Developing Qualitative Research Methodology: Using Focus Groups as a Single Research Method in a Student Motivation Study


This paper presents the process that was used to design a research method for a study using focus groups as the main data collection method to investigate male students’ experience of higher education in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The methodology design process covered research paradigm, ontology, epistemology, and research characteristics and considerations. The alignment between research question and research method was then explored followed by the justification for using focus groups as the only method to conduct the study. The intention was to choose a research method that will dictate collecting and analyzing data from a representative sample of the student population to reach an understanding of the elements that impact motivation by the students themselves. Student motivation, whether it is intrinsic or extrinsic, is a complex construct involving multiple theories such as behavioral, humanistic, and cognitive theories implying that there are multiple factors that impact student motivation. The intent was to understand how students’ college and non-college experiences affect their decisions to continue or drop out of college. In this regard, focus groups was used in this study to explore participants’ feelings and beliefs that shape their behavior and perceptions through their discussions and recollections of their study experience. Besides obtaining thorough clarification of the different accounts of participants to the same issues, focus group helped the researcher obtain valuable insights opinions, views, emotions, and impressions of the participant students using their own expressions and words.

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Sultan Alkaabi, University of Southern Queensland, Australia

Paper Information
Conference: IICE2024
Stream: Learning Experiences

This paper is part of the IICE2024 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Alkaabi S. (2024) Developing Qualitative Research Methodology: Using Focus Groups as a Single Research Method in a Student Motivation Study ISSN: 2189-1036 – The IAFOR International Conference on Education – Hawaii 2024 Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon