Exercise: Interviews/Methods Practice

Summary of Example Activity

Students are assigned a topic and a student from the collaborating course. Students complete an interview on the topic using video-conferencing or messaging software either outside of class time or during class time. Students can also complete the interview asynchronously using email or the message feature of an LMS system.

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Identify the important concepts from course material.
  • Explore how course topics are differently understood and experienced.
  • Demonstrate critical thought about the topic.
  • Develop online intercultural communication skills
  • Develop an understanding of how to work within different learning styles, regional/national perspectives and time zones.
  • Explore how the main concepts are differently understood and experienced (more pronounced if the students have different training or experience).
  • Reflect on the skills necessary and the challenges one must overcome to work on a national/international collaboration.

Materials and Data Needed

Students will prepare for the interview by completing the assigned readings and writing interview questions. In some cases it may be appropriate to prepare the students in each class with information about the collaborating student body, depending on the topic.

Technology Needed

If the students will complete synchronous interviews, they will need access to video-conferencing software or instant messaging software and an internet connection. Asynchronous discussions require access to email or messaging features available on a Learning Management System such as Moodle or social media tools such as Facebook.

Estimated Time

A synchronous interview would last approximately 30 minutes to an hour. An asynchronous interview should be allotted enough time to allow both parties to complete their portion of the interview thoughtfully.


  1. Students prepare by studying the appropriate subject material including proper interview methods, and by writing their interview questions.
  2. If the interview requires asynchronous participation students are given access to the LMS messaging feature or asked to connect with their interviewees via social media or email. If the interview requires synchronous participation students should ensure that they have access to video conferencing software or instant messaging software. This should be done at least 1 week in advance to ensure that all students have the required hardware and software to participate and to allow time to troubleshoot any problems students may have with access.
  3. In the case of a synchronous discussion, students report to class as usual. In the case of an asynchronous discussion students are assigned to complete the interviews in lieu of class or outside of scheduled class time.
  4. Students transcribe the interview and write a reflection on the experience and what they learned.