Focus Group online interviews

The work in the DETECT project has progressed during the spring in spite of the challenging situation. One of the main aims in the project is to develop a framework defining central elements of Critical Digital Literacy for schools to take into account in teaching, learning and professional development activities. A draft framework was created based on a literacy review.

One part of the framework development is the task for researchers to organize focus group interviews with teachers of the participating schools where teachers discuss their practices related to CDL and give comments to the draft framework. Because of COVID19, it was not possible to meet f2f; therefore we organized teachers’ focus group meetings online using Zoom. Two group discussions with altogether seven teachers were organized in Finland in May 2020. In the figure, you can see a screenshot from a Finnish focus group session where the draft framework about CDL is displayed and discussed with the participants.

Although the topics discussed in the focus groups covered broadly the usage of digital technologies in schools, the online teaching period that the teachers were experiencing because of COVID19, had an effect of the comments and concerns raised up in the discussions. Many challenges and possibilities of digital participation had become familiar for the teachers: how to promote the sense of community, how to follow each students’ progress, how to encourage students’ to participate in online sessions, etc. The participants also remarked that it was great to discuss with colleagues to share experiences and pedagogical idea, because there is not usually time for that in daily schoolwork.  One interesting observation of the group interviews from the researchers’ viewpoint was that it was very easy to organize the group meeting online, because all participants had good skills to attend the online meetings!

More results about the focus group interviews will be published when the researchers of the project have had time to analyse them in detail.

Minna Lakkala – Technology in Education Research Group, University of Helsinki

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