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Field Series Portfolio

Iqtidar ul Hassan

Field Series Portfolio

Iqtidar ul Hassan
EDPR 8561
Dr. Mitsunori Misawa
University of Memphis

Field Series Portfolio

Iqtidar ul Hassan
Field Series Portfolio
Section One: Topic and Purpose

An Exploration of Life in America
The purpose of the whole series of exercises was the learning of different methods
of data collection in a qualitative research. This series included a twenty minutes nonparticipant observation, a sixty minutes participant observation, and forty-five minutes
semi-structured interview. All the three exercises explore three different phenomena. But
the purpose of them is to collect qualitative data. For the non-participant exercise, I
observed a coffee shop. I observed the casual behavior of those who were coming to the
coffee shop and the behavior of the baristas. For the participant observation, I took part in
an Independence Day celebration party in a family environment. For the third exercise,
that is the semi-structured interview, I interviewed a Pakistani Exchange student at the
University of Memphis. This paper has my field notes of all the three exercises, peers
debriefings, and my own reflections.

Section Two: Twenty Minutes Non-participant Observation


Written Notes
See Appendix A1


Typed Expanded Field Notes

Non-participant Observation
Purpose: Observing the Casual Behavior of the Customers and the Baristas

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Iqtidar ul Hassan

Text Key
Covert Language: [***]
Observers Comments: (***)
2:30 pm
Avenue Coffee, Echles St,
Memphis, TN
Description of the location
Avenue Coffee on Echles Street, Memphis. It is a medium sized two-portion coffee shop.
The main portion is an open hall where the counter is place. The other portion is kept in a
position that it is separated by glass frame its floor is raised by four steps. Those setting
in the upper portion near the glass and wood frame can see someone who enters the door
and those tables which are in the middle and near the door. In the middle of the lower hall
there are two tables with four chairs around each. Along the wall there is a bench in front
of which there are three tables. On the right side of the entrance there were two tables
with four chairs, because the counter occupies the rest of the space.
Description of the people
At 2:23pm on Wednesday a group of four people was setting on the table in the middle of
the lower hall. There were three men and one woman. All seemed in their fifties. All the
four had glasses. They were chatting. They all seemed involved in that chat. But one man
was talking more than others. Woman was also talking more than the others two. One
man had a laptop; he was looking for something in his laptop and time after time showing
it to his friends, especially the one who was very talkative. Sometimes that would laugh

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loudly at something. Two men were in shorts and half sleeves shirts, one man was in in
dress shirt and full size jeans. Woman was decently dressed; she had had her bag hanging
from an arm of the chair on which she was sitting. Two men had beards on their chins,
the one with full size jeans and dress shirt had full beard. The bearded man had a pile of
books put beside him on the table, the one big book was titled Essays. He participated
little in conversation. He would participate in loud laugh, but in small laughs he would
just smile. The same was the case with the woman she too would just smile at such
occasions. At one time when the man with laptop and the talkative man were busy with
each other, the woman and the bearded man started talking to each other. But then they
stopped and I could see that woman was looking outside sometime or biting her hand.
Whenever it seemed that nobody is saying anything the talkative person would start
saying something and the conversation would start again. Only one among them had a
coffee cup in front of him, others had water glasses only.
On the table on the right of the entrance a young man was sitting. He was too busy with
his mobile. Sometimes he would raise his head and see around the hall and again start
looking at his mobile. At 2:28pm a young man of the age of his late twenties entered the
caf. When the hanging bell sounded, a young barista welcomed him from behind the
counter. The time that he was being welcomed by the barista the man looked around in
the hall but very quickly. (OC: He seemed to be used to visiting this caf). He was
wearing red shirt and a hat of the same color. He went toward the counter and the barista
who was looking at him asked him what can I do for you sir. He placed his order and
paid through his card. He came back and sat on a table near the door. He stood up again
and went to the place on the counter where snacks were kept. He looked at them and

