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Title:The comparative effect of focus group and telephone interviews on the amount and specificity of the information gained for needs identification
Author(s):Bragg, Dawn St. Antoinette
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Wentling, Tim
Department / Program:Education
Discipline:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Sociology, Theory and Methods
Education, Adult and Continuing
Abstract:Needs identification is essential to the development of service, training and educational programs. Several methods are used for needs identification. Traditionally, individual methods have been found to yield better data than group methods. However, the assumptions that the focus group interview promotes self-disclosure and provides more information and insight than the face-to-face interview through a non-threatening environment, make it a possible alternative method for needs identification. The objective of this study was to compare a group method, the focus group interview, and an individual method, the telephone interview, for needs identification.
The study examined and compared the number of needs identified by the focus group and telephone interviews; the specificity of information provided by both methods; participants perceptions of both methods and; the relationship between participant characteristics and their perceptions of the methods. Three focus groups (21 participants) and 21 telephone interviews were conducted. Information from both methods were rated for three components of specificity--context, history and level. Perception questionnaires were completed by each participant.
The study found the following: (1) The focus group interview identified significantly more needs than the telephone interview. (2) The focus group interview provided significantly more contextual information than the telephone interview. (3) There was no significant difference between the historical information provided by the focus group and telephone interviews. (4) There was no significant difference between the level of information provided by the focus group and telephone interviews. (5) There was no significant difference between perceived participant comfort with the focus group and telephone interviews. (6) There was no significant difference between perceived participant satisfaction with the focus group and telephone interviews. (7) There was no significant difference between perceived effectiveness of the focus group and telephone interviews. (8) There was no significant difference between participant desire for future participation in the focus group and telephone interviews. (9) There was no relationship between participant characteristics and participant perception.
This detailed and careful analysis has shown that the focus group interview performs as well as and in some aspects better than the telephone interviews for needs identification. In addition, the focus group interview promoted comprehension of the specific problems thus providing insight into participants' needs.
Issue Date:1993
Type:Text
Language:English
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/19865
Rights Information:Copyright 1993 Bragg, Dawn St. Antoinette
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9328978
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9328978


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