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A Practical Guide to Focus-Group Research

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This article guides readers through the decisions and considerations involved in conducting focus-group research investigations into students' learning experiences. One previously published focus-group study is used as an illustrative example, along with other examples from the field of pedagogic research in geography higher education. An approach to deciding whether to use focus groups is suggested, which includes a consideration of when focus groups are preferred over one-to-one interviews. Guidelines for setting up and designing focus-group studies are outlined, ethical issues are highlighted, the purpose of a pilot study is reviewed, and common focus-group analysis and reporting styles are outlined.

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Keywords: Focus-group methodology; interviews; research methods; student experience; students

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Faculty of Education, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

Publication date: 01 November 2006

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