Professional development workshops
A focus on focus groups (19) [EN]
Dr. Harry Cummings, University of Guelph; Alain Cummings
May 5, 2010, 1:00pm - 4:00pm - Beginner - 20 seats
Focus groups are a key vector for the collection of rich qualitative data from a variety of perspectives in a short period of time. This type of data collection is often an ideal opportunity to allow an organization or group of stakeholders to communicate on several different tiers in an informal setting. An informal setting often allows a progressive discussion of topics of interest in an organization which may have too many conflicts in the formal workplace environment. Focus groups can be hosted in person, by phone, or through the Internet. The design of the focus group must account for a diverse range of participants' needs.
Focus groups are often a tool in a mixed evaluation to help provide a baseline of different perspectives to guide the other key activities in the evaluation. Upon completion of a focus group an evaluator could use the data to develop a survey or key informant interview, having been informed of the range of issues and the language of the respondents via the focus group. The focus group can also yield outputs, outcomes and ultimate results through the direct observations of participants.
In this workshop, participants will take part in applied discussions on the role and value of focus groups as a critical method and tool for evaluation.
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