About the Webinar:

Many questions facing institutions today, especially those surrounding access, affordability, and accountability, require more than dashboards. Metrics and quantitative data alone do not offer lasting solutions and improvements. Using qualitative methods to listen to the voices of those involved, especially students and staff, is critical. Focus groups are the most appropriate, rigorous, and relevant qualitative research tool for this purpose. They can address the elusive “why” question.

Over two decades in the making, the ODU Method for conducting focus groups is cost-effective and has yielded information for assessment and accreditation purposes. This webinar will present an overview of the ODU Method for conducting focus groups to capture valuable information about academic programs, student services and success, as well as responding to state and accreditation demands for information about student employment. Many higher education professionals will be able to utilize the strategies discussed in the webinar.

Watch this webinar to learn:

  • How to use focus groups as an assessment method
  • Effective strategies for designing and collecting information from groups that can be used to make decisions
  • Ideas for running affordable focus groups on your campus. 

Participants will leave the session with new knowledge about focus groups and practical ways to implement this important method! 


About our Presenter:
Dr. Tisha M. Paredes

Dr. Tisha M. Paredes is the Assistant Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment at Old Dominion University. Prior to accepting this position in 2015, she started in 2005 as a graduate assistant and has served as the office’s Research Associate, Senior Research Associate, and Director of Assessment.  She works closely with University faculty and staff in creating assessment plans and reports for their programs and services; monitoring SACSCOC standards and overseeing institutional effectiveness activities across the University. Tisha has presented workshops and consulted on topics including academic and administrative assessment, QEP development and assessment, general education assessment, and building an infrastructure to sustain effectiveness efforts. Her research focuses on assessment of first-year student success and her book Using Focus Groups to Listen, Learn and Lead in Higher Education provides a practical and cost-effective approach to conducting focus groups.