Sample Field Research Assignments

Data Collection, Description and Analysis: Identifying key themes from your data

This assignment allows you to put into practice some of the research methods you have been learning about.

Read McNaughton (2013) and Armstrong’s  (2014) studies. Construct a series of open-ended questions that you can use to explore your informant’s perceptions of type two diabetes mellitus.

You will:

  1. Conduct a focus group with 4-5 people you know, who do not have type 2 diabetes using the questions developed.
  2. Choose 4-5 people who work in health in some capacity OR 4-5 people who do not- but not both.
  3. Provide them with the Ethics Information page and if willing to participate, they will sign an Informed Consent Form.
  4. Record basic demographic information: age, gender, country of birth, country of current residence, works in health (now or in the past), does not work in health (now or in the past), highest educational qualification.
  5. The focus group should run for one hour and will need to be audio taped.
  6. After the focus group, make field notes that describe the context in which your focus group took place; record your thoughts, feelings and impressions of the interactions. In other words, how you felt about the focus group; record your observations—your doubts, anxieties, even joys or pleasures!
  7. Transcribe the audiotape of the focus group (remember to change the names of respondents).
  8. Analyse and code the transcript and identify emerging concepts or themes.

Your assignment will be in the form of a report.  In your assignment:

  1. Write an introduction, setting, method and results section and make sure you including the themes you identified in your analysis.
  2. Provide an interpretation of your results in the discussion section
  3. Reflect briefly on the process and dynamics of the Focus Group based on your field notes.