analyze, and document interviews
Interviews are one of the most common and powerful field research methods, used across a wide variety of disciplines and topics. Whether conducting a research study, an evaluation of an existing product or service, or gathering insights for a business plan, or a design process, interviews are often the method of choice for gaining insights directly from people. The quality of that information, however, depends to a large degree on the skill of the interviewer.
This course introduces effective techniques for conducting interviews and is designed to help you develop and strengthen your skills as an interviewer. It does not assume any existing experience conducting interviews, but will quickly take you past the basics and into best practices that incorporate the Lean Research principles of rigor, relevance, respect, and right-size. The course focuses specifically on conducting interviews in “the field” – contexts in which we may be in an unfamiliar setting or culture, such as when traveling abroad or conducting research in a place we haven’t been before.