How to manage research during the pandemic: using online focus groups with photo elicitation during lockdown

Research output: Contribution to conference (non-published works)Abstractpeer-review

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When faced with the lockdown in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers all over the world were forced to adapt their research design. Due to the prevalence worldwide of restrictions placed on mobility, gatherings of people and face to face meetings researchers were forced to consider alternatives to collect their data. Although this shift in methods was often complicated and time consuming, it also afforded new opportunities and advantages for many.
This presentation will outline the process of this transition during a research project in teacher education in Australia. Scheduled interviews with 22 participants and five focus groups using photo elicitation were shifted to an online platform due to the sudden lockdown. Adjustments to ethics were necessary to incorporate the transition online and to reflect the different ethical implications involved. Semi-structured interviews were conducted over Zoom, recorded and transcribed verbatim. Photo elicitation was used in the focus groups which uses participants’ self-selected photos to generate discussion. Afterwards, the participants were invited to complete a short survey to examine their experiences of the method.
There were both strengths and challenges with the transition to the online methods. Both the researcher and participants were appreciative of the convenience of the online platform as well as grateful for the opportunity for contact during lockdown. The ease of recording footage of both the interviews and focus groups was another advantage of moving online. The analysis of the data was enriched by the ability to view the reactions in the video data of participants during the focus groups. The weaknesses of the online forum included some small problems with internet speed and the less natural flow of conversations in the focus groups caused by the Zoom platform.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2021
EventAustralian Teacher Education Association Conference 2021 - Online, Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 7 Jul 20219 Jul 2021
Conference number: 2021


ConferenceAustralian Teacher Education Association Conference 2021
Abbreviated titleATEA Conference 2021
Internet address


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