Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Focus Groups

In my previous posts, I suggested the idea that focus groups with students might be a good idea, the only issue is that it is difficult to get students to participate, even with nice incentives.

There are several solutions:

1. Offer the students extra credit if they attend the focus group.

2. Print up a questionnaire, and have every instructor in the school give the questionnaire to their students in class and have the students answer the questionnaire in class. Schools may opt to make the questionnaire scantron based to make tabulation easier. Since all students must register for classes, a school may opt to require answering the questionnaire before the student can register for classes. This may be done by computer, since many students register via computer.

3. If a questionnaire is unsuitable then you may have to find other ways to get students to participate. The guiding principle behind this is to "catch" students into participating by combining the focus group into activities which the students have no other choice but participate. For example, since students must attend class most of the time, a school may choose certain classes, at random, to participate in the focus group. The instructor will be notified, that his/her class was selected to take part and a focus group leader will lead the session in the classroom.

John g.


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