Evaluating Understanding: Endogenous Project Evaluation Using Practice-Based Interaction Analysis (PIA)

  • Andrew Carlin
  • Sheena MurdochEmail author


Carlin and Murdoch argue that when a programme involves talk, then talk should form the locus of evaluation. This offers an alternative to current evaluation methods applied to talking therapy programmes. Drawing upon ethnomethodology and conversation analysis, Carlin and Murdoch demonstrate practice-based interaction analysis (or PIA) for evaluating talking therapy programmes. The turn-taking organisation of talk provides criteria that are already being used by participants within their talk, which can be utilised as bases for evaluation. Excerpts from programme data highlight how ‘claims to’ and ‘displays of’ understanding demonstrate truly endogenous evaluations. Carlin and Murdoch argue that adjacently paired turns at talk demonstrate how participants themselves evaluate in situ understandings, thus developing evaluation criteria derived from participants’ activities rather than exogenous evaluation criteria.


Evaluation Endogenous Parenting-training Counselling Learning 


  1. Atkinson, J. M. (1979). Sequencing and Shared Attentiveness to Court Proceedings. In G. Psathas (Ed.), Everyday Language: Studies in Ethnomethodology (pp. 257–286). New York: Irvington.Google Scholar
  2. Atkinson, J. M., & Drew, P. (1979). Order in Court: The Organisation of Verbal Interaction in Judicial Settings. London: Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Becker, H. S., & Geer, B. (1957). Participant Observation and Interviewing: A Comparison. In J. G. Manis & B. N. Meltzer (Eds.), Symbolic Interaction: A Reader in Social Psychology (pp. 76–82). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon, Inc.Google Scholar
  4. Bittner, E. (2013). The Concept of Organization. Ethnographic Studies, 13, 175–187.Google Scholar
  5. Heath, C., Hindmarsh, J., & Luff, P. (2010). Video in Qualitative Research: Analysing Social Interaction in Everyday Life. Los Angeles: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Heritage, J. (1985). Analyzing News Interviews: Aspects of the Production of Talk for an Overhearing Audience. In T. A. van Dijk (Ed.), Handbook of Discourse Analysis (Vol. 3, pp. 95–117). London: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  7. Heritage, J., & Maxwell Atkinson, J. (1984). Introduction. In J. Maxwell Atkinson & J. Heritage (Eds.), Structures of Social Action: Studies in Conversation Analysis (pp. 1–15). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Heritage, J. C., & Watson, D. R. (1979). Formulations as Conversational Objects. In G. Psathas (Ed.), Everyday Language: Studies in Ethnomethodology (pp. 123–162). New York: Irvington.Google Scholar
  9. Jefferson, G. (1984). On a Systematic Deployment of the Acknowledgement Tokens ‘yeah’ and ‘mm-hm’. Papers in Linguistics, 17(2), 197–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Jefferson, G. (2015). Talking About Troubles. In P. Drew, J. Heritage, G. Lerner, & A. Pomerantz (Eds.), Conversation. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Jordan, B., & Henderson, A. (1995). Interactional Analysis: Foundations and Practice. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 4(1), 39–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kaplan, A. (1964). The Conduct of Inquiry: Methodology for Behavioural Science. San Francisco: Chandler.Google Scholar
  13. McHoul, A. (1978). The Organization of Turns at Formal Talk in the Classroom. Language in Society, 7(2), 183–213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Mehan, H. (1978). Structuring School Structure. Harvard Educational Review, 48(1), 32–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Patton, M. Q. (2015). Qualitative Research & Evaluation Methods: Integrating Theory and Practice (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  16. Sacks, H. (1992a). Lectures on Conversation (Vol. 1). Cambridge MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  17. Sacks, H. (1992b). Lectures on Conversation (Vol. 2). Cambridge MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  18. Sacks, H., Schegloff, E. A., & Jefferson, G. (1974). A Simplest Systematics for the Organization of Turn Taking for Conversation. Language, 50(4), 696–735.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Schegloff, E. A. (1995). Parties and Joint Talk: Two Ways in Which Numbers Are Significant for Talk-in-Interaction. In P. ten Have & G. Psathas (Eds.), Situated Order: Studies in the Social Organization of Talk and Embodied Activities (pp. 31–42). Washington, DC: University Press of America.Google Scholar
  20. Schegloff, E. A., & Sacks, H. (1973). Opening Up Closings. Semiotica, 8(4), 289–327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Turner, R. (1976). Utterance Positioning as an Interactional Resource. Semiotica, 17(3), 233–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. vom Lehn, D., & Heath, C. (2007). Social Interaction in Museums and Galleries: A Note on Video-based Field Studies. In R. Goldman, R. Pea, B. Barron, & S. J. Derry (Eds.), Video Research in the Learning Sciences (pp. 287–301). Mahwah: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  23. Watson, D. R. (1990). Some Features of the Elicitation of Confessions in Murder Interrogations. In G. Psathas (Ed.), Interactional Competence (pp. 263–296). Washington, DC: University Press of America.Google Scholar
  24. Watson, R. (1995). Some Potentialities and Pitfalls in the Analysis of Process and Personal Change in Counselling and Therapeutic Interaction. In J. Siegfried (Ed.), Therapeutic and Everyday Discourse as Behavior Change: Towards a Micro-Analysis in Psychotherapy Process Research (pp. 301–339). Norwood: Ablex.Google Scholar
  25. Wowk, M. T. (1989). Talk in an Organization: Organization in Talk. In H. Coleman (Ed.), Working with Language: A Multidisciplinary Consideration of Language Use in Work Contexts (pp. 541–564). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MacauMacauChina
  2. 2.London South Bank UniversityLondonUK

Personalised recommendations