Data Collection Methods

Some of the data collection methods explained in the webinar includes the following. First, a survey is a data collection method that involved collecting information from a selected group of individuals by administering questionnaire or interview.  Before, conducting a survey, the researcher must ensure that the required data is not already available. Surveys are fast to analyze, requires fewer resources to plan and can include a large population (Baseline Help Center, n.d.). The disadvantage with a survey is that it limits the researcher to ask specific questions, survey fatigues and non-responsive due to language barriers and refusal. Second, a focus group is a form of research where the facilitator guides a group discussion by providing topics so that people can give their ideas. A focus group involves a small number of participants who give their perception, or belief about the idea. Similarly, it is responsive and encourages group interaction. The disadvantages include it is hard to get willing participants, encourages biasedness and it requires time to collect and analyze data.

Third, observation entails collecting data by watching events or the behavior of the subjects in their natural settings. The observer can engage in direct observation by watching interactions or behaviors as they occur (Grinnell & Unrau, 2015). With indirect observation, you watch the results of the interactions, events or behaviors. The disadvantage with observation is that the method can be expensive and time-consuming. In addition, it does not increase an observer’s understanding of the subjects’ behavior.

From the data collection methods, I think a focus group will make the most sense to use for my program. A focus group is a right method because the selected participants have common characteristics that relate to the topic under discussion. The group members have knowledge about the program; therefore, they will provide their perceptions and beliefs through interaction. Similarly, the group discussion can be conducted many times to identify the patterns in perception.



Baseline Help Center. (n.d.). Methods of Data Collection (Video). Retrieved from

Grinnell, R. M., & Unrau, Y. A. (2015). Program evaluation for social workers: Foundations of evidence-based programs. Oxford University Press, USA.

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