Tips for running effective focus groups

In the last blog article I looked at some of the justifications for choosing focus groups as a method in qualitative research. This week, we will focus on some practical tips to make sure that focus groups run smoothly, and to ensure you get good engagement from your participants.   1. Make sure you have a helper! It’s very difficult to run focus groups on your own. If you are wanting to layout the room, greet people, deal with

Considering and planning for qualitative focus groups

  This is the first in a two-part series on focus groups. This week, we are looking at some of the  why you might consider using them in a research project, and questions to make sure they are well integrated into your research strategy. Next week we will look at some practical tips for effectively running and facilitating a successful session. Focus groups have been used as a research method since the 1950s, but were not as common

Transcribing your own qualitative data

In a previous blog article I talked about some of the practicalities and costs involved in using a professional transcribing service to turn your beautifully recorded qualitative interviews and focus groups into text data ready for analysis. However, hiring a transcriber is expensive, and is often beyond the means of most post-graduate researchers.   There are also serious advantages to doing the transcription yourself that make a better

An overview of qualitative methods

There are a lot of different ways to collect qualitative data, and this article just provides a brief summary of some of the main methods used in qualitative research. Each one is an art in its own right, with various different techniques, definitions, approaches and proponents. More on each one will follow in later articles, and it’s worth remembering that these need to be paired with the right questions, sampling, and analysis to get