Asking participants to finish a selected sentence can be a good way to get people talking if a group is quiet or unwilling to express opinions. You should get an idea of what participants see as significant or noteworthy when they do this. You may decide to try to elicit who, what or where people experience positive and negative wellbeing.
|Research method||Preparation time||Time to gather data||Time to analyse data||Not suitable for ...||Does data indicate wellbeing?||Who, what, where people experience wellbeing?||Is it an activity in itself?|
|Sentence starters||30 mins – to prepare starter sentences||10 - 20 mins||Fast if recorded as notes, possibly longer if video/audio recording||Non-verbal communicators||Yes – if people talk freely||Yes||No|
- young children who might struggle in a longer/more open discussion
- participants who are otherwise reluctant to speak.
What information is collected?
- direct quotes from participants
- information about who, what, where influences the wellbeing if you choose your sentence starter carefully
- it works well alongside or as a follow-up to a more in-depth method or to evaluate an activity if you’re looking for specific information
- more open/less focused sentence starters are more useful in research e.g. I am expecting… rather than I enjoy…
How is information collected?
- written notes, video or audio recordings of what people say.
Watch out for:
- bias in your sentence starters. Try to keep these as neutral as possible eg. ‘I feel..’, rather than ‘I’m happy because’
- people copying each other, being affected by others in the group
- people trying to please you as researcher or activity leader.