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Michael Yeap...PhD Candidate: 20101126 - Focus G oup epo ting !

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Friday, November 26, 2010

20101126 - Focus Group reporting (Iowa State Univ)

Mobile Learning portal [prototype] WAP Blog: Mobile Learning & Usability

Words not Numbers
In the analysis stage, survey research requires transformation of numbers with statistics (at minimum, it requires the calculation of percentages). The end result is a report featuring graphs and tables.

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Focus groups, on the other hand, rely upon words spoken by participants. The focus on language earns focus group methodology the label, qualitative ( reswell, !""#). $ report based on focus groups will feature patterns formed by words, called themes or perspectives. %esearchers must use specific methods to analy&e patterns in spoken language ( reswell, !""#). 'umerical analysis is not a preferred technique. In fact, it is inappropriate to report the results of focus groups by percentage (e.g., Among the five focus groups, an average of 56 percent of participants mentioned their frustration with the procedures for applying for public assistance). Instead, a focus group result might read like this( Another theme noted in focus groups on housing was the value of the (community) housing market to the participant's current home. articipants fre!uently mentioned the cost they had paid for their last home"and used this home's cost and amenities as a yardstick against which they measured" housing (in the community under discussion). ()arson and *egland, +,,-). The focus group data in the previous e.ample enable the researcher to determine residents/ logic in addition to their 0udgments.

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Michael Yeap...PhD Candidate: 20101126 - Focus G oup epo ting !"o#a $tate %ni&'

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A report of results from focus groups should not present major findings via frequencies or statistics because 'counting' leads readers to believe that percentages or frequencies are true for a much wider population (which they are not). Quantitative survey researchers go to great lengths to design a study so that numerical data generalize to a wider population with mathematical precision. Focus groups method isn't meant to create generalizations of this type and its procedures offer none of the protections that would permit them to do so (Fern, 2 !).

"ource# http#$$$publications$pm!&'&b.pdf (owa "tate )niversity (2 *). Focus +roup Fundamentals# ,ethodology -rief. (owa "tate )niversity. )niversity .%tension, (owa "tate )niversity, ,ay 2 *.
Poste/ by Mi!+ael <(69< at 4:01 AM Labels: 7o!0s gro0p8 (o5a 6tate Uni$8 resear!+ "et+o/

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