chemistry education research, chemistry, research tools


Chemistry | Science and Mathematics Education


Interviews can be a powerful chemistry education research tool. Different from an assessment score or Likert-scale survey number, interviews can provide the researcher with a way to examine and describe what we cannot see, aspects such as feelings, thoughts, or explanations of thinking or behavior. Most people have no doubt seen countless interviews on TV news and talk shows. These sessions might convey interviewing as a spontaneous, easy, and straightforward process. However, using interviews as a meaningful research tool requires considerable thought, preparation, and practice. This chapter provides a general introduction to the use of interviews as a tool within a chemistry education research context. The chapter provides a general introduction to the use of interviews as a research tool including how to plan, conduct, and analyze interviews. It highlights important considerations for designing and conducting fruitful interviews, provides examples of different ways in which interviews have been used effectively in chemistry education research, and supplies additional references for the reader who wants to delve more deeply into particular topics.

Original Citation

Herrington, D. & Daubenmire, P. (2014). Using Interviews in CER Projects: Options, Considerations, and Limitations. In D.M. Bunce and R.S. Cole (Eds.) Tools of Chemical Education Research; ACS Symposium Series 1166 (pp. 31-59). Washington, D.C.: American Chemical Society