Despite the fact that there are several practical advantages of online typed focus groups, this type of group questioning has not spread as widely as had been expected when it appeared as a new research option. One of the reasons for that might be that a major risk of these text-based focus groups is inadequate data quality. Unless certain measures are taken to prevent this, an analysis can face the problem of not being rich enough and not digging deep enough – which are often important criteria for good qualitative analysis. This article discusses how to deal with the problem and other possible pitfalls of this type of group discussion, and gives practical advice on how to obtain the best results from such discussions. It also gives suggestions which can be useful if a free chat platform is being used to conduct these groups. It argues that even nowadays with other online techniques available, online text-based focus groups can be useful – if executed properly.
Qualitative Research, Focus Group, Online Focus Group, Text-Based Focus Group, Data Richness
The author wishes to thank the Hungarian Academy of Sciences for supporting her work with a Bolyai Research Grant. The article was also made possible with a grant from OTKA/ NKFIH.
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Recommended APA Citation
Vicsek, L. (2016). Improving Data Quality and Avoiding Pitfalls of Online Text-Based Focus Groups: A Practical Guide. The Qualitative Report, 21(7), 1232-1242. Retrieved from http://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol21/iss7/4