Generation Of Ideas In Writing
Read the focus question and ask participants to list their responses
in phrases or brief sentences. Work silently and independently on
spaces provided below. (Allow four to eight minutes.)
What kinds of plans need to be in place to serve a community if
there is a natural disaster?
In your focus group, using the Nominal Group Process below, list
and priority rank your responses.
Nominal Group Technique
The nominal group process is a method for structuring groups to
allow individual judgments to be pooled and used when there is uncertainty
or disagreement about the nature of the problem and possible solutions.
The process is helpful in identifying problems, exploring solutions,
and establishing priorities. It works best with groups of five to
Step 1: Round-Robin
recording of ideas.
Go around the group, getting one idea from each participant. Write
the ideas on newsprint. As each sheet is filled, tape it on the
wall so that the entire list is visible. Number each item. Leave
space to the left of each number to record votes later. Encourage
hitchhiking on other ideas. Discourage discussion, elaboration,
Step 2: Serial discussion
of the list of ideas.
Clarification: The purpose of this step is clarification. Read item
one aloud and invite clarifying comments. Then read item two and
continue discussing each item in turn until the list is covered.
Arguments are unnecessary because each participant will have a chance
to vote independently in Step 3. As soon as the logic and meaning
of the item are clear, it is time to cut off discussion.
each item has been discussed, duplicate items should be identified
and combined. This may necessitate rewriting some of the items before
the voting step. However, resist the temptation to combine many
items into broader categories because achieving consensus by this
means, the precision of the original items may be lost or the combined
item will become so abstract and all-inclusive that the group in
effect is able to avoid the difficult choices inherent in priotizing.
Step 3: Voting.
Each participant selects five items that are most important to him
or her, writes them down, and rank orders them (1 = least important;
5 = most important). Record the priority of numbers on newsprint
in front of the group. The numbers are then added, resulting in
a total for each item. Items can then be prioritized -- those items
with the highest numbers are considered the highest priority.
Place a star beside the 3 priority concerns...in your collective