Use of Video Conferencing to Facilitate Focus Groups for Qualitative Data Collection

Scott B. Greenspan 1 * , Kelsey L Gordon 1, Sara A. Whitcomb 1, Alexandra A. Lauterbach 1

AM J QUALITATIVE RES, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp. 85-93

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This paper explores the utility in collecting qualitative data by employing synchronous focus groups via web-based video conferencing software such as Zoom. The authors underscore benefits and drawbacks of this data collection modality by reviewing recent interdisciplinary literature. Authors also bring forth an example of using Zoom to facilitate synchronous focus groups for a recent research study. The study centered on school psychologists’ perspectives of implementing physical activity within schools to support the mental health outcomes of youth and school communities. Authors offer reflections, lessons learned, and provide suggestions for employing successful online focus groups. Researchers that are interested in employing online focus groups should thoroughly assess if participants have access to and comfortability with technology. Such assessment data may provide insight into whether online focus groups serve as an appropriate modality. Further, Implications and suggestions for research are addressed.

Keywords: Focus Groups, Grounded Theory, Qualitative Research, Research Methods, School Psychology, Video Conferencing.