First Focus Group and Transcribing Details

CC BY-SA image by RambergMediaImages

Our first focus group was a success! I want to take a moment to discuss the focus group and why it was a success and talk about the transcription software we have decided to use.

I think that the focus group went so smoothly largely due to the fact that in the week leading up to the focus group we were able to plan ahead, talk to the participants, and figure out what would be the most efficient use of our one-hour time block.

Our week leading up to the focus group looked like this: We sent all of the participants the topics and questions that we wanted to discuss during the focus group. After giving the participants a couple days to look them over, we individually talked to the participants in order to get a sense of the topics and questions that they had stories for. Taking the one-hour time block, the number of participants that were estimated to attend, and the topics and questions that they mentioned they had stories for into consideration, we decided that the most efficient way to set the focus group up was to split the participants into two groups discussing different topics, one that I would lead and the other that Stacy would lead. I would discuss topics pertaining to data and/or workflow organization, communicating about data/workflows, and metadata creation, curation, and use. Stacy would discuss topics pertaining to data sharing, acquiring data for reuse, and using other people’s data.

Looking back at the focus group, having two different groups allowed every participant to have the opportunity and the time to tell the stories they wished to tell, and allowed us to touch on more data management and sharing topics.

Another reason the focus group was a success was because we had such prepared, enthusiastic participants who were ready and willing to share stories. I enjoyed listening to all of their stories and appreciated their participation. Thank you 🙂

So the next step is transcribing all of the stories! I have begun to transcribe one of the groups and, although this has been time consuming, I have found a free software that is making this task a little easier. It is called F5. It is a standard program for scientific transcription. Its great features, which I’ve been gratefully utilizing, include being able to slow down the playback speed without changing the pitch and being able to control the playback with shortcuts. Another useful aspect of the software is that every time you pause the playback, it automatically rewinds it 2 seconds, so when you play it again you have time to figure out where you left off and it ensures that you don’t miss a beat. It also allows you to add cue points every time you hit the enter button in order to let you go back to that point to replay it.

This week I will continue to transcribe the focus group and once it is complete, I will update you on our next steps.

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