This paper shows how informative qualitative research into student perceptions and values can be carried out by studying how small groups of students (focus groups) respond to a text (such as a literary text or newspaper article), within a ‘semi-structured’ framework. The discussions are prompted and structured by the researchers’ questions and prompts to elicit students’ attitudes and experience, but the structure is flexible enough to give space for unforeseen answers and questions. The paper explains the role of the researcher/moderator and research assistant, and gives some suggestions for conducting focus groups based on this technique.
Barrell, A. and McBride, D. (2008), "Research Note: Using Text-based Focus Groups with Middle Eastern University Students", Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Gulf Perspectives, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 39-47. https://doi.org/10.18538/lthe.v5.n1.05
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Copyright © 2008 Ann Barrell & Dawn McBride
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Publisher's note: The Publisher would like to inform the reader that the article “Research Note: Using Text-based Focus Groups with Middle Eastern University Students” has changed pagination. Previous pagination was pp. 1-9. The updated pagination for the article is now pp. 39-47. The Publisher apologises for any inconvenience caused.