Geographic dispersion of research subjects can make traditional face-to-face focus groups difficult if not impractical to conduct. Online focus groups have many advantages such as enabling researchers to save costs, allowing for more efficient collection of data, and allowing researchers to accommodate research subjects' schedules. However, online focus groups require greater skill on the part of the researcher and research subjects alike. This manuscript chronicles the process that we recently used to conduct an online focus group using a message board system with graduate students enrolled in an online degree program. We explain the processes that were followed in conducting our study and the rationale behind the decisions that we made as qualitative researchers. Finally, we offer guidance and insight for other qualitative researchers who wish to utilize message boards to conduct online focus groups.
Online Focus Groups, Message Boards, Graduate Students, Online Degree Programs, and Qualitative Research
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Recommended APA Citation
Deggs, D., Grover, K., & Kacirek, K. (2010). Using Message Boards to Conduct Online Focus Groups. The Qualitative Report, 15(4), 1027-1036. Retrieved from http://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol15/iss4/21