Interviews provide a middle ground between surveys and focus groups. Like focus groups, they allow for the collection of more detailed data through the use of open-ended questions. Like surveys, they provide a more rigorous structure that increases comparability between interviews.
Programs most often use interviews to collect information from graduating students. These exit interviews usually focus on students’ post-graduation plans and their perception of the curriculum and program.
Interviews are also used to gauge new majors’ perceptions of or attitudes about the discipline. This information can be used to inform communications or curricular decisions.
Interviews can be used alongside direct assessment methods as an additional technique to assess learning. For instance, students who participate in an academic project or a team project can be interviewed regarding their perceptions of the learning process - e.g. what they felt they learned, challenges, etc. These results can be compared with the results of a direct assessment to see if students' perceptions of their learning match the faculty's assessment of their learning.