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picked one; he asked the young man sitting at right of the entrance and looking at his
mobile about what that was. He told what that thing is. The redshirt man took that came
to his table and started eating it. The young barista brought coffee and a donut for him. As
he finished the donut he picked his coffee and went out.
A lady entered at 2:37 pm. She was wearing sunglasses which she took off and stood for
a while and looked around the caf. She seemed to be in her forties. She wore makeup
and she was smartly but casually dressed. She went to the counter but took her coffee and
donut herself. She came to the table in the middle. While sitting she looked at the group
sitting in the middle and chatting. She would look out side and then turned again a give a
very short look at the group. The she got busy with her mobile. Sometime she would
seem like she is posing for a picture, some poses seemed weird, like once she brought her
hand to her back and put the back of her wrest on her lumber area for sometime.
Sometime she would look at her mobile and seemed alert like for taking a picture, but I
could see that the camera was off at that time.
The young barista would welcome everyone who entered the caf. After politely asking
them how he can serve them and serving them with whatever they want he would get
busy with his mobile. All the time that I saw him he was either serving somebody or busy
with his mobile. The young man sitting on the right of the entrance and looking
continuously at his mobile got up at 2:40pm and went behind the counter. He too was a
barista. For some time he got busy with his co-barista. The young barista seemed telling
about something to him making energetic gestures with his hands. But after finishing that
he again got busy with his mobile again.

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Iqtidar ul Hassan

Peer Debriefing

Peer Debriefing: Non-Participant Observation

Peer: Iqtidar ul Hassan
Peer Debriefer: Eric Sabin
Overall Comments:
Iqtidar described a coffee shop for his non-participant observation. After
reviewing his observations, I found he provided a good description of the coffee shop and
the individuals he observed. The observations seemed short however and lacked
sufficient detail.
Helpful Hints:
Iqtidar provided good descriptions of the environment and individuals however
the structure of the observation was not in the correct format. A key describing (observer
comments) and [covert text] is needed at the beginning of the observation notes. In
addition, the use of two sections labeled description of the location and description of
the people is unnecessary as the observation should include both throughout the entire
There were a few grammatical errors that occurred throughout the paper as well.
Some of the descriptions were difficult to understand due to the misuse of certain word or
phrases such as the main portion is an open hall where the counter is place. It might be
beneficial to have the observation proofread by someone before it is finalized.

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The details of some of the individuals were very vivid and well described,
however other individuals such as the baristas were not described in as much detail. In
addition, the use of observer comments seemed to be lacking where additional thoughts
or opinions could be provided. Also, covert language seemed to be absent and additional
reference to covert text could be included.
Iqtidar used clear details in describing some of the individuals but more detailed
observation of the environment and items in it could be used. For example, the coffee
shop is described to have tables and chairs, but does not describe the color, shape, size, or
condition of the chairs. This would be a good opportunity to include more detail, observer
comments and covert text.

Reformat the observation to match other submissions and samples provided

including the use of the key and removal of labeled sections

Revise the use of some words that are incorrectly used or where alternative words
would be better to describe the observations

Include more detail on some of the observed individuals and include more
observer comments and covert language

Peer Debriefing: Non-Participant Observation

Peer: Iqtidar ul Hassan
Peer Debriefer: Crystal Voegele
Overall Comments

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Iqtidar adequately captures the totality of the observation, especially when it

comes to noting the movements and gestures of the people. From the woman biting her
hand and the woman taking pictures to the behaviors of the group, Iqtidars observations
of their actions is commendable. When I witness certain behaviors, these noted behaviors
provide another side to the person of observation. Further, Iqtidars notation of the title
of one of the non-participants books as Essays, provides even more insight to the
observed characters. Additionally, Iqtidars attention to the details of clothing and
appearance provide an ample visual for the reader. Overall, Iqtidars experience is wellcharted and objective.
Helpful Hints:
Iqtidar describes the coffee shop using subtle details; however, assuming many
readers will have never visited this particular coffee shop, more description is needed to
fully visualize this encounter. What were the noises in the shop? What were the smells
in the shop? What pictures adorned the walls of the shop? Although Iqtidars account
provides an overall view of the shop, more description is needed to fully envision the
sights Iqtidar experienced.
Throughout the reading, the reader is wondering about the thoughts of Iqtidar.
Only one observer comment is noted, leaving the reader questioning. Additionally, no
covert language is noted although there are a few examples cited in Iqtidars observation.
For example, woman was [decently] dressed.
Including more commentary and addressing covert language
Thicker descriptions of location and subjects

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1. Before conducting a non-participant observation, the observer should first go into
the same venue and exercise observation in the same place. This exercise will
give an idea of the situation in the place, which will help in concentrating on the
important aspects of the situation. This pre-observation is helpful in getting an
idea for how to order the observation. This time, when I was observing the
situation in coffee shop, more than one subject would catch my attention. This
was a distraction for me. I would be observing a customer, at the same time some
new customer would enter the coffee shop or barista would do something
different which would be worthy to note. This sort of unsystematic observation
made the activity unorganized and I missed very important observation.
2. Taking notes in the field is very important, because we cannot rely for every bit of
observation on our memory. But what I noticed was that events were taking place
so quickly that I could not note them in understandable points. Even I was
missing several things to note them down. I still do not know what should be the
format of field notes. For next time I will learn how to take notes, which should
be concise in order to write down quickly and also understandable.
3. When the subjects of observation are more in number, the observation will need
more time and more than one session. I realized during my observation that I
could not observe each individual subject in detail. One time observation may be
enough for two to five subjects, but if the number is more than this then more
time and frequency of observation is required for a satisfactory observation.
4. If the situation is changing frequently, like in a coffee shop where different people
enter at different times, it will need more time for single observation and more
than one time observation. If a classroom is observed, students and teacher will

