Train-the-Trainer Workshop for the Czech Evaluation Society--moving graduates of THE FOUNDATIONS workshop forward conducting focus group training for others in their own organization, community, region, and country.
All methodological approaches have weaknesses and strengths, disadvantages and advantages. Learning to train others in systematic, scientific focus group research improves a powerful--and increasingly utilized--qualitative methodology. See the "Train-the-Trainer button above for more information. Let's give the fishing pole, not just the fish!
Why focus groups?????
Mixed-methods research is the most reliable and predictive of solid data. Combining survey/statistical data with qualitative data from focus groups and/or key informant interviews can quickly boost reliability of results.
Focus groups and key informant interviews yield qualitative rather than quantitative data (words rather than numbers). If you need quantitative data, consider using feedback forms, surveys, or secondary analysis of existing statistical data. Unfortunately, many focus groups are poorly designed, biased, and badly moderated. The good news is that proper training and certification of skills can overcome the weakness of this method. Focus groups should be a strong pillar in the mixed methods (or "triangulation") approach. Training and experience are essential.
Serial individual interviews can yield some quantitative as well as quantitative data--because the data points are gathered discretely from individuals, some quantification of responses can be attempted if there are at least 30 cases. For example, 65 interviews with students in different start-up companies can provide qualitative insights into challenges of coordinating national, regional, and local planning requirements. At the same time, the analysis can look at how many respondents out of 65 see company leaders as contributing to solving those challenges or making them more complex.
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Group Dimensions International
Comprehensive Research, Focus Group Training, and Facilitation for Group Effectiveness
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