Large group testing

This method is sometimes used for groups that may be difficult to convene because they are widely dispersed. A large group is brought together and some questions are asked of the whole group, to which members are usually required to write down answers or press a code number on a handheld electronic device which will transmit the large group response instantly. This can provide useful demographic and background data about the group members, together with their individual responses to a few questions. The large group is then broken down into a number of smaller groups for group discussions in which the same and other questions can be explored in more depth. It can also be seen whether, on exposure to other points of view, individuals are prepared to change their originally stated positions. Large group testing is not a very commonly used form of research. It has most application in industrial and professional research, where the method is sometimes used at conferences. In this case the results can be transmitted immediately to large screens so that there is instant feedback to the researcher and groups.

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