Qualitative research and corona

Qualitative research and corona (covid-19) and concern for public health make it necessary to conduct largely remote qualitative research in The Netherlands. Individual interviews, duos and mini-group discussions offline are again possible on location under strict conditions. Online qualitative research as an alternative is not new at all, but it might be a good idea to list the possibilities.

Synchronous or asynchronous qualitative research

If you use online qualitative research, the first choice is for a synchronous or asynchronous approach. Synchronous research involves live communication with respondents via a video, audio or chat connection. In asynchronous research, the respondent has the opportunity to answer questions at his own time and pace or to respond to the responses of other participants or the moderator through a community. In all cases, the client can experience the fieldwork and provide input.

Possibilities for online qualitative research

Showing concepts in the form of images, video or audio is no problem for online qualitative research. When doing live online focus groups, it is advisable to organize them a bit smaller than usual so that everyone can have enough say (for example, n = 5). In an online community, a bit more people can participate (20-30 respondents).

Recording of video and audio and watching is also possible. In addition, simultaneous translation is also possible. And even splitting into smaller groups to work out an assignment (breakout rooms) is possible in an online environment.

Online qualitative research tools

In terms of online tools, there are several options such as ZOOM or Skype and specific tools that we hire on a project basis to do online research. These online tools are specifically designed for qualitative research and offer additional possibilities such as the insertion of randomized polls, assessment of statements, heatmap analyzes, analysis of subgroups and possibilities for the moderators such as scores for more insight into the contributions of the respondents. In this way, qualitative research remains possible in times of corona. We are happy to advise you on a good approach for your situation.

Author: Sjoerd Heskes

Met als achtergrond een studie politicologie en massacommunicatie aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam is Sjoerd Heskes sinds 1993 zelfstandig werkzaam als kwalitatief onderzoeker. Hij is gespecialiseerd in kwalitatief onderzoek door middel van onlineonderzoek, diepte-interviews en focusgroepen. En hij heeft ervaring als facilitator bij workshops, veranderingstrajecten en intern onderzoek bij bedrijven en instellingen.