Research Methods Round Robin


  • To experience different research methods
  • To understand the pros and cons of different research methods


  • Digital or Polaroid camera
  • Flip chart paper (2 sets)
  • “Interview Questions” handout (1 per every other participant)
  • “Pros and Cons Worksheet” and “Pros and Cons Answer Sheet” handouts (1 per participant)
  • “Focus Group” handout (1 copy)
  • “Journal prompt” handout (6 copies)
  • “Methods Worksheet” handout (1 per participant)
  • “Photovoice Station” handout (1 per participant)
  • “Survey” handout (1 per participant)

Prepare Before

Prepare the five stations for the Round Robin (see Experience).

Warm Up

Introduce that the day’s activity will help the group get a better hands on understanding of different research methods.


Split up into 5 groups.  This activity is a round robin.  At each station, groups will experience a different research method and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this method with their research question.

Each group will be at each station for no more than 5 minutes.  Make sure the groups understand that this is to get an idea of what this method is like — it is NOT a training in how to use this method.  The stations are:

  • Station 1:  surveys
  • Station 2: photovoice
  • Station 3: interviews
  • Station 4:  focus groups
  • Station 5:  journal entries


After all groups have gone to all stations, talk about the different methods.  Ask the participants for general feedback:

  • Which method did you like the best?  The least?
  • What kind of information do you get from the different methods?
  • What is the value of each method?
  • What resources would we need for each method?
  • How much time would we need to use each method?


All of these methods have their pros and cons.  Most YPAR projects use at least 2 methods at some point in order to get the information they need to make a change.



In new groups of 5-6, each group should fill out a worksheet about the pros and cons of each method.  Once all are done, as a large group collect all information on a large flip chart.


In new groups of 5-6, each group is going to stand at one of 5 stations.   Each station has a Pros and Cons worksheet.

At their first station, each group will complete: What type of information is this good for?   Provide examples. After 3-5 minutes, all groups will rotate to the next station.

At Station Two, groups fill out as many Pros as they can.

At Station Three, groups add to the list of Pros.

At Station Four, groups fill out as many Cons as they can.

At Station Five, groups add to the list of Cons.

At Station Six (all groups are back at their original station), groups should read what is written and report out to the larger group.


What method do you think will be best for your specific research topic (if it has been selected)?  Why?