I am conducting semi-structured student interviews to validate survey items pertaining to students' attitudes towards science. I am interested in understanding students' thinking behind their responses to twelve items (usually answered on a Likert scale). During the interviews, I present one item at a time and ask the student to speak out what they are thinking as they answer the item. I generally let them talk without interrupting but I will at times probe them with questions such as "what is the thinking behind that?," "what is the first thing that came to your mind?," and "can you give me an example?" So far the responses have been pretty thorough; however, I would like to know if I can get further insights into their thinking. Are there other ways to prompt students to think metacognitively? Please let me know and I would really appreciate feedback.
Arizona State University