One way to circumvent the limitations of online qualitative research is to use a hybrid methodology where a group is moderated through a teleconference discussion while everyone also has access to a computer.  A meeting with the participants is usually arranged as both a teleconference meeting and a computer Internet meeting.  By using the Internet meeting software the moderator can easily share visuals, video, and audio, as well as specific websites.  The discussion, however, is conducted via voice over the phone.  Here are some advantages of using this hybrid methodology with Latinos.

  • Focus groups can be conducted with people that would have difficulty with bulletin board groups because they are not comfortable writing.
  • The moderator is able to gather vice cues that would be missed in a bulletin board meeting.
  • Unlike bulletin board groups, the hybrid groups take place in real time.
  • The clients can listen to the group discussion by calling into a listening line.
  • Clients can use private chat or email to send messages to the moderator.
  • The hybrid methodology eliminates many of the limitations of telephone focus groups by providing a way to share multimedia elements.
  • The cost is currently lower than webcam focus groups and the methodology does not require the participants to own, or be provided with, a webcam.
  •  It also works with low speed Internet connections if there is no need for audio or video sharing.

If sharing concepts or other multimedia elements is not crucial, an alternative is to conduct standard telephone focus groups (which lowers the project cost).

Note that this methodology will be eventually replaced by webcam focus groups.

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How come some of the people shown on the left don't look Hispanic?

Hispanic or Latino is not a race.   There are Latinos of many different races and physical characteristics.  For more information see our FAQ article, Why doesn't the census include Hispanic as a race?, and the Latino Blog post Let's Stop Segmenting People by Race! 

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