In last weeks class we discussed the three most frequently used types of interviews, namely 1) individual in-person, 2) telephone, and 3) focus groups. While the advantages for individual and focus group interviews outweighed that of individual, it was important to learn how to determine when to use any one method. Our assigned reading (Chapter 10: Individual and Focus Group Interviews) provided thorough descriptions of each interview type, listed many advantages and disadvantages for each, provided guidelines to follow on construction of each method and discussed the interviewers role. It further discussed the selection and training of interviewers, how to manage the interview process and the use of computer–aided interviewing. Since this is all new to me, I found myself really engaged in the chapter. The idea of working with focus groups and obtaining so much useful and important data was interesting, as well as managing the process.
Dr. Carter, through lecture expressed her feelings and many experiences in facilitating focus groups. She spoke on her experiences and interactions with particular groups and discussed the many advantages in using focus groups……..And the discussion began……….After hearing Dr. Carter speak with such excitement about focus groups and her saying more than once how focus groups provides “thick, rich, data”, I have a better understanding of how focus groups operate. Participating in Buddy’s active facilitation on focus groups was also a great way to role play. I now feel that using a focus group will prove more beneficial with my program plan than interviewing one-on-one. Also, it may prove to be a better method to use in collecting a lot of data in a short period of time with limited resources.