Qualitative Online Interviews: 1 - 16 May, 2014

Designing & Planning a Study w/E-Interviews

Designing & Planning a Study w/E-Interviews

by Janet Salmons -
Number of replies: 2

Hello everyone,

Over the next two weeks we will discuss many aspects of online interview research, from designing the study to conducting the interviews. I want this event to be relevant to your needs and interests, so please post your ideas and questions!

To begin at the beginning, I define online interviews or e-interviews as: "interviews conducted using computer-mediated communication (CMC). Such interviews are used for primary Internet-mediated research. That is, they are used to gather original data via the Internet with the intention of subjecting these data to analysis" (Salmons, 2015). This is a broad definition that encompasses any online interaction with someone-- no matter how seemingly informal-- where the exchange is recorded and saved, and will be analyzed.

To begin the dialogue about how to think through technology and methods options, I would like to share the E-Interview Research Framework. I developed this model to present the elements of the research design as part of a coherent whole. The E-Interview Research Framework offers a conceptual system of key questions about interrelated facets of online interview research.

E-Interview Research Framework

When introduced in Cases in Online Interview Research (Salmons, 2012), the central focus was on data collection with online interviews; however, the updated E-Interview Research Framework encompasses related primary (i.e., questionnaires, observations) and secondary (i.e., posts, sites, documents,images, or media) online data collection.


Here are some materials that introduce elements of the model:

  • Chapter 1 from Cases in Online Interview Research;
  • An overview of the model and its use in planning and evaluating studies: .

Choosing E-Interviews
One of the first questions to consider is: why choose to conduct interviews online? My initial motivation was the desire to interview people from different countries-- without having funds to travel. Now, I am also motivated by the desire to use visual methods of exchange. What about you? Let's start the conversation with that question!

In reply to Janet Salmons

Re: Designing & Planning a Study w/E-Interviews

by tony cairns -

Online Interviews allow us to freely and universally access a random., targetted or census based approach to social research. Using mobiles and handheld devices allows access to people without landlines or conventional computers, tablets and notebooks. Rewards for research can be more easily integrated and delivered and survey money allows for triage of surveyed participants for follow up or intensive interview. The researcher and researched can set privacy, video, time and place restrictions. There is an online record of the survey for real-time monitoring and interaction by surveyors supervisors and ethnic reviewers. avatars an deliver questions in multiple languages dialects and cultural settings. Questions can be tested on the fly and more objective experimentation of questions is facilitated. International surveying is enhanced, Closed group, society or gendered surveying in real time is permitted. Special needs recipients, visually, audio, mobility challenged can be surveyed. Using avatars questions can be quickly scaled up and delivered internationally locally and regionally. Video, visual, D simulation or interactions can be included.

In reply to tony cairns

Re: Designing & Planning a Study w/E-Interviews

by Janet Salmons -

Welcome Tony. Excellent points! The next thread I am creating will focus on the selection of, and potential for, different kinds of technologies. I agree the handheld mobile devices offer some interesting potential for on-site responses and observations and anytime, anywhere research participation.

If you've done any research of this kind, or have favorite books/articles, I hope you will share them in the Resources thread.