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remain the same. Therefore, the observation of a class would be different from an
observation of a coffee shop.
Section Three: Sixty Minutes Participant Observation

Description of location, time, and purpose of observation

The house was medium-sized (OC: I do not know about different sizes of houses

in Memphis but comparing to other houses I happened to visit, this house seemed to me
medium-sized), it had two beds, a small living room, and a medium-sized family room.
There were a backyard and a front yard. A small door from the family room was opening
into the carport which could accommodate two cars at a time. The backyard would be
around 1700 sqft and the front yard around 1000 sqft. The back door would open to a
raised concrete platform of around 200 sqft. A wooden bench, four metal chairs, and
metal table were laying on the platform. The front door opened from the living room into
the porch which was half walled. The evenly trimmed grassy front yard had an ugly pile
of stone slabs on the footpath beside the corner.
The living room was small because the main entrance was cutting it into two.
Thus there were two parts of the living room. A brown couch in the living room had
occupied almost the whole of the bigger portion. In the smaller part of the living room, a
library was created. There were two soft chairs and a wooden table too, ( OC: probably
for reading purpose).
The purpose of the observation was to explore the Independence Day celebrations
in a family party.

Written Notes
See Appendix B1


Typed Expanded Field Notes

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Participant Observation
Purpose: Independence Day Celebration in a Family Party Environment
Saturday, July 2, 2016
Memphis, TN
Text Key
Covert Language: [***]
Observers Comments: (OC: ***)
Names are pseudonyms.
A friend invited me to Independence Day party at his house. It was my first
experience of taking part in Independence Day celebrations in the USA. Moreover, as an
international student, it was an opportunity to participate in celebrations with the locals in
a family party environment.
It was a family party. The host had invited his friends and their families. There
were five families with their kids and four young unmarried boys. I was the fifth
familyless participant of the party, though not a boy. The house was medium-sized (OC: I
do not know about different sizes of houses in Memphis but comparing to other houses I
happened to visit, this house seemed to me medium-sized), it had two beds, a small living
room, and a medium-sized family room. There were a backyard and a front yard. A small
door from the family room was opening into the carport which could accommodate two
cars at a time. The backyard would be around 1700 sqft and the front yard around 1000
sqft. The back door would open to a raised concrete platform of around 200 sqft. A
wooden bench, four metal chairs, and metal table were laying on the platform. The front
door opened from the living room into the porch which was half walled. The evenly

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trimmed grassy front yard had an ugly pile of stone slabs on the footpath beside the
The living room was small because the main entrance was cutting it into two.
Thus there were two parts of the living room. A brown couch in the living room had
occupied almost the whole of the bigger portion. In the smaller part of the living room, a
library was created. There were two soft chairs and a wooden table too, ( OC: probably
for reading purpose).
All the participants were white Americans. Three of the families had kids. One
had two sons of six years and four years. The other had a daughter of approximately five
years and a son of around three years. One family had a baby of a few months. (OC: Kids
names were very much biblical).
As per my local customs, I took a chocolate cake to show my courtesy. When I
entered the living room, the host welcomed me. He took me to the kitchen to meet his
wife and other female guests and also to give the dessert to his wife, who was busy in
preparing dinner for the guests. I knew one of the ladies (Jen) before so she came forward
and politely greeted me. She introduced me to the host's wife, who thanked me for the
All the male guests were sitting in the living room, they were watching some
game on TV. That was a frisbee match played as a professional sport. When I had entered,
those who knew me said a warmly hi to me. 'Je' asked to sit with him on the couch. 'Jer' is
a young bearded young man of around thirty years. He is of a heavy built and has a sober
personality. I said, somewhat loudly, that frisbee could not be a professional sport and this
started a discussion. A young boy of around twenty years, whose name I did not know,

