Eliciting data from participants using visual mapping as a collection technique
This article was originally published as: Bahn, S. T., & Weatherill, P. J. (2011). Eliciting data from participants using visual mapping as a collection technique. Qualitative Social Work: research and practice. Original article available here
This article uses the project evaluation of the School-Aged Therapy Service for children with disabilities in Western Australia as an example of alternative ways to gather qualitative data from participants. The purpose of the evaluation was to pave the way for considerable and quick developmental operational change in order to stem the complaints from users of the service and to provide more effective service delivery. With this in mind the research team determined it was necessary to ‘map’ the current model of operation as there was inconsistency from the staff as to their understanding, and their ideal model of operation before presenting a new model to management. To facilitate the change process the researchers conducted a final focus group two months after the formal evaluation to map the staff’s perceptions of how the proposed new model would work and the challenges the changes would produce. This article presents ‘visual maps’ that have been drawn by the staff to demonstrate that this technique provides rich, raw, timely, collaborative artefacts that are invaluable for organizations encouraging change.