It can be time consuming both to interview each individual and to analyse what they have said afterwards. However it is a really effective way of gathering information about what people feel/believe about being in the woods from their perspective as long as you try to remain neutral in your questioning.
|Research method||Preparation time||Time to gather data||Time to analyse data||Not suitable for ...||Does data indicate wellbeing?||Who, what, where people experience wellbeing?||Is it an activity in itself?|
|Surveys||If using standard questionnaire, very little time. More time needed for devising own questions ||Depends on how survey is administered (e.g. online or paper)||Depends on size and scope of survey (e.g. closed versus open questions)||Self-administered not suitable for people who have limited writing skills, Online not suitable for people who don’t use/have access to the internet||Yes, with appropriate questions||Yes, with appropriate questions||No|
- more confident and talkative participants
- participants who prefer not to talk in front of a group
- people who are used to doing one-to-one reviews at school/work
- if working with a regular group it can be useful to interview external staff present e.g. tutors/teachers as they may give you further insights into behaviour.
What information is collected?
- people’s thoughts and feelings rather than observations of actual behaviour
- taking into account the bias when analysing interviews is a way for people to be represented directly in the research – can use direct quotes as evidence.
How is information collected?
- audio/video recordings
- taking notes – though this can be challenging if you are also asking questions.
Watch out for:
- while doing one-to-one interviews the rest of the group will need to be busy doing something else. This can be distracting and the interviewee may feel that they’re missing out
- if interviewing people after, rather than during, a woodland session their answers may be affected by passage of time, selective memories
- people can sometimes be intimidated by recording equipment such as dictaphones being held in front of them
- asking leading questions. It can be helpful to write a ‘script’ and have a ‘dummy’ run so that you feel comfortable with this style of questioning. You can also explain to participants that you don’t want to ask leading questions so the interview might not be very conversational
- you could try role-playing or trialling interviews so that you can feel comfortable before doing interviews for real
- having natural conversations rather than conducting a formal interview can make it easier for participants to talk freely. An established relationship with participants helps this. You need to remember to think about bias when you ask questions/talk.