Discussion 1: What About Focus Groups?

Focus groups can provide rich, thick descriptions of experiences, attitudes, and opinions shared by a group of individuals who have in common a shared experience about the phenomena you are studying.

Review the resources in the course and online about the challenges, advantages, and disadvantages of using focus groups as part your research methods. Consider if, for your topic, whether a focus group would be a good choice for data collection.

For this Discussion, you will explore the differences between individual interviewing and focus groups.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review the Learning Resources related to coding, data analysis, and focus groups.
  • Review the focus group media program found in the Learning Resources and consider how you might use a focus group in collecting data for the topic of your research.

Your explanation of:

  1. The difference between collecting data using individual interviews and a focus group (e.g., intent, selecting participants, conducting the interview or focus group)
  2. Given the topic you are currently using for your research, would you consider using a focus group for your study? Why or why not?

Be sure to support your main post and response post with reference to the week’s Learning Resources and other scholarly evidence in APA style.

Learning Resources

Required Readings

Saldaña, J. (2016). The coding manual for qualitative researchers (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

  • Chapter 1, “An Introduction to Codes and Coding” (pp. 1–42) (previously read in Week 5)
  • Chapter 2, “Writing Analytic Memos About Narrative and Visual Data” (pp. 43–65) (previously read in Week 5)

Rubin, H. J., & Rubin, I. S. (2012). Qualitative interviewing: The art of hearing data (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

  • Chapter 12, “Data Analysis in the Responsive Interviewing Model” (pp. 189–211) (previously read in Week 5)

Ravitch, S. M., & Carl, N. M. (2021). Qualitative research: Bridging the conceptual, theoretical, and methodological (2nd ed.) Sage Publications.

  • Review Chapter 5 Methods of Data collection” (pp. 124-163)
  • Chapter 8, “An Integrative Approach to Data Analysis” (pp. 233–252)
  • Chapter 9, “Methods and Processes of Data Analysis (pp. 254–294)

Onwuegbuzie, A. J., Dickinson, W. B, Leech, N. L., and Zoran, A. G. (2009). A qualitative framework for collecting and analyzing data in focus group research. International Journal of Qualitative Methods and International Institute for Qualitative Methodology. (pp. 1-21).

Document: Excel Video Coding Document Template (Excel spreadsheet) (previously used in Week 5)

Review this Excel template as you view this week’s media programs related to coding. Also, you will use this template for organizing your transcripts and preparing them for coding.

Required Media

Laureate Education (Producer). (2016). How to plan and conduct a focus group [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 15 minutes.

In this media program, observe the focus group taking place. Think about how you might plan and conduct a focus group for your research topic.

Accessible player

Laureate Education (Producer). (2016). Introduction to coding [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 10 minutes. (Previously viewed in Week 5)

In this media program, Dr. Susan Marcus, Core Research Faculty with the School of Psychology at Walden University, introduces you to the world of coding using Word or Excel documents. In this first video, you will learn how to organize your data.

Accessible player

Laureate Education (Producer). (2016). From content to coding [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 12 minutes. (Previously viewed in Week 5)

In this media program, Dr. Susan Marcus, Core Research Faculty with the School of Psychology at Walden University, introduces coding and how to move from content to codes. This video focuses on what Saldaña (2016) calls “first cycle” coding. Three different approaches are presented. Analytic memos will also be discussed.

Accessible player

Laureate Education (Producer). (2016). Halfway point [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 2 minutes.

In this media program, Dr. Annie Pezalla, Associate Director of the Center for Research Quality at Walden University, reviews what you have accomplished so far. She also discusses what is coming next in the course.

Accessible player

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