Interview, Transcription and Computer-Assisted Coding Exercise

This is an individual exercise in the sense that each student in the class is to do their own interview. The interview should be an in-depth "ethnographic" interview no less than 30 minutes in length and tape-recorded using a digital tape recorder (such as the ones I keep in my office, which is for anyone to use). The topic is up to you.

One of your goals in the interview should be to try out the various techniques that Spradley sets out in the "The Ethnographic Interview".

After conducting the interview, you must transcribe the entire interview. This is is a lot of work (about 5 hours) so plan accordingly. We will be sharing the transcriptions so everyone can see everyone else's interviews. We own a transcription machine that works with digital audio files.

Finally, you will use the Atlas/ti (or similar) program to code the interview. You should be sure to create around 50 distinct codes (this is the limit for the demo version of Atlas 5). There is no need to create network diagrams. Just the coding.


  • Audio file of the interview
  • Transcription
  • Atlas/ti or HyperRESEARCH database of coded texts

Each deliverable is due one week after the previous one, all by email.

To obtain the tape recorder and/or transcribing foot pedal, visit Fulton 430 and ask Jean Passavant. She will let you into my office and help you sign the machines out.

The computers in Fulton 214 have the full version of Atlas ti 4.2. Alternatively, you can download the free demo version from http://atlasti.com/ which is fully functional but stores databases of only limited size. IN addition, i have arranged for a great deal on HyperRESEARCH.