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(OC: was more eager to give his opinion). But his opinion was very ambivalent. I said
that it could be a mainstream sport if the disc was manufactured to make a more complex
motion when skimmed in the air.
(OC: Pals) started to get together in two-twos and three-threes to have [the
intemate] conversation. 'Ke1' is an unmarried boy of around twenty-five. He is thin and
handsome. 'Ke2' is a tall young man of around thirty, has a long beard, but short hair.
They went to the library and started talking while standing. 'Ke1' would sometimes look
into the books.
A kid started crying. He was scared by a dog which had come out of somewhere. I
saw that the little girl was lovingly caressing that little boy. I could see that everybody
noticed this and smiled and said something to the person standing close to him/her. I said
to 'Do' that she was acting elderly.
'Jer', 'Jef' and the young boy who was commenting on the match went into the
family room. 'Do' brought his baby and sat with me on the couch. (OC: The baby was soo
cute) that I took some pictures of him. He asked me about my daily routine and what I do
on weekends. We decided that we would go to some Indian restaurant some day. Then he
got up to take the baby to his mother.
A young lad was sitting alone. He looked at me (OC: I thought he wanted to talk
with me), I said to him to come and sit with me. His name was 'Pa' I said to him that he
must be in school. He told me that he was thinking of studying nursing in UofM. Upon
his asking, I told him about my school. Then he asked me what religion I believe in. I told
him that I was agnostic. (OC: He seemed very much interested in me). He started telling

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me what makes him believe in God. He was telling miscellaneous biblical stories (OC: in
a benignly polemical way and proselytizing spirit).
People were sneaking into the kitchen to grab some food. I saw that 'Kev1' and
'Kev2' also left the living room and went toward the kitchen. We too got up to take the
food. I asked 'Pa' to guide me because I did not know about American food. There was a
different sort of chicken salad which seemed like tuna. There were sweet beans and buns.
I took buns and made two sandwiches. The chicken salad was very tasty, everybody was
talking about it.
Me, 'Pa', 'Ke1', 'Ke2' went out toward the backyard and sat on the chairs on the
platform. 'Pa' was still telling me biblical stories. Then that little girl came out and very
delightfully said "hi guys". We could not help admiring her cuteness.
The host had brought some firework material and wanted us to do firework. 'Ke1' and
'Jef' were very interested in it, they got the material and asked us to come out to the front
yard. There were lots of 'popits' and sparklings , fathers and mothers got busy with their
kids to play with them. Everybody grabbed small rockets, I too got two and fired them.
'Jer' challenged me to a 'popits' throw. I was better than him. I saw that 'Jen' wants kids to
hold sparkling but they were scared. I got a few from her and tried to do like a magician,
and then gave them to the kids but they still were not very bold to play with sparklings.
There were some objects which needed to be put on the ground and then lit it and run
away from it to let it sparkle. All were not ready to do this. Two young boys were the
most interested in doing that. All were just commenting on them and making jokes when
they missed that.

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Analytic Memo
1. Patriotism of the participants was the most important element during the whole
observation. The subjects of my observation demonstrated sincere love and
devotion to their country.
2. The participants were religious people. I could see their religiosity in the
following observations:
a. Names of the kids were very biblical. They were named after apostles and
biblical prophets, like Luke, Paul and Isaiah etc.
b. Their conversation concentrated on religious discussions. For example a
participant who talked with at length, he only discussed bible with me.
From his conversation I realized that he wants me to convince over the
divinity of the book.
c. No alcoholic liquor was served in the party. Though alcohol is not
forbidden in Christianity but I could relate this situation with my
interaction with a pastor who had told me that alcohol drinking is
discouraged in their religion. Therefore, I could infer that alcohol has not
been made public in the party because of the religious intentions of the
d. Women usually mingle with men in America without any reservations. But
I observed in the party that women were separate from men for the most
part of the party time. To me, this aspect of the party is also associated
with the religious nature of the participants.
A single observation is not sufficient to draw conclusion about the religious
association of the participants, but if all these elements are seen together it
would be easy to draw the conclusion that the participants of the party were
very practicing Christians.

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3. I observed that the participants who had come with family that wanted to be more
reserved and demonstrating a self-control. While the bachelors demonstrated
more excitement. Only the bachelors were doing firework. Though there was an
exception, one family person was also very excited, but that seemed to be due to
his age, because he was very young.

Peer Debriefings

Peer Debriefing: Participant Observation

Peer: Iqtidar Hassan
Peer Debriefer: Danesha Winfrey

Overall Comments
Iqtidar provides a good overview of his participation as in international student in
an American Independence Day celebration. Iqtidars narrative could have benefitted
from descriptive language, covert language, and more effective use of the observer
comments. It must also be noted that his notes were not expanded from the original
version. More practice may be needed in participant observation, still, he provided a great
site for participant observation.

