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Qualitative Research

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Interviewing & Focus Groups

What are interviews and focus groups?

Interviews are a qualitative research method and typically takes the form of a conversation where questions are asked to elicit information. The interviewer poses questions to the interviewee, in an alternating series of usually brief questions and answers. The questions may be highly structured, open-ended, or somewhere in between the two.

Focus groups are intended to collect data through interactive and directed discussions by a researcher. It is a form of qualitative research consisting of a group conversation in which prompts are given to elicit sharing data about their perceptions, opinions, beliefs, and attitudes. Questions are asked in an interactive group setting where participants are free to talk with other group members. During this process, the researcher either takes notes or records the vital points he or she is getting from the group.

Farrow, R., Iniesto, F., Weller, M. & Pitt., R. (2020). The GO-GN Research Methods Handbook. Open Education Research Hub.

SAGE Videos on Interviewing and Focus Groups