More importantly, the time between interviews allow the students to reflect on their first conversation. The always expand extemporaneously on what they had previously discussed at the start of the second interview. The time allows me to review the first transcript and ask follow-up questions for clarification and to gather more information.
Interviewing these students, and then reading their transcripts has been a high-point in my brief educational career. I only started teaching in 2012, and of course I brought a lot of assumptions and baggage to the teaching process. The first reason for pursuing a Ph.D. in Education was to unpack the baggage and to learn more about teaching and learning processes.
Having just scanned a transcript of a recent interview, I decided to share some excerpts that illustrate why I am so amazed at our students. I selected these from several transcripts, so they are not from only one student. The "Q" is my question, and the "A" is the student's response. Here you go . . .
Q - How many languages do you speak?
A - Four.
Q - What are they?
A - Portuguese, Japanese, English and Spanish.
Q - [Following up on the student's explanation of experiential learning:
A - It's a lot more personal. [Same student contrasting lecture-based courses with experiential courses:] So like it or not, it will just leave us some lingering impression. We will not revisit it again.
Q - What value do these experiential learning activities hold for you?
A - Experiential learning environments . . . make me feel a lot more like I'm actually working. They give me a sense that I'm actually, uhm, maybe not contributing to an industry, but I'm getting a grasp on it in a way that I wouldn't . . . just through lectures.
There is so much more, and it will have to go into my dissertation because the students' observations need the context of the conversation. I'll return to this post as I analyze the data and add a few more comments.
Bergsteiner, H., Avery, G. C., & Neumann, R. (2010). Kolb's experiential learning model: critique from a modelling perspective. Studies in Continuing Education, 32(1), 29-46.