While preparing the discussion guide for the focus groups, we developed a few different research questions that applied to our focus group. One research question was why people adopt from an animal shelter. For this question we asked, what the thoughts on obtaining an animal from an animal shelter were, what factors do they look at when choosing a pet, and what are the benefits and draw backs of adopting an animal from a shelter? Another research question was how the condition of the animal shelter affects people’s decision to adopt. We wanted to know if the condition of the shelter deters or helps a person’s decision to adopt a pet from them because if it does then it is something that the shelter can work on improving.
While these all are important questions to ask we decided our main research question was how to increase student volunteers. A few of the questions asked were why or why would you not volunteer for an animal shelter, what they would like to do if they did volunteer at a shelter, and what they think are some good ways to encourage college kids to volunteer at a shelter? Increasing the number of student volunteers or the amount of time that students volunteer at a shelter can benefit the shelter immensely.
Preparation of Discussion Guide
There were several steps involved while preparing the discussion guide. The first thing we did for the discussion guide was that we chose groups and started to brain storm questions we wanted to be answered during the focus group. My group came up with around twelve questions and then we condensed them down to four questions we thought were the most important. We then turned them in with the rest of the class. Next, all of the questions that each group came up with were put together and we got back together in our groups so we could condense all of the questions. As a group we looked for questions that were worded the best, reworded some, and eliminated any repeat questions. After that, we looked at all of the questions as a class. Together, we worked on the wording and order we thought would be best to ask the questions during the focus group. We also came up with headings we thought were appropriate for each section and came up with Thoughts on Pet Adoption, Adopters, Hard to Adopt Issues, Shelters, and Volunteerism. Next, we were divided into three groups, as a class, to write the introduction, perfect the discussion questions and allocate time for every section, and write the conclusion. All of the mediators were in a group to perfect the questions and ensure nothing was repeated or left out. The mediators went through all of the questions again to check conciseness, further eliminated questions that were repeats or unneeded and allocated time to make certain that it would take 45 to 60 minutes for the entire focus group. The other two groups were chosen based on location in the classroom. The group on the right side wrote the introduction while the group on the left side of the classroom wrote the conclusion. Finally, we discussed the introduction, discussion questions, and conclusion as a class to make sure everything we wanted and needed was included. We added some follow-up questions on a few of the questions so that they would elicit more responses and ensure clarity. Afterwards discussion guides were printed for every student in the class so they could practice and have them during the focus group.
Focus Group Recruitment
The process of inquiring a focus group for the topic of pet adoption was not as timely as we thought it would be. Though it was a process because our members are students with busy schedules and other things to do, we did find a couple of lucky members to fit in our focus group time slot. Each member of our group found a couple people to show up and help out with our pet adoption analysis. As an incentive, we promised the members a treat of Lil Caesar’s pizza and pop in exchange for their time and thoughts.