DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

I.  Let the Games Begin... THE NAME GAME CONTINUES!

(Congratulations Alex, Michelle, Haley, Briana, Michael & Veena... you are done!)



II. Opening Writing Prompt: “BROOKLYN, WE GO HARD!”

(Round-robin sharing of 1-2 sentences)


III. Q&A about Course and Syllabus


IV. Overview of DIALOGUE ESSAY Project (8 points)

You can refer to your hand-out in class.  Please also remember that you can find all of the handout and project overviews at this website.  Go to the top tab called "Fall Projects & Assessment."


V.  Carmen as Fishbowl and Model


VI. YOUR Focus Group Time

  1. Choose a timer.  This person will set their phone/clock so that each round of discussion lasts 10 minutes.  Do not go shorter than 10 minutes.
  2. Each person has to focus on ONE of their questions (from the homework assignment).  You are the facilitator for your question.  You want to hear from EVERYONE.  This is your job; it is your research essay.  Do not get a stank attitude with people if they are quiet. Instead, encourage them.  You cannot do any of the following when you are facilitating:
      • You cannot tell people they are wrong or stop them when they are talking.  As a qualitative researcher, you are attempting to represent reality, NOT CONTROL IT.  You are listening and hearing, not directing.
      • As the focus group participant, you cannot edit folks's questions.  Talk to your group, build on what they say, and get your perspectives on the table. 
      • Do not force consensus or agreement.  Divergent views are good.  
      • Let the conversation flow. Try not to interject. 
      • You cannot ask people to repeat themselves or pause while you write down what they say. You have to try and capture interaction and natural conversation unobtrusively. You are a good facilitator if your participants do not realize they are being "recorded." If you want, you can use your phone to record your facilitation time.  Be warned: transcription is a TOUGH JOB and NOT easier than notetaking.
      • You cannot start yawning, stretching out like a cat, rolling your eyes, acting crazy, etc after you have collected YOUR data.  You still have to participate in your peer's facilitation.
      • When you start writing, you cannot lie about what your "research participants" said or diss folk because they said things you did not like.  You cannot omit folk because you think what they said was crazy!!! DO NO HARM and NO FOUL is your mantra as a researcher at all times.

3. If you have time, you may share more than one question and go for a second round.  


VII. Stretch, celebrate, relax for a moment... You have finished data collection on an original study!


VIII. Writing-Up Data

We will use our classtime to write the methods section and start data analysis.


IX. Sharing Our Writing


Next Week

Your dialogue essay is due in class (8 points). Please bring a paper copy.  Anything submitted after class or emailed will be considered LATE! This should be written like a (qualitative) research report.


As a reading assignment today, please read any one of the sample “focus group” essays at the website (go to “Qualitative Research: Local Contexts” at the website).  Each one of these essays offers you a sample of a qualitative research project using one or many focus groups. You obviously will not be able to write an extensive study like these researchers have.  Their studies lasted for much longer and may have even been funded. The point of looking at one of these models is to see how scholars incorporate a discussion of an issue, their own politics, and new data they have collected.  When we engage such research studies in this class, we are not simply focusing on WHAT researchers say but also HOW they say it.  Notice all of the following:

  • How does the researcher set up her argument?  Where does she start and where does she take you in the end?  Why do you think she does it this way?  Remember: researchers think critically about what comes first, second, third and so forth in order to take their readers somewhere.
  • What is the researcher’s data or artifact?  What is he SPECIFICALLY looking at?  Remember: researchers are looking at SOMETHING, not just summarizing the studies that have already been done or the histories that have already been recorded.
  • What makes this research different or unique? Remember: researchers are trying to add a new voice to the horizon.
DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.