Interviews and Focus Groups

CHASR has the capability, capacity, and expertise to conduct and support a variety of interview and focus group techniques:

  • One-on-one interviews
  • Dyadic (two-person) interviews
  • Group interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Workshops and events
  • Sharing circles
  • Note-taking and co-moderating

Data may be collected either:

  • Synchronously: (Live) Through face-to-face data collection, over the telephone, or online via virtual platform (i.e., WebEx, Microsoft Teams).
  • Asynchronously: Through access to several virtual platforms available through the University of Saskatchewan.

CHASR has a 16-seat focus group room located on the University of Saskatchewan campus. Catering may be offered and arranged for any CHASR-supported focus group, regardless of whether the group is held on-campus or off-campus. 

Data recording services are included as part of our standard package of qualitative research services.

The qualitative specialists at CHASR have a combined 15 years’ experience in qualitative data collection ranging from small interview projects to large-scale focus group projects. The variety of data collection methods we have available allows us to adapt to changing study needs.

Studies have ranged from exploratory to evaluative, and have involved populations including youth, practitioners, patients, faculty, administrators, government officials, industry operators, consumers, senior citizens, and members of Indigenous communities. Topics of study we have collected data on include sexual harassment, online learning, bullying, patient experiences, educational satisfaction, feasibility testing, sustainability, ALS, mental health, cancer survivorship, strategic planning, among many others.

Although we have interview and focus group spaces on campus, our mobility is vast as past studies have included a variety of settings including schools, residential homes, community-based organizations, and northern communities. Virtual capabilities also facilitate online inter-provincial and pan-Canadian data collection via online focus groups or teleconferences.


CHASR supports observational (ethnographic) research, ranging from detached observation where there is no active participation as a complete observer, to being fully immersed within the environment as a complete participant.

Our observational research support includes providing researchers and clients access to four Noldus Portable Observation Labs designed to collect naturalistic observational data as well as focus group and interview data. Each Portable Observation Lab contains:

  • A laptop equipped with Noldus observational software  
  • Four cameras which can be mounted to tripods or on flat surfaces  
  • A high quality omnidirectional microphone 
  • Headphones 
  • Portable electrical outlets for collecting data in remote or outdoor locations without access to electricity 

With the use of visual capture data, one is able to code for non-verbal behaviours and reactions; and clearer more accurate transcriptions. It also allows for studying participants who are non-verbal or limited in their verbal capabilities (i.e., babies and children, those with developmental disabilities or cognitive impairments, animals). Data can be coded synchronously or asynchronously.

Transcription Services

CHASR provides quality, timely, and cost-effective transcription services of interviews, focus groups, meetings, lectures, and other digital and analog audio recordings.

  • Clean transcription: In a clean transcript, we remove repetitive utterances deemed not meaningful to the data (i.e., um’s, uh’s, yeah, so, like, you know).

  • Full transcription: We type absolutely everything audible; every impartial thought, every cough, sneeze, etc.

  • Identified or De-identified

  • Secure methods of data transfer and storage: University of Saskatchewan managed systems/secure servers.

  • Trained university students: Each student signs confidentiality/ethical adherence forms and have their TCPS2: CORE ethics certificate.

  • Accuracy: A level of accuracy surpassing automatic transcription modalities (quality control via veteran lab personnel).

  • Quick turn-around: Typically, hour-long files can be delivered within seven days of receiving audio.

  • Speed: Pending sufficient audio quality, we can type at a 4:1 ratio or lower, meaning it may take no more than four hours per one hour of audio for a clean, one-on-one interview.

  • Efficiency Aids: Use of Express Scribe and Foot Pedals to increase typing speed.

  • Multi-lingual transcription: Transcription in languages other than English.