BOOKS FOR TEACHERS, ADMINISTRATORS, AND POLICYMAKERS IN HIGHER EDUCATION

Using Focus Groups to Listen, Learn, and Lead in Higher Education

Paperback
August 2018
9781620365977
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  • Publisher
    Stylus Publishing
  • Published
    7th August 2018
  • ISBN 9781620365977
  • Language English
  • Pages 210 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"
$32.50
Hardback
August 2018
9781620365960
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  • Publisher
    Stylus Publishing
  • Published
    20th August 2018
  • ISBN 9781620365960
  • Language English
  • Pages 210 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"
$125.00
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August 2018
9781620365984
More details
  • Publisher
    Stylus Publishing
  • Published
    6th August 2018
  • ISBN 9781620365984
  • Language English
  • Pages 210 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"
$125.00
E-Book
August 2018
9781620365991
More details
  • Publisher
    Stylus Publishing
  • Published
    6th August 2018
  • ISBN 9781620365991
  • Language English
  • Pages 210 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"
$25.99

Using Focus Groups to Listen, Learn, and Lead in Higher Education presents an easy-to-use 6-step guide to help leaders in higher education listen to and learn from their stakeholders in order to enhance decision making. The big questions facing institutions today--especially those surrounding access, affordability, and accountability--require more than dashboards. Metrics and quantitative data alone do not offer lasting solutions and improvements. Using qualitative methods to listen to the voices of those involved, especially students and staff, is critical. Focus groups constitute the most appropriate, rigorous, and relevant qualitative research tool for this purpose, and one that is cost-effective and builds community when conducted using the ODU Method described in this book.

Using Focus Groups is a single, comprehensive, and practical resource that describes why, when, and how to use focus groups. The authors provide detailed guidance for using focus groups, from developing the research questions with stakeholders, through training and recruiting moderators, and identifying and recruiting participants, to the logistics of conducting focus groups, and ultimately analyzing data and developing final reports. Conversational vignettes illustrate the discussions that regularly occur in each step and help the reader better understand the process. Fifteen appendices provide templates and examples of every part of the process.

Written particularly for institutional research and assessment staff and upper-level administrators, this book will also appeal to deans, department and program chairs and directors, faculty leaders, and administrative unit directors, including those in auxiliary and student services, alumni associations, and university foundations. It also serves as an excellent resource for higher education research methods courses.

The authors are uniquely positioned to guide readers in this process. The team developed and refined this technique over two decades at Old Dominion University. They have conducted over 100 focus groups with campus, nonprofit, local, and international community organizations to assist them in assessing student learning, transition, and preparedness for the workforce, as well as evaluating organizations work and planning future projects.

“I know personally that the results obtained from well-designed and executed focus groups can provide information that campus administrators need to make programmatic and strategic decisions. The authors used focus groups to help me learn more about the culture, values, and critical issues facing the campus when I became Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Old Dominion University. This book is the next best thing to having them at your institution.”

Augustine O. Agho, Ph.D, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs - Old Dominion University

"A friendly, practical, and principled DIY guide, Using Focus Groups will help educators at any type of institution. Its process approach aims for the relevance of qualitative research combined with the rigor of quantitative methods. Guiding readers from first steps through data analysis and reporting, the book offers extended vignettes as well as templates and models. Engaging both faculty and staff in the process, the book identifies resources ready to hand on every campus."

Susan Albertine, Senior Scholar - Association of American Colleges & Universities

"While surveys and other quantitative tools provide broad data regarding higher education and its impact, they cannot accurately reflect the socially constructed, interpretivist experience of individual participants. In Using Focus Groups to Listen, Learn, and Lead in Higher Education, Danner, Pickering, and Paredes embrace this reality and have created a comprehensive text for implementing focus groups. This vital resource, with nine easy-to-read chapters outlining the process, should be on the bookshelf of every higher education researcher and practitioner."

Gavin Henning, Ph.D., Director, Doctorate of Education and Master of Higher Education Administration Programs - New England College

Foreword by Jillian Kinzie
Preface
Acknowledgments

1) Exploring the Big Questions in Higher Education: Access, Affordability, Accountability
2) Using Focus Groups to Listen, Learn, and Lead: The ODU Method for Conducting Focus Groups
3) Step #1: Develop a Research Proposal, Define the Purpose, and Write Research Questions: To Do or Not to Do a Focus Group
4) Step #2: Select Participants and Subsets of Participants: Choose Wisely
5) Step #3: Design the Moderator’s Guide: A Cookbook Approach
6) Step #4: Select and Train the Moderators: The Research Tool
7) Step #5: Conduct the Focus Groups: It’s All About Logistics
8) Step #6: Analyze the Data and Report the Results: So What Does it All Mean?
9) The Best Laid Plans: When to Just Say “No” or to Create Plans B Through E

Appendices
References
Index

Mona J.E. Danner

Mona J.E. Danner is Professor and Chair of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Old Dominion University. Dr. Danner has also served as Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Letters, Director of the MA in Applied Sociology and the PhD in Criminology & Criminal Justice programs, and has been active in service at all levels throughout the university including working with focus groups across campus. Social inequalities, crime control policies, and globalization comprise her teaching and research interests. She has published in those fields and presented research at conferences throughout the U.S., in Europe, Latin America, and Australia, and at the NGO Forum held in conjunction with the United Nations Conference on Women in 1995 in Beijing, China. Dr. Danner has also published op-eds and been featured in television and radio interviews and been quoted by the popular print media.

J. Worth Pickering

J. Worth Pickering retired as Assistant Vice President for Assessment at Old Dominion University where he worked for more 30 years. He now works for ODU as a part-time consultant. Prior to his appointment as AVP, he held the position of Director of Assessment and has also worked in Student Services Research and served in the Counseling Center as a career counselor. Dr. Pickering co-led the development of the focus group process at ODU over the last 20 years and has led a variety of focus group projects in which we have conducted more than 100 focus groups during that time. Dr. Pickering has taught graduate courses in career development and student development as well as research and assessment at ODU. His primary research interests are in the areas of student success and student learning. In addition to his work at ODU, Dr. Pickering regularly consults with other institutions and conducts workshops at regional and national conferences. He has published articles and book chapters in the areas of student learning, student success, and assessment.

Tisha M. Paredes

Tisha M. Paredes is Assistant Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment at Old Dominion University where she has worked for 12 years as a Research Associate, Senior Research Associate and Director of Assessment. While pursuing her doctorate in higher education administration at ODU, she began her career at ODU in 2003 in the College of Health Sciences as an advisor. Over the next decade, Dr. Paredes transitioned from Health Sciences to Teacher Education Services in the College of Education and then Assessment and Evaluation in Student Affairs. She has conducted over 50 workshops and trainings sessions for ODU faculty and staff, multiple internal and external focus groups, and she frequently provides consultation services on academic and administrative assessment (including general education assessment programs), first-year student success, data collection techniques and survey development for colleges and universities across the country. Her primary research interests include first-year student success and assessment of student learning.