Helpful Hints
Iqtidar did not provide an expanded overview of his outing at the Independence
Day celebration; had there been expanded notes incorporated in this weeks discussion,
his account of his outing would have provided more rich detail. Still, he did not provide

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any detail on how any of the participants looked, save for describing them all as white
Americans. This would have been a great opportunity to describe the details on height,
hair color, clothing and the like. He states that there were conversations multiple times,
yet he provides no details on any aspect of the conversations: this would have provided
the needed detail and descriptive language that his observation lacks. Readers like me
love reading about conversations, especially conversations of readers, as I am sure Iqtidar
was surrounded by well-read individuals. Nevertheless, Iqtidar missed many
opportunities to engage in descriptive language by not providing details of body language
of the participants, not even himself as participant observer. He also missed an
opportunity to describe the looks and smells of the food presented, particularly since he
asked the host what types of food they were. I was hoping to read of these descriptions of
food, as I love to read those descriptions. Overall, Iqtidar has provided a good foundation
on which to bolster his participant observation notes, the scene was a great choice.

Iqtidar should keep practicing his participant observation skills and field note
expansion techniques

Iqtidar should practice using descriptive language, observer comments, as well as

covert language

Peer Debriefing: Participant Observation

Peer: Iqtidar ul Hassan
Peer Debriefer: Eric Sabin
Overall Comments

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Iqtidar provided a very formalized participant observation from a independence

day celebration party. I thought overall it lacked the necessary details to be considered a
participant observation. The details provided were minimal and in a format that was not
in line with normal participant observation.
Helpful Hints
Iqtidar provided a participant observation that could have been completed with
much more detail if a standard format was followed. The use of time stamps to separate
the observations was not necessary unless they are included in the observations as
significant changes in the environment. For example, at 7:40pm the host of the party
brought out some fireworks. In addition, while the observations followed the timeline of
the events, it could have been separated into sections observed.
Iqtidar observed the initial home of the host of the party and the individuals at the
party but provided no details about the individuals or the environment. For example, the
house size, color, location and outlay could have been described in the opening
paragraph. In addition, the individuals at the party could have been described in more
detail. It was listed as five families and their kids along with four batchelors. What did
the family members look like, which kids were theirs and what did those kids look like,
how did they act? What did the batchelors look like? This would have been a good
opportunity to add additional observer comments.
Observer comments seemed to be lacking throughout the observation. There were
a few comments that Iqtidar made, but additional comments could have been provided
especially with this being the first sort of celebration that he has attended. What did the
house feel like for someone from another country? What did the people seem like,

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especially the families and the interactions between the adults and children? What did the
food taste like? How did it seem trying new foods?

A more standard format should be utilized for the participant observation

A sufficient amount of details should be included including sight, feel, smell and
the commentary exchanged between the observer and the participants

Additional observer comments are needed so readers can understand how the
observer felt during the observations

The overall observation needs to be significantly expanded with the details and
comments necessary for a participant observation



1. I had preconceived notions. They were that I had met the participants more than once
and knew their interest and their religious inclinations. This preconception was
continuously determining the themes of my observation.
2. Most of my time was spent with those individuals who would come and talk to me. I
wanted to observe the whole party situation but I missed a bigger part of that because
of my staying busy with someone in conversation. Better strategy for such
observations would be to stay among group of the people not with a single
3. Note taking was a problem too. While participating in a situation one is hold by
someone and cannot take notes in time. If somebody is told that they are observed
they will behave differently than their natural way of behavior.
4. My notes were too random to understand them coherently. I had to rely on my
memory to recall things. This is not the standard way of observation. I will try to find
some way to write notes which should be concise and comprehendible.

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5. I felt myself deficient in descriptive vocabulary which is necessary for writing down
the observation. I will have to work on this aspect too.
6. Though I participated in the party but I could not share the sentiments that they had
about the Independence Day or their religion. So it was more of a non-participant
observation in this sense.
For being a participant observer I will chose a situation where I can participant with
almost the same spirit as the observed participant have, where I can participate with the
participant more actively. I would try to acquire some skills in descriptive writing too. I
will also read more on situational behavior of individuals and groups so that I can
observe a social situation scientifically and more profoundly.
Section Four: Forty Five Minutes Semi-structured Interview

