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A little homework goes a long way - using pre-interview tasks to provide deeper and more meaningful


Mark and I created ampersand research with the simple aim of providing considered research delivered with a fantastic customer experience. As part of this commitment we are constantly assessing ways to ensure maximum engagement from participants and to ensure we are delivering meaningful insights to our clients.

When it comes to qualitative research, we are strong advocates of pre-interview homework – participants taking part in a group discussion or depth interview will be given tasks to complete prior to the session taking place. So, whenever we are designing a research framework, we always look to include this as part of the process, when appropriate.

We use a variety of homework tasks from creating mood boards to recalling conversations with friends and family members to recording events in a diary to finding best in class examples of the topic we will be discussing.

Our love of using homework tasks in qualitative research stems from numerous benefits they provide:

  1. Completing a pre-interview homework increases a participant’s commitment to a project and in turn tends to reduce drop out rates / no show

  2. The tasks set act as a warm up exercise and get participants to start thinking about the topics before the session

  3. Because the homework is done independently it reflects participants individual thoughts and opinions free from influence from others in the group

  4. It provides detailed feedback on specific areas that would otherwise take up valuable time in the session

Feedback from participants has been really positive! Not only do they enjoy the tasks (we try and make them as fun and interesting as possible) but they also appreciate the ability to come to the session prepared which helps to settle nerves for first time participants.

The quality of the homework we receive is awesome! And it never ceases to amaze us how much effort and time participants put into their homework! Here are some of our favourite homework tasks from 2018:

Recording conversations about conservation

A mood board illustrating the perfect public transport journey:

Reasons for choosing an apprenticeship:

We are frequently asked about the pros and cons of using digital and analogue techniques for pre-tasks, and this will be explored in a future post, but, spoiler alert, analogue techniques can be far superior!!

If you would like to talk more qualitative research or discuss the merits of pre-interview homework tasks please drop us a line or give us a call.

Telephone number: 0115 9932343

Email: enquiries@ampersandresearch.com

Always and in all ways researching


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ampersand research limited, Antenna, Beck Street, Nottingham, UK. NG1 1EQ 

Email:  enquiries@ampersandresearch.com  

Telephone: 0115 9932343

 

© 2020 ampersand research limited  

Company registration number:  08903386  

A private limited company registered in England & Wales

VAT number:  183 1271 21

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