Presentation_giaconi - Support and Inclusion of students with

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FOCUS GROUP

PIER GIUSEPPE ROSSI, LAURA FEDELI, CATIA GIACONI, Macerata, 10 luglio 2012

SUMMARY

• • • • • What is Focus Group? Which are its main characteristics? Which kind of questions are more useful for a Focus Group ?

Which protocol could we employ?

How could we analyze the data coming out from the focus group?

WHAT IS FOCUS GROUP?

• • The focus group is a qualitative methodology of data collection based on information emerging from a discussion group about a topic that the researcher wishes to investigate in depth V. Zammuner (2003)

What is it used for?

• • • The focus group is mainly used to: stimulate the production of new ideas and creative concepts; generate opinions and impressions about some particular topics; deepen the interpretation of data previously collected with tools such as: questionnaires, interviews, etc...

What is it used for?

• • • The focus group is mainly used to: stimulate the production of new ideas and creative concepts; generate opinions and impressions about some particular topics; deepen the interpretation of data previously collected with tools such as: questionnaires, interviews, etc...

• • •

Which are its main characteristics?

We should reflect about some fundamental elements of the focus group: The first element is the Group :The recommended number of people per group is usually six to ten (MacIntosh 1993) The second element is the Moderator: a skillful person in group discussions,who launches and moderates the topics and uses pre-determined questions The third element is the Assistant Moderator: who takes careful notes, and monitors recording equipment

Which are its main characteristics?

• • • The fourth element is the Environment : that must be comfortable, it must enhance a circle seating and it must be set for a audio or video recording. The fifth element is the Time: the focus group should last 1 to 2 hours The last 2 elements are: the Protocol Questions for the focus group conduction and a Systematic Analysis and appropriate Reporting that we are now dealing with in a specific way.

Which kind of questions are more useful for a focus group?

Use open questions

i.e. What did you think of the inclusion of student…?

Focus the questions

Make a sequence that goes from general to specific •

Avoid dichotomous questions

These questions can be answered with a "yes" or "no" •

Avoid Why questions

Instead ask about attributes and/or influences of actions.

Which kind of questions are more useful for a focus group?

Use different types of questions

Five Types of Questions 1. Opening Question (round robin) 2. Introductory Question 3. Transition Questions 4. Key Questions 5. Ending Questions Krueger, 1994 These questions can be used for a group conducting protocol

Focus group protocol includes…

Short introduction, where the moderator

• • • • Welcomes the group; Gives an overview of topics or project; Makes a list of the common rules (i.e. describes does and don’ts , talking one at the time, etc.) Asks the opening question: participants are asked to introduce themselves focusing on their professional role

Focus group protocol includes… Introductory question • The moderator introduces the purposes of the discussion • Partecipants: answer the quetions , and freely comment on them

Focus group protocol includes… Transition question • The moderator anticipates the main topics to be addressed in the following step .

• He asks for a single transversal question about a general topic of discussion i.e. What is your perception of inclusion in higher education?

• • Focus group protocol includes… Key questions The moderator asks some specific questions about the different topics of discussion These questions must be decided after the analysis of the interviews i.e. Which are the practices of inclusion of disabled students?

Focus group protocol includes… Ending Questions • The moderator can use a 3 step conclusion: • 1. Summarize with confirmation i.e. "Is this an adequate summary?" 2.Review purpose and ask if anything has been missed i.e. Have we missed anything?" 3. Thanks and dismissal

Focus group protocol includes… Note Taking • Moderator assistant takes notes containing different types of information: 1. Quotes; 2. Key points and themes for each question; 3. Follow-up questions that could be asked ; 4. Big ideas or thoughts of the recorder

Systematic Analysis Process

can include… 1. Transcription of the focus group recorded discussion and the analyses of its contents (with specific softwares) 2. Transcription of the focus group recorded discussion and the creation of summaries for each question/topic • On both cases it is useful to have a check group for testing reliability

i.e. We can use the following table.

Key Points/ Questions Notable Quotes

• • •

Systematic Analysis Process includes…

Final report, where we can:

Consider narrative style Use a few quotes to illustrate Sequence could be question by question or by theme

BIBLIOGRAPHY

• • • Krueger, Richard A. & Casey, Mary Anne (2000). (Third edition) Focus groups: A practical guide for applied research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Stewart, D. W., & Shamdasani, P. N. (1990). Focus groups: Theory and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Zammuner V. (2003), I Focus Group. Il Mulino, Bologna.

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