ERIC Number: ED435762
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Utilzing Networked Computer Workstations To Conduct Electronic Focus Groups.
Lowery, Catherine; Franklin, Kathy K.
Researchers at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock conducted a study of faculty attitudes about the use of technology in the college classroom using electronic focus group sessions. This paper examines the electronic focus group data collection procedure. The electronic sessions were conducted in a decision-support center on campus with 13 networked computer workstations and 1 server. The software for the focus group sessions was Group Systems 2.0 by Ventana Corporation. At each session, the facilitator explained the technology and then engaged in a guided question-and-answer process using a predetermined focus group script. In the first phase, participants answered the questions individually, and in a second phase, they "discussed" the responses with each other electronically. Researchers found that the electronic format improved the objectivity of each session, reduced the influence of a sensitive topic on participation, and enhanced the management of a discussion. The electronic format also improved the accuracy of the data by capturing every voice and comment in "real time." The primary disadvantage was the reduced ability of the researcher to guide the discussion and request elaboration of any given topic. The researchers, however, believed that this disadvantage was more a consequence of their inexperience with the technology than a problem with the electronic format. An appendix contains the focus group script. (Author/SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A