ACSPRI Conferences, ACSPRI Social Science Methodology Conference 2014

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Interviewer training and evaluation in the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children

Catherine Lee Smith

Building: Holme Building
Room: Holme Room
Date: 2014-12-09 09:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Last modified: 2014-10-31


The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) is conducted every 2 years and collects information from approximately 10,000 families across Australia from 2 different cohorts. For each wave of LSAC interviewer administrated methods of data collection have been used as the primary way of collecting information from respondents. In Wave 6, 200 interviewers were trained in preparation for the face-to-face interviews. This presentation will highlight innovative training methods used in LSAC interviewer training. This presentation will also outline some of the techniques and management information that can be used to identify areas for ongoing improvement for future training.

Developing a training package for LSAC interviewers presents a number of challenges due to significant collection methodology changes and multiple levels of interviewer experience each wave. To fully equip interviewers with the knowledge and skills to correctly administer all the different assessments in Wave 6, LSAC employed a variety of multi-modal methods to deliver high quality and engaging training.

The Wave 6 training package consisted of a home learning package and a classroom training module. Key components of this training included: an e-learning package, interviewer instructions and field documentation, DVD presentations of key topic area experts, role plays, and hands on practice sessions that were deigned to imitate real life interview situations.
LSAC uses multiple sources of paradata to evaluate and understand how interviewers do their job, evaluate the effectiveness of their training and identify areas for ongoing improvement. This includes monitoring the interviewers’ database where queries and comments from the field are documented, working through all the instrument comments and field queries made by interviewers, as well as the debrief evaluation forms that interviewers fill in as a way of evaluating training and identifying where improvements can be made. Further analyses of management information such as contact and clerical time records, summary of calls information, and examination of keystroke data also assist in providing an understanding of how training impacts on interviewers’ work and how this may potentially affect the data.