Interviewing and transcribing….

I’m now a week or so into my data collection, semi-structured interviews with teachers, parents and children. So far, it’s been exciting, tedious, exhausting and motivating all at once.  Exciting because I can really feel the ‘guts’ of my research starting to come together. Tedious and exhausting because the transcription process is slow and requires a lot of concentration.  I had read that it takes around 10 hours to transcribe one hour of conversation and that seems to be about the pace I’m working at.  I did want to start transcribing straight away, partly because I have the time at the moment and also because it is incredibly motivating to start seeing the words on the page. Already common words, ideas and themes are coming through in the three interviews I’ve transcribed, and I’m excited by how I’m going to link it all together.

I have five children to interview. I’ve done one and it was harder than I expected, even though I know the children involved  well and generally have a good rapport with children. I find it relatively easy with adults to leave pauses in the conversation, which usually prompts them to continue to talk, but this is not so easy with children. I have made sure to do a reflection on the time spent with the child immediately after, to capture my feelings and observations about what was going on. Having just completed the transcription of the first child’s interview, it was also heartening to discover that there was more in there than I initially thought. I think the value of doing the transcription yourself, no matter how time consuming, cannot be underestimated. The nuances, the little comments you may not have noticed during the conversation, all take on more significance when you go back and listen to it again.

I am also finding the Pulse SmartPen to be just fantastic for doing this type of data collection.  Part of my interviews with children involve them taking me on a ‘tour’ of their school, and the SmartPen has been brilliant in recording our ‘walking and talking’. The weather in Perth has been stormy and very windy, but I was still able to accurately record whilst outside and moving around. For transcription it has been very easy to upload the recordings to my MacBook. The speed of the recording can be adjusted between fast, normal and slow which also makes it easy to jump back and forth to check the accuracy etc.  Of course, I’m also being extra diligent in backing up interviews to dropbox and to other devices because I can’t think of anything more devastating than to lose all your raw data 😦

It hasn’t been all work, I’ve been making the time to exercise both at the gym (BodyCombat is my saviour!) and with walking in between the rain showers. I loved finding this tribute to Cadel Evans’ recent Tour de France victory on the Swan River!  The Eliza statue, which was put in her current position in 2007, commemorates the Crawley baths which were a popular place to swim between 1915 – 1960’s, but it seems that she is now being decorated in all sorts of ways!  The picture on the right is what she really looks like, but I think she looks pretty good in her yellow jersey with her bike on her outstretched arms!



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