The Ultimate Qualitative Research Screener

The Ultimate Qualitative Research Screener

UGA and the MRII are proud to offer a new course, Qualitative Market Research. At your own pace, you can work through this 9-hour, $359 online course that gives you the foundational knowledge necessary to use qualitative approaches effectively. The following is a course excerpt that outlines the qualities of a good screener.

A qualitative research screener is a questionnaire that recruiters use to find qualified participants for a study. It is called a qualitative research “screener” because it is like panning for gold—we have to sift through many people to find the “nuggets” to invite to participate. Screeners are used by telephone recruiters, or they may be online surveys as a way to automate the recruitment process. Automation helps reduce expense by eliminating human efforts. But keep in mind that automation still has costs in programming the questionnaire for customization.

All the rules/guidelines about questionnaire construction apply to qualitative research screeners. The most effective screeners have the following characteristics:

  • Short – If a qualitative research screener is too long, participants may disconnect with a recruiter or simply decide to discontinue completion of an online survey
  • Clear about the purpose at the beginning – Inform immediately that it is not a sales call
  • No hints provided that encourage cheating – Included is an intentionally general description of the nature of the research so as to not tip-off participants to answer a particular way to ensure an invitation
  • Questions included up-front that are easy to answer – Quickly eliminate people without taking too much of their time
  • Includes need-to-know questions, not nice-to-know questions – Asking nice-to-know questions lengthens the qualitative research screener, can be frustrating, and makes the recruitment process less efficient at extra cost
  • Intriguing questions – Interesting questions keep survey-takers engaged
  • Feature mostly closed-end questions – Closed-end responses make the task easier for the recruiter (no judgment required)
  • Include one or more of the following types of questions:
    • Product/service category use
    • Brand(s) used more often and/or brands they would never use
    • Past participation in market research surveys, focus groups, and interviews
    • Employment in certain industries.
  • May include an “articulation” question – Such open-end questions are used to help ensure that a participant will be able to make a meaningful contribution to the discussion. Sometimes questions that pose a creativity challenge to the potential participant are asked. However, a question that is related to the product category will be more relevant. In markets where participants may have differing levels of proficiency with the language to be used, the recruiter may be asked to judge the ability of the potential participant to be understood clearly. This serves as an additional articulation assessment.

The methods in the above excerpt are just some of what is taught in the affordable online Principles Express course, Qualitative Market Research.

This course is perfect for novices looking for a solid background on how to conduct and evaluate qualitative marketing research.  The course is also beneficial for experienced researchers. It includes many tips and tricks to assist in the execution of qualitative research projects.

Register online by clicking here or call +1 706 542 3537.

Jeff Walkowski is the principal of Inc., a consulting firm providing traditional and online qualitative research services to a wide range of industries including health care, financial services, automotive, and information services.

We are grateful for the course to be sponsored by Recollective, an online research platform for conducting qualitative studies and developing insights communities. Powerful and flexible, Recollective is chosen by the world’s leading research organizations to meet their sophisticated and constantly advancing research needs. Sponsorships like this have funded the development of our new line of Principles Express courses, a portfolio of $359 online courses that let you master a research skill at your own pace, with just 9 to 14 hours of study.

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