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International Journal of Social Research Methodology

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Social sciences -- Research -- Methodology, Focus groups -- Evaluation, Videoconferencing, Dyadic analysis (Social sciences), Interviewing -- Qualitative studies


The article introduces a systematic comparison of video-based dyadic interviews and focus groups using newly developed tools for evaluating the success of one way of doing focus groups over another. We conducted a series of online discussions using a video conferencing tool, half of which consisted of four-person focus groups and the other half were two person dyadic interviews. Moderators, who were well-trained master students of a course on digital technologies and data collection, answered systematic questions that compared their experiences with each type of group. All participants were contacted after their interviews to complete an online survey rating their experience. Analyses of logistics, moderating, and interaction issues investigated the various advantages of one or the other form of data collection, while also illustrating the value of online focus groups. Most of the advantages that we located favoured two person over four-person groups, with the notable exception of the larger groups producing more ideas that moderators rated as unique and relevant.


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