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ERIC Number: EJ888866
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jan
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 4
ISSN: ISSN-1740-4622
A Focus Group Activity for the Research Methods Class
Fife, Eric
Communication Teacher, v19 n1 p9-12 Jan 2005
Focus group research is commonly employed in communication and related disciplines. Despite the growing popularity of focus group methodology, it is generally discussed only briefly in research methods texts. Students are very familiar with the process of taking a survey, but most have never participated in focus groups, and a brief lecture on focus groups does not give students an understanding of just how different they are from structured interviews and surveys. Only participating in a focus group can enable students to understand the strengths, weaknesses, and appropriate use of this important method. This exercise is typically most effective when the students have already been exposed to survey and interview methodology, as it is designed to highlight differences between these means of data collection. As Morgan (1996) suggested, focus groups allow for a depth of discussion not generally possible with survey methods. By the end of the activity, students should have a better appreciation of how focus groups work, an improved understanding of the differences between focus groups and survey methods, and an increased knowledge of how a research participant in an actual focus group might feel.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A