Focus Groups: When and How to Use Them (QMMR 1)
Half Day, 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Marriott Wardman Park, Virginia B Room
This short course considers focus groups as a data collection method. Its point of departure is twofold: 1. Focus groups help researchers answer certain types of questions, and 2. Focus groups create multiple types of data that help researchers undertake specific and distinct research goals. Having discussed each of these points in detail, we will then explore some of the fundamentals of undertaking focus groups, including the development of a question protocol, the role of the moderator, and how to undertake focus group analysis. Along the way, participants will carry out activities based on actual research.
By the end of the course, participants should be able to identify the kinds of questions that focus groups can help answer and whether they will be useful for their own research design. They should also understand the basics of how to carry out a focus group.
Participants are encouraged to bring specific questions to the course, so we can discuss them as a group. If there is time, the class can examine the research design of different participants and whether focus groups are (or could be) usefully incorporated. In this way, the short course will provide constructive feedback and advice to participants.
**All Short Courses will take place on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 at the APSA 2019 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.**