Formulating Open-ended Questions for Interviews within Mixed Methods

Formulating Open-ended Questions for Interviews within Mixed Methods

Principal speaker

Dr Judy Rose

This workshop provides a practical guide to the formulation, wording and sequencing of open-ended questions (OEQs), in the context of a semi-structured interview, and as part of a mixed methods study. First, we briefly review the purpose of open-ended questions in interviews (e.g., to gather detail of experience to better understand the interviewees' perspectives; to gain insights in regard to phenomena). We then look at how to frame OEQs around a particular topic and how to write them using accessible language from a set of research questions. Next, we explore the formulation of different types of open-ended questions used for different interviewing functions that probe for information that is descriptive, refining, reflective or hypothetical (e.g., "if X happened how would you respond?'). Next, we highlight other OEQ writing tricks (e.g., sequencing easier before harder to answer questions) and traps to avoid (e.g., leading or overly sensitive questions). Finally, we prepare you to apply these concepts to your own research interview script, in order to achieve a desirable level of saturation i.e., no new information can be gained from the OEQs formulated and to help set it up for using a mixed methods thematic analysis. This workshop is suitable for those new to writing open-ended questions for interviews and/or have interest in applying these skills within a mixed methods study, along with those who have experience but want to further refine their practice.


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RSVP on or before Tuesday 25 October 2022 10.00 am, by email , or via

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