Making Room for Zoom in Focus Group Methods: Opportunities and Challenges for Novice Researchers (During and Beyond COVID-19)
As the COVID-19 pandemic swept through the world, it forced many people to adapt to an online-based routine, including qualitative researchers looking for alternative ways to collect meaningful data. While focus groups are traditionally conducted in-person, advances with online videoconferencing applications present a new method to collect data, however, few studies have explored this. In this article we present 12 doctoral students' experiences with conducting focus groups using the videoconferencing application Zoom during a qualitative methods course on interviewing methods. Through this self-study qualitative analysis, participants reflected on the opportunities and challenges experienced as both moderators and participants using Zoom including: preparation, rapport, incorporating other digital tools, and internet connectivity. In conclusion, doing focus groups online using Zoom was a positive experience overall and comparable to in-person focus groups for collecting qualitative data, despite the introduction of technology. More research on participant recruitment, new technology, Zoom's security features, and Zoom's use outside of a pandemic should be further explored.
Copyright (c) 2022 Michelle Falter, Aaron Arenas, Gordon Maples, Michael Anderson, Xavier Cason, Tiara Griffis, Laura Jacobs, Lisa Lamb, Megan Polzin, Chelsea Smith, Elizabeth Uzzell, Nada Wafa
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.