Description of Location, Time and Interviewee

The interviewee was unable to come to the university, therefore I had to take the

interview at her home. Her house is close to the University of Memphis. Her husband
was sitting beside when I was interviewing her. Due the presence of her husband, I could
feel during interview that she was avoiding to share some of her experiences with me.
She told me that she could not express herself well in English so she would talk in Urdu.
Thus the interview was given in Urdu. I have tried to translate the interview in a way so
as to keep the original meaning and also the tone preserved. I have also tried to keep the
length and the structure of the sentences preserved to reflect the colloquiality of the
interviewees statements.
The Interviewee is an International Exchange student from Pakistan in the
University of Memphis. She is around forty years and old and belongs to a rural area in
Pakistan. She cannot speak English fluently, though she can explain herself very clearly

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in Urdu. That is why she preferred to give me interview in Urdu instead of English. She
was very enthusiastic about sharing her experiences with me. I got her very open as a
Total interview is 26 min 46 sec; I have transcribed 9 min 46 sec of it. Since I was
approaching the problem from phenomenological perspective, so I let the interviewee
speak in length about her experiences. That is why she could answer only two questions
in ten minutes.

Interview Guide

Research Question
To what extent the curricula in the American Universities fulfill the needs of the
International Exchange Students?

Sub-question 1: What determine the needs of the International Exchange students?

Lead Question 1A: What are your study objectives. What study objectives did you
mention in your Study Objective essay when you were applying for the scholarship?
Potential Probes:

What did you want to learn from an American University?

What did you expect you could learn?
Why did you have these objectives of study?
Were these objectives solely your own or something else too determine your
study objectives?

Lead Question 2A: What did you want learn from your overall experience of living

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Potential Probes:
A. What sort of interactions would you like to have in America?
B. How that learning would add to your professional skills?
Sub-question 2: To what extent the content of the curriculum was related to your
study objectives?

Sub-question 2: How was the content of the curriculum related with your study

Lead Question 2A: To what extent you are satisfied with the content of the curricula?
Potential Probes:
A. Was the content relevant with your mandate?
B. How satisfied you were with the delivery of the contents?

Lead Question 2B: How the content and delivery method was related to your past
learning experiences?
Potential Probes:
A. What was your foundational knowledge of the subject area/
B. Were the content and the delivery methodology satisfactorily cognizant of the
foundational knowledge that you had?

Written Consent
See Appendix C1


Written Notes
See Appendix C2


Ten Minutes Transcription of Interview

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Purpose: Experiences of a Pakistani Exchange student in an American University

Text Key:
Italic: Interviewer
Plain: Interviewee
{ }:

Heard on tap

[ ]:

Observed behavior from notes

(OC:): Observers comments



Would you tell me something about your 'study objectives' which got you selection for the
While writing my study objectives essay, I had considered my experience. I
wanted to be very realistic. I was mindful of the fulfillment of my goals. I have worked at
the grassroots level in the education sector, especially with working children. I have
worked for their rights. In this way, I got involved in the education sector. But I realized
that I did not have technical expertise. I realized that I did not have the required
knowledge and skills, especially in the area of education. I had seen gaps at the
administration and policy level. I could see that there is potential in this area, especially
women-related, particularly in the province of Sindh (OC: A geographical and
administrative unit of Pakistan). Especially, in the remote and rural areas of Sindh.
Women are mostly illiterate. An educated woman of Sindh can make a good career. The
market has a potential for such women. I was keeping all these in my mind. [Looking at
her computer, she had opened her application which had her Study Objectives essay]

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(OC: Since she was reading from her laptop thats why she was very fluent in telling me
he study objectives.). When I was working on child rights, I had seen that when we were
analyzing the policy, we would not have any expert in this area. No expert was available
who could tell us what are policy gaps. We wanted an expert who could see the policy
holistically. In Pakistan, those who are working in civil society sector (OC: social sector),
they focus only on specific areas, they do not look at the problems holistically. When I
saw at USAID scholarship and the areas of study, since I had seen gaps in policy and
especially its implementation, and implementation is related to administration, keeping
this in mind I set my objectives to learn policy formulation and policy analysis. This was
one of my objectives [looking at her laptop again]. The second objective, as I had realized
in my experience that social issues, social stratification have a big impact on education,
and this has been ignored in our policy, and I knew that the US also has such models,
especially the Blacks and Whites issues, I wanted to see how the US has incorporated this
racial and ethnic thing in educational policy. I wanted to learn how these social issues
could be included in policy. I wanted to learn how these social issues, particularly at rural
level and women-related issues can be addressed in the policy. I did not get a regular
education; my regular education is only till matric (OC: 10th grade). I studied privately.
Therefore, I did not know about research. I wanted to learn research here. I thought that I
would have an opportunity to learn it there (OC: the USA). Especially, I wanted to learn
how to write a research (OC: Research paper), I wanted to improve my writing skills. So
these were my objectives for the scholarship. [While summing up her answer she seems
to look for something else she could say, but then she ended her answer.]

