We've conducted many research projects within the education sector. We've had much fun working with middle schools, high schools, vocational and technical colleges, universities, and online schools.
One of the things that stands out to me is the wide variety and application of research among institutions - everything from advertising testing and branding research, to behavioral and motivational studies, can be accomplished in this field.
In education, the research audience is diverse, too. Students, teachers, faculty, staff, donors, alumni, prospective parents, regional populations, the list goes on and on!
I find the combination of the type of educational institution and the target audience particularly fascinating. We have to change our methodology and style of questioning accordingly to get inside people's heads.
For example, when conducting mini-groups with 3rd graders, we have to assume an entirely different approach compared to mini-groups with faculty. I'm not going to lie - research with kids is exceptionally challenging. While the rules of the art of conversation still apply, the practices of engagement differ.
With younger children, we have to be very careful with the types of questions we ask and how we ask them. With teenagers, we are attentive to the group dynamic - hormones and social structures influence the group a great deal!
Speaking to staff and faculty of a university requires an alternative layer of understanding. Places of higher learning are incredibly complex machines. For example, departments within universities often have their own identities and culture, and this can significantly impact brand perception and loyalty. Admissions may have a different outlook to the Bursar's office concerning internal communication, or the engineering school may view the availability of resources differently to the school of journalism. A Freshman experience is different from that of a Senior.
Researching with places of higher education requires an incredibly layered approach, and an accurate analysis must take into account the subtle and not-so-subtle differences experience and perception.
Maybe you are an agency who needs to test some PSA's among school children, or perhaps you are a college or university who wishes to understand more about their brand - just let us know, and we'll help you out. We're good at this type of thing. ;)
Posted by EvolveKev
Kevin is all about research. Qualitative, quantitative, UX, you name it. When he's not researching, he's to be found laying down beats in his studio and hanging out with his dogs (and wife). Woof.