Evaluate programs

Reporting focus group results

STEP 7. Transcribe and analyze the data

Data analysis may be relatively simple, involving a summary of major themes, or may call for more complex content analyses and comparisons of groups (Goldenkoff, 2004), depending on available resources and the purpose of the focus group. A brief summary and analysis, highlighting major themes, is sufficient when decisions must be made quickly, the results are readily apparent, or the purpose of the group is purely exploratory. On the other hand, to get an in-depth understanding of a complex issue or if you are conducting a formal program evaluation, you should conduct a systematic analysis using full transcripts [more] and a formalized coding scheme. [more]

STEP 8. Make conclusions

Evaluate the results by how well they answer the study's central questions. Drawing on repeating ideas and themes, determine what is working well and what needs to be improved. Recommend changes in program processes after considering participant satisfaction. Conclusions for program evaluation should inform any recommendations. [more]

STEP 9. Report results

To report qualitative results present repeating ideas that lead to major themes that, in turn, inform conclusions and recommendations. Quote one or two responses that exemplify a repeating idea. Quotations, which capture the words, emotions, experiences, and perceptions of interviewees, are not easily dismissed by readers. You may also want to quote a response that was an exception to a trend in order to illustrate a minority opinion or highlight a noteworthy idea. If so, report that it is one person's response.

For program evaluation, the results may be reported informally to stakeholders as part of a working session or more formally in a presentation or written report. [more]

Page last updated: Sep 21 2011
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