Saturday, 16 May 2009

Focus group

No. of focus groups held in SL: 1 (good); No. of RL eyes suffering from blurring: 1 (bad); No. of times crashed during focus group: 6 (bad); Mistakes in logging text chat: 1 (bad)
[Seem to have written this but not posted it. Perhaps I thought it was too dull.** See whether you agree!] On 30 April Pancha held her focus group investigating library and information people using SL for Continuing Professional development & networking. This is part of a research project by Pancha Enzyme & Zeno Silvercloud for EAHIL Workshop 2009. Was a small group, which actually worked v. well. I had offered to be Observer, sorting out latecomers, setting up recorder for Informed Consent (logging names via the blue thing in the middle of the circle of chairs) and noting anything interesting that I Observed. This is a recommended role to include when you are doing focus groups.

Was interesting to see what stimulated most comment - for example people tended to talk about teaching and supporting learners, rather than collaboration and networking, til steered gently back to the main question. Also there was a lively response when one person said that SL didn't seem to have that much advantage over a chat room - shows that having conflicting opinions teases out complexity.
Pancha (seen - she is on left - with focus group member) did great job, but own input was compromised in number of ways:
a) Had woken up in RL that morning with itching & blurred eye. Worried, had gone to optician who referred me to eye hospital. Turned out to be nothing serious (front of eye had dried out... well it wasn't v. pleasant, to be frank) and was sent away with some ointment. However this meant that did not really want to stay late at work, so used SL from home, which meant that...
b) had v. dodgy connection via 3G mobile stick. Was Ok for first half of focus group, but after that was crashing in and out in yoyo-like fashion. Last pic shows how S-L-O-W everything was to rez (see last pic). Final depression caused when found that ...
c) although had remembered to change the path for my text chat log to a drive on this home computer, had NOT noticed that the "log chat" box in preferences was not actually ticked .... thus found afterwards that had logged all the IMs from people and none of the chat.
Oh well, lots of Lessons Learnt.
** This blog, not focus group, obviously.

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