Interview Project Part 1: Collect and Transcribe an Interview

Goal: To learn how to conduct an interview, and transcribe an audio recording.


  1. For this project you will need some sort of audio recorder. This might be a tape recorder or an app for your phone. Make sure you know how it works before your interview, and that it will record for at least 60 minutes.
  2. Before interviewing, read Ed Hutchins’ interviewing tips and potential interview questions and read Lindlof & Taylor’s discussion of “Qualitative Interviewing”.
  3. Contact a participant in the activity from Project 2 who is willing to talk to you about the activity.
  4. Set up a time and a quiet place to talk to your informant.
  5. Obtain informed consent for interview recording from your informant using the interview consent form.
  6. Turn on the tape recorder and interview your informant about the activity you took photos of. Start with the photos you used in Project 2, but feel free to use other photos as prompts in the interview. Ask your informant to explain what is going on in the activity.
  7. Record at least 30 minutes, but no more than one hour of interview.
  8. Listen through your interview and make an index of what it contains. This should be a list of topics discussed or events in the conversation with some indication of where they appear on the tape. Then choose one or two passages to transcribe.
  9. Transcribe about 1000 words using relaxed transcription techniques. For this, you should just try to get all of the words that are said, including false starts and other disfluencies.
  10. Consider using Express Scribe, a handy transcription tool, that can be downloaded for free here Before trying it out, you should read the tutorial.
  11. Write up the index for your interview. Be sure to indicate on the index which sections of the interview were transcribed. Type up the transcription in clean form. Ed Hutchins has a really nice example of an index and transcription


Due 3/19: Turn in your index and transcription.

Part 2: Describe and Analyze Cultural Models

Credit to Ed Hutchins from whom I’ve adapted this project idea and taken some of the text for the directions.

2 thoughts on “Interview Project Part 1: Collect and Transcribe an Interview

  1. Pingback: Distributed Cognition IV and Cognitive Ethnography – 3/5 | Matthew J. Brown

  2. Pingback: Cultural Psychology I – A Tale of Two Psychologies – 3/19 | Matthew J. Brown

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