ERIC Number: ED342325
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992
Reference Count: N/A
Focus Group Interviews: Applications for Institutional Research.
Brodigan, David L.
AIR Professional File, n43 Win 1992
This paper introduces focus group interview research. It presents a description of the principal characteristics of such research, consideration of some applications by colleges and universities, a description of the planning and implementation involved, and examples from a study using this approach at Carleton College, Minnesota. To begin, the paper defines focus group research and explains how it differs from other qualitative research methods. Focus group research involves small numbers of individuals drawn from a population that is appropriate to the particular interests of the researcher. Sessions are conducted by the researcher or a trained moderator. Several examples of the use of focus group research by colleges and universities follow. Next, the paper considers four types of research applications that are appropriate for the choice of focus group research over other formats: (1) as an initial step for new research; (2) in conjunction with quantitative studies; (3) to aid the interpretation of results from surveys; and (4) as a means of investigation. Examples are given of focus group use at Carleton College. A lengthy section describes the planning, conducting, and logistical considerations involved in focus group applications. Concluding sections explain research costs and the analysis and use of findings. Twelve references are included. (JB)
Descriptors: Higher Education, Institutional Research, Interviews, Qualitative Research, Research Design, Research Methodology
Association for Institutional Research (AIR), 314 Stone Building, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-3038.
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Association for Institutional Research.