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In: Moderating Focus Groups

Chapter 11: Taking Notes and Recording the Discussion

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Taking Notes and Recording the Discussion
Taking notes and recording the discussion

Focus group sessions are typically recorded in several ways: by field notes taken by an assistant moderator, by flip charts, and by a tape recorder. Written field notes are essential. Typically, the moderator will take brief notes, and the assistant will attempt to capture complete statements of the participants—especially those comments that may be quotable. The moderator's note taking should not interfere with the spontaneous nature of the group interview, and the moderator will be able to capture only brief comments by the participants. If the group has to wait until the moderator finishes taking notes, the discussion will hardly be comfortable, free-flowing, and relaxed.

The note taking should be done in ...

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