Evidence-Based Innovation Blog

Adapting to COVID-19: 5 Steps to Avoid Online Focus Group Disasters

Posted on Feb 3, 2021 8:51:54 AM

Understanding prospective customer and student needs and what will best serve them is especially critical during this unprecedented time. How can institutions help them feel connected? Which concerns must be addressed for in-person delivery? What barriers exist to enrolling this year?

As the COVID-19 pandemic has forced corporations to pivot to digital channels and universities to virtual instruction, many organizations have shifted to virtual focus groups to capture critical information typically gathered through in-person focus groups.

However, online focus groups present unique challenges - have you ever had a virtual focus group go “off the rails” like this 'unity' themed focus group from ex-GOP pollster Frank Luntz? 

“The Zoom session was swiftly derailed by shouting, crosstalk, disputes over basic facts and even deeply personal attacks, such as one panelist mocking another for sharing his mother's death from COVID-19.” (view both short videos below)

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Tags: Qualitative Research, Focus Groups, Steve Keppel

When to Choose Open or Close-Ended Questions

Posted on Jun 7, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Designing an engaging questionnaire is one of the first steps in conducting a research study. To do so, researchers ask themselves what type of questions are the best to ask. The answer is that it depends – on what researchers are trying to learn from the survey, who they are recruiting to participate, and how much the respondents and researchers themselves know about the survey topic. The sections that follow explain open- and close-ended questions, offer some of their benefits and drawbacks, and provide recommendations on how to incorporate these question formats into business school stakeholder surveys.

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Tags: Qualitative Research, Survey Design, Open-Ended Questions

When Should Business Schools Engage Focus Groups or In-Depth Interviews?

Posted on May 15, 2012 9:00:00 AM

Have you ever wished you could get inside the heads of people in your target audience?  To hear what words people use to describe their perceptions of your brand?  To see patterns in how people assess your value proposition?  To learn how your offerings bring meaning to their lives?

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Tags: Qualitative Research, In-depth Interviews, Joyce Kurpiers, Focus Groups

Business School In-Depth Interviews: Getting Detailed Stakeholder Insight

Posted on May 3, 2012 8:47:00 AM

Sometimes privacy issues, sensitive topics, or the need for very in-depth information make one-on-one conversations with research participants more appropriate or fruitful than focus group sessions (e.g., when MBA applicants’ privacy requirements discourage group sessions).  That’s when business schools will opt for in-depth interviews (IDIs) as an excellent research strategy.

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Tags: Qualitative Research, In-depth Interviews, Joyce Kurpiers

Business School Focus Groups: Learning from a Community of Stakeholders

Posted on Apr 26, 2012 8:15:00 AM

To manage brands and tailor institutional offerings, business schools can capitalize on trends in how our target audience members express needs, thoughts, and feelings about our offerings.  To gain that insight, focus groups benefit from the effects of group dynamics, which stimulate thinking, ideas, conversations, and reactions to our products and brands.

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Tags: Qualitative Research, Joyce Kurpiers, Focus Groups