Students Speak – Let’s Listen Conducting Focus Groups Why focus groups? Digging beneath the numbers… Bringing data alive through student voices The power of stories Using numbers (quantitative data) and student voices (qualitative data) together… The numbers tell you What. The student voices tell you Why. 28% of students responding to the CCSSE survey say they use tutoring services sometimes or often. Why don’t more go to a tutor? Discussion Qs Who? Which students do you want to hear from? What? What do you want to learn from them? Why? What data lead you to ask those questions? Discussion Qs Creating the Conversation • Who is your audience? Which groups do you want to engage in conversations about these issues? • What challenges do you see in conducting focus groups and sharing the outcomes ? • How will you use and share this information? • What do you want people to do with the information you gather? Focus Group Toolkit http://www.ccsse.org/center/iss/focusgrouptoolkit.cfm Student Focus Group Toolkit can be adapted for faculty & staff • Planning Focus Groups • Recruiting Focus Group Participants • Discussion Tools • Analyzing/Reporting Focus Group Toolkit Planning Focus Groups • Selecting a Moderator and Note-taker • Coordinator Responsibilities • Coordinator Checklist • Room Set-Up • Videotaping Guidelines • Consent Forms Recruiting Focus Group Participants • Selecting Participants • Inviting Participants Discussion Tools •Moderator Do’s and Don’ts •Moderator’s Guide •Student Profile Sheet •Response Sheet – First Experiences Analyzing/Reporting •Summary Report Sample Student Focus Group Toolkit Planning Focus Groups • Selecting a Moderator and Note-taker • Coordinator Responsibilities – your team • Coordinator Checklist • Room Set-Up • Videotaping Guidelines – upon request • Consent Forms Setting up a focus group… Invite students to talk with each other… Then listen to their conversation… Student Focus Group Toolkit Recruiting Focus Group Participants • Selecting Participants Your goal is: To gain as accurate a picture as possible of student experiences at the college. You want the good, the bad, and the ugly! • Invitations & Maintaining Contact Student Focus Group Toolkit Discussion Tools •Moderator Do’s and Don’ts •Moderator’s Guide •Student Profile Sheet •Response Sheets Focus Group Toolkit – Gathering Quantitative Data Along with Qualitative Information Student Profile Form – Use to gather basic information about your participants Additional response forms can be used to complement discussion findings. Examples: •Non-Academic Responsibilities •Finances •Technology Use •First Experiences Focus Group Toolkit - Selecting a Moderator • A time to listen, not to talk. • Choose your facilitator wisely. • Objective • Not known to participants • Not particularly knowledgeable about what the college is doing • Able to listen without showing a reaction! Group Activity – Create a Discussion Guide • Select an OUTCOME. What do you want to learn from focus group participants? • What 3 or 4 QUESTIONS could you ask to get to that outcome? • Write OUTCOME and QUESTIONS on paper. Select one person to share your group’s discussion guide with session participants. Focus Group Toolkit – Moderator Guide Sample Outcome: To understand students’ earliest academic experiences with the college. Sample Questions: Think about your first day in class at this college. What was it like? What happened on that first day or during the first couple of classes? Did any of your instructors tell you what they expect from you in the class? If so, what did they tell you? How do those expectations match your own expectations for your college experience? Focus Group Toolkit – Moderator Guide Sample Outcome: To understand what motivates students to pursue higher education Sample Questions: Why did you decide to go to college? Did anyone urge you to go to college? Parents? Friends? High school teachers or counselors? Anybody else? Sample Questions: When did you decide to go to college? While in high school? After high school? Did you work for a while before deciding to return to school? Advice from Students: For the college: What works? What doesn’t? What could the college do better to help students get off to a good start? For new students: What do you wish you had done differently? What advice would you give your brother/sister/friend who is just starting college? Students tell you what doesn’t work… advice… Students cause you to rethink your choices… Students suggest new approaches… Students tell you what’s working… Let’s Listen! What are your next steps?