Plan a focus group study

Assignment 1

Assignment Instructions

Submit Assignment 1 after you have completed Lessons 1 through 4. This assignment is worth 15% of your final course grade.

  • Your goal in Assignment 1 is to prepare a focus group interview.

  • Read the requirements carefully and note the marks awarded for each section. Use these marks as a guide to the amount of time and attention you should expect to allocate to each section when preparing your assignment. Assignment 1 has a total of 100 marks.

  • Assignment 1 should be no longer than 10 pages, double spaced, using a 12-point font. Papers over this length may be penalized or returned to the student for further editing. The title page and reference page do not count toward the page limit.

  • When you receive your graded assignment, carefully review the evaluator’s comments. This review component is an important step in the learning process. If you have any questions or concerns about the evaluation, contact the Student Support Centre.

Requirements

The purpose of this assignment is for you to plan a focus group study. You will not undertake the study, but you will develop the research plan. Select a topic that could be analyzed using a focus group. If you have difficulties selecting an appropriate topic, contact the Student Support Centre for assistance.

Prepare a report for this focus group using the first two phases of the process and criteria outlined in Chapter 4 of the textbook (see Exhibit 4.5 on p. 85). Remember that you are not undertaking an actual focus group study but, instead, are developing a plan for the study. Your report should include a description of the purpose of the study, a precise definition of the problem, and data requirements that outline the type of information you want to gather.

Remember that defining the research objectives is the most important part of any research project. Be sure you understand what you want to accomplish before you proceed further. The data requirements outline the specific information (data) needed to answer the research questions and objectives.

Include a section in your report that outlines who should be included as participants in the study, how many participants there will be, and how they will be selected and recruited. If you plan to compensate participants in any way, describe the compensation and the rationale behind offering it. Outline where interview sessions should be held, describing the space and location and the number of sessions to be conducted.

Next, describe the moderator’s role in the process and the pertinent characteristics your moderator needs to have. Finally, prepare a moderator’s guide that outlines the topics, questions, and sub-questions to be used by the moderator in leading the focus group session.

Hints

  • Before submitting your assignment, review it for consistency. Will the questions in the moderator’s guide answer the research problem and research objectives you set? If you are unsure, you may want to test the questions on a friend to see if he or she understands their intent.
  • Have you selected appropriate subjects for this study?
  • Lastly, does the research plan appear reasonable and feasible?

Evaluation

Use the following marks breakdown to help you structure your paper. It is recommended that you consider how much each section is worth when preparing your report.

Marks are allocated as follows:

Title page (containing course number and name, assignment number, the title of your study, your name and student ID number, and date submitted)5 marks
Introduction15 marks
Purpose of study and problem definition10 marks
Specific research objectives and information/data requirements10 marks
Respondent selection5 marks
Respondent recruitment and compensation5 marks
Size of focus group5 marks
Location of sessions5 marks
Role of moderator and required characteristics10 marks
Moderator’s guide30 marks
Total100 marks
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