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Research Rubric: A Visual Menu of Communication Methods to Answer Your Organization's Research Questions

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LEVEL 1 BEGINNER | 1 week—1 month LEVEL 1 BEGINNER | 3 months—1 year LEVEL 2 ADVANCED | 1 week—1 month LEVEL 2 ADVANCED | 3 months—1 year
Residents Residents Residents Residents
  1. Conduct brief telephone interviews with a few local residents, or interview residents affiliated with your organization (or a partner's).
  2. Organize a focus group with 6-12 local residents, recruited through your organization or a partnering organization.
  1. Create a survey and get 40 or more residents to complete it. Conduct basic data analysis.
  2. Organize multiple focus groups with 6-12 residents in each, recruited through your organization or a partnering organization. Develop a coding scheme to analyze the qualitative data.
  1. Create a survey and get 40 or more residents to complete it. Conduct basic data analysis.
  2. Organize multiple focus groups with 6-12 residents in each, recruited through your organization or a partnering organization. Develop a coding scheme to analyze the qualitative data.
  1. Create a survey and try to get a representative sample of the community to complete it. Analyze the data with statistical software.
  2. Organize a series of focus groups with residents from several demographic groups within the community (age, ethnicity, language, gender, etc). Consider multiple types of qualitative data analysis.
Organization Organization Organization Organization
  1. Make phone calls to interview a few of the organizations that are mentioned by residents.
  1. Create an inventory of organizations working on your issue within the community. Create a survey for these organizations to complete.
  2. Organize a workshop to bring together important organizations mentioned by residents.
  1. Create an inventory of organizations working on your issue within the community. Create a survey for these organizations to complete.
  2. Organize a workshop to bring together important organizations mentioned by residents.
  1. Create an inventory of organizations working on your issue within the community. Create a survey for these organizations to complete.
  2. Organize a workshop to bring together important organizations mentioned by residents.
Geo-ethnic Media Geo-ethnic Media Geo-ethnic Media Geo-ethnic Media
  1. Collect literature &emdash; like flyers, newsletters, and other media &emdash; from the local library.
  2. Seek out media mentioned by residents and read/watch/listen in order to get a sense of the major topics discussed.
  1. Select a few geo-ethnic media products and compare/contrast how your issue is discussed over time and across the media outlets.
  2. Conduct interviews with the producers and writers of the geo-ethnic media products mentioned by residents.
Same as Level 1, when time permits, plus:
  1. Select a few representative media stories about your issue and conduct an in-depth frame analysis.
  1. Select a few geo-ethnic media products and compare/contrast how your issue is discussed over time and across the media outlets.
  2. Conduct interviews with the producers and writers of the geo-ethnic media products mentioned by residents.
Communication Hotspots & Comfort Zones Communication Hotspots & Comfort Zones Communication Hotspots & Comfort Zones Communication Hotspots & Comfort Zones
  1. Drive, walk, or bicycle through the community and take notes on places people gather.
  2. Visit sites that residents mention as important community institutions.
  3. Observe the quality of goods and services. Take notes and photographs (ask residents' permission when it seems appropriate).
  1. Take multiple trips on different days and at different times.
  2. Have residents mark on a map of the community the locations of important community institutions.
  3. Take lots of photographs of communication hotspots and comfort zones and analyze them by documenting major themes.
Same as Level 1, plus:
  1. Use an open-source geocoding device to map out important resident hotspots.
Same as Level 1, plus:
  1. Create audio slideshows with photographs; add audio by interviewing local residents.
  2. Conduct a GIS analysis to compare communication hotspots on demographic and community-level statistics.
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