Ethnographic Research for 6-12 year olds: Anythoughts?

17 Sep 2007 - 12:05pm
811 reads
Pat Barford

Here's something to consider when working in groups. Depending on how
you structure them, you'll see differences in how all girl, all boy, and
girl-boy groups behave. Research on age group shows that girls and boys
interact differently with media and when paired with girls, boys usually
tent to take control and leave the girls out of the equation. The all
girl groups will genially collaborate on decision making and include

Pat Barford M.Ed.
Program Development Consultant

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at
[mailto:discuss-bounces at] On Behalf Of
Julian Mccrea
Sent: Monday, September 17, 2007 10:38 AM
To: discuss at
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Ethnographic Research for 6-12 year olds:

Hey guys,

First time post, long time listener to this thought-provoking 'community
of practice' ;)

I am doing some ethnographic research with 6-12 year old children (10 in
sample, 50/50 mix between boys and girls, across ethnicities). This is
quite a large age range so we are choosing 9 year olds (for the sake of
our project).

The objective of the research is to a) find out their digital behaviour
for a day b) find out their views of our client.

Just wondered if any one else has any pointers for this age group? First
thoughts that came into mind:

1) Single or group? - I am thinking single participants as a group
will lead to a 'collective opinion' (I don't need this)

2) Duration of session? - I am thinking 20 minutes max (or how
long their current lessons are)

3) Type of facilitator? - thinking two facilitators (one talking,
one taking notes) who DON'T look like adults, more older brothers.
Thinking the kids will not be as open with a facilitator who 'looks'
like an adult

4) Video? - going for this option (don't worry we have consent) to
check for digital behaviour with devices in a playground/computer room

5) Style of questioning? - I am thinking quite open for these
kids, as their articulation of their digital day (and our client) might
provide interesting insights.

What are your thoughts on this approach? Can you point me in any
questionnaires/approaches that could be of use?


Julian McCrea
User Experience Architect

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