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EC.745X

Lean Research Skills for Conducting Interviews

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This course is currently archived on edX. Certificate enrollment is closed.

About This Course

Interviews are one of the most common and powerful field research methods, used across a wide variety of disciplines and topics. Whether conducting a research study, an evaluation of an existing product or service, or gathering insights for a business plan, or a design process, interviews are often the method of choice for gaining insights directly from people. The quality of that information, however, depends to a large degree on the skill of the interviewer.

This course introduces effective techniques for conducting interviews and is designed to help you develop and strengthen your skills as an interviewer. It does not assume any existing experience conducting interviews, but will quickly take you past the basics and into best practices that incorporate the Lean Research principles of rigor, relevance, respect, and right-size. The course focuses specifically on conducting interviews in “the field” - contexts in which we may be in an unfamiliar setting or culture, such as when traveling abroad or conducting research in a place we haven’t been before.

Photo by Megha Hegde, MIT D-Lab

Learning Objectives

  • The steps and the skills needed to conduct quality interviews
  • How to apply the Lean Research principles to the interviewing process
  • How to identify and correct problematic interviewing techniques and behaviors
  • Strategies for dealing with challenging interviewing situations
  • How to design, prepare for, implement, document, and analyze interviews

Format of this Course

This version contains lectures and quizzes, but does not include the final project.

Recommended Prerequisites

None

Course Staff

Course Staff Image #1

Elizabeth Hoffecker

Research Scientist

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Course Staff Image #2

Zoe Dibb

Senior Manager, Evidence

Girl Effect


Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to the most common questions and find information on further assistance here.
  1. Course Number:

    EC.745X
  2. Classes Start:

  3. Classes End:

  4. Length:

    8 weeks
  5. Year Created:

    2019
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