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What else did you want to learn from this comprehensive experience of living in America,
you would have mentioned them in your personal statement?
[Trying to find concrete words to answer this question] it was like that, which I
had mentioned in my personal statement too, and I was thinking that this program would
be of such kind, I was thinking of the scholarship that it would be a comprehensive
program. That there would be the sort of activities related to culture. Since I had worked
in nonprofit sector, I did not think that they (OC: the sponsoring organization) would take
us admission in a university and then they will leave us. I was thinking that we would be
given the opportunity to interact with different organizations, like UNO, or other
organizations, especially those working in education. I was thinking that there would be
such forums provided to us, through which we would be able to interact with them (OC:
various organizations). We would share what we have already learned, and we would
learn from them the best practices.And that we would learn in this way. When I
came here, an orientation was given, I realized that we have been made students here, and
this was totally different than what I was expecting. I had to do everything myself. I had
learned from this too. I was alone here and I did everything for my accommodation etc.
And this was a good experience. Culturally, I was thinking that this society is very
individualistic and they would not be helping but it is not like this [a stress in her voice,
(OC: showing the importance of this point]. Though my colleagues who had been here
had told me that people are very cooperative here, but a had a fear. But what I learned is
that these people are very good, they are cooperative and they have helped me a lot. It is
not that it is individualistic society; here is a respect for human beings. They help each

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other; I met very supporting people here. They helped me in everything (OC: not just
academically). Academically I have challenges, there are systems in the university, like if
you have a problem in writing, there are centers to help you; if you have a problem in
speaking you can have a conversational partner. If you have homesickness, psychological
or emotional challenges, there is a counseling center for this purpose. These were good
experiences. (Pausing for a moment). But here I will mention this too, what I was
thinking of the interaction with the people here, I could not do it like that [a smile] And
perhaps.if I can say that I should have more interaction here so that I learn more
from them. [A pause and then suddenly started again with a voice a little louder]. And for
that. I will say that . [ using of hands more frequently now to express her point (OC:
like thinking about what to say)], it was because of me . it was my choice too. I was
focused too much on the study, I was so busy that I could not give attention to other
things. [A smile]. I think from culture and from people here too a person can learn
much. And what else [she smiled].


Peer Debriefing

Peer Debriefing: Interview Transcription

Peer: Iqtidar ul Hassan
Peer Debriefer: Eric Sabin
Overall Comments
Iqtidar provided a very unique interview transcript of his interview of a Pakistani
Exchange Student in an American University. The location seemed to be an adequate
setting for the interview as it seemed to be a comfortable environment for the

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interviewee. There was sufficient use of dictation, observer comments and observer
behaviors. Overall, this was a good start to transcribing an interview.
Helpful Hints
Iqtidar provided a brief description of the context of the interview including
where it took place and why. Some additional details about the environment or individual
would assist readers in understanding the environment where the interview took place.
These details could be included throughout the interview or in the context of the opening
of the interview.
While the interview transcript including observer comments and observed
behaviors from the notes took or heard on tape, they seemed to be in a structure that was
unusual to the standard structure of an interview transcript. For example, when noting an
observer comment there is not a need for the abbreviation OC as the observer
comments are already included in parenthesis.

Because the interview questions were limited, with long responses, it might be
easier to read them if the answer was separated into paragraphs. The answer would still
flow well in the structure of the interview transcript and the next question in Italic would
separate the questions. I would also recommend expanding the transcript regardless of the
length of time that occurred in the interview. Additional questions and answers would
provide a more adequate summary of the interview.

Additional descriptive details of the environment or individual would be helpful

for the reader

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The use of observer comments and behaviors need to be used in a more

formalized structure

Additional questions and answers are needed to provide a better summary of the

Peer Debriefing: 10-minute interview transcription

Peer: Iqtidar ul Hassan
Peer Debriefer: Danesha Winfrey
Overall Comments
Iqtidar uses a theme of international student interaction in America as his overall
theme. His final exercise for his binder entailed an interview with an international
student, where his other observations focused on his own interaction with the world as an
international student. He utilizes open-ended questioning to maximize his interviewees
responses. Still, Iqtidar does not seem to interact much within the transcription as he
presented no observations at his body language, and he does not provide any heard on
tape commentary to provide an audible context to the interview session.
Helpful Hints
Although Itqidar utilized open-ended questions, his interview would have
benefitted from follow-up questions to gather more nuanced information from the
interviewee. For instance, the interviewee mentioned that policy gaps were present when
analyzing certain policies and that these policies were not being approached holistically.
This would have been an opportune time to ask the interviewee to describe what her
version of holistic policy study means. The interviewee also mentioned that she had to

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study privately when she wanted to continue her education. This was an apt opportunity
to ask the interviewee how she had to engage in private study. Where did she go? Did
anyone help her achieve this silent education? What did she study? This would be
helpful in providing a more semi-structured approach to the interview, otherwise, you
may be left with much information to sift through in order to find themes and create
codes, for example. This would also help the interviewer maintain a semblance of control
for the flow of the interview. Additionally, Iqtidar also fails to mention any of his
movements during the interview.

Iqtidar should utilize the heard on tape notation in the text key to add audible
context to the text for the reader

Iqtidar should work on creating follow-up questions in order to have more control
over the interview

Iqtidar could enlighten the reader on his actions during the interview so as to
represent interviewer/interviewee engagement


1. I did not prepare the semi structure interview guide before my interview, because
I was satisfied with the questions and their sequence which I had in my mind. But
had the standard protocol been followed, the interview would be more probing.
2. When I was taking interview, the husband of the interviewee was sitting in the
room. I could feel that she is not comfortable to disclose some of her experiences
in the USA in front of her husband. Next time I will try to interview in a place
where no close acquaintance is present.

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3. I shared the situation with the interviewee therefore, there were some
preconceived notions in my mind. I was questioning through the lens of my own
experiences. If my experiences were bitter, I was trying to drag her to the bitter
side of her experiences.
4. Since my approach toward the interview was phenomenological therefore, I
wanted to let the interviewee speak at length about her experiences. But now I
realize that there was a need of subsequent questions, which I did not ask. One
reason of this was definitely not having the semi structured interview guide in
advance. Next time I will give more time to prepare this semi structured interview
guide prior to an interview.
5. The party was definitely an Independence Day calibration, but my focus remained
on the nature of the participants. I should have focused more on the celebrative
aspect of the party.
6. Translation of the interview from Urdu into English also harms the meaning the
interviewee wants to convey. This also needs skill to translate from one language
into another keeping the meaning undistorted. Since in the future I will definitely
be doing more interviews in some other language, so I will have to exercise this
skill (translation) too.
Section Five: Brief Reflection

Reflections on the Entire Series Experience

I realized during this exercise that what I want to study could be best explored

through case study. My preference of case study is to explore the issue more deeply and
extensively. Case study allows me to explore all the dimensions of phenomena using
multiple tools like observation (participant and non-participant), interview, narrative,
focus group, document analysis and conversation analysis.

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I conducted a non-participant observation in a coffee shop. I observed the

interaction of the people with each and other and with the environment. I found that each
individuals response was related to the situation (their social and physical environment).
I was also able to relate each individuals nature of interaction with their overall getup
and set of interests ( I could their interests from their conversation with others and also
from what they possessed when they were in the coffee shop). I was more tended toward
the nature of their interaction which was determined by their general personality type.
This kind of study would be phenomenological and also ethnographic study.
Ethnographic because I am more interested in their experiences as who they are?.
I conducted the participant observation in an Independence Day celebration party.
The party I participated in was a White Americans family party. I could find very easily
that all of them are associated with some church. The most important thing in their life
seemed to me was religion. The nature of their interaction with each other and with me
was guided by religion. Again, ethnography is the most suitable methodological approach
to study the experiences of a group of people who have particular religious association.
Obviously, phenomenological approach would also be used in this ethnographic study
because I want to study their conscious experiences with more profundity.
My last activity was a semi-structured interview of a Pakistani Exchange student
in the University of Memphis. Studying Pakistani exchange student experiences is
definitely an ethnographic study. I found during the interview that a narrative study can
also be conducted if I could find narratives of such other students. During this last
exercise I realized that I also share these experiences with the interviewee. Thus I turned
toward myself and oriented toward an autoethnography.

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I got an idea of conducting a qualitative research from these activities. But to get
expertise I need more reading and exercise of using these tools. I will continue
conducting small observations and interviews, and their analysis in order to enhance
these skills.
Qualitative research is not straightforward. It requires a profound understanding
of the context, deeper knowledge of social theories and great expertise in analyzing
qualitative data. A profound and extensive understanding of the social phenomena can be
acquired through qualitative research, which is not always possible through quantitative

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Appendix A1

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Appendix B1

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Appendix C1

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Appendix C2

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