Case Study: Adult Learners Recruited to Participate in a Mobile Ethnography Study

Mobile technology, such as smartphones and tablets, have evolved rapidly over the past decade. This has not only allowed consumers access to on-the-go communication, but has come to be more of an expectation for many people.

In market research, it’s important to make the experience most conducive and easy for the respondent or participant. This assures a participant is very comfortable and willing to provide their honest feedback, which in turn translates to high-quality data clients can rely on. With the rise of heavy mobile device usage across many generations, people are most comfortable using their cellphones as a means of participating in research.

As a result, mobile ethnography has become a very popular methodology for market research. Ethnography is the process of observing participants in their natural environments to offer the most realistic depiction of their everyday lives and how they use a certain product or service. Going one step further, mobile ethnography allows these types of projects be completed through the participant’s mobile device, rather than a market research facility or overseen by a moderator.

Recently, Drive Research completed a qualitative recruitment project in which we recruited adult learners to participate in a mobile ethnography study for a generational research and solutions company.

A quick snapshot of the qualitative recruitment project consisted of a project proposal, project kickoff with the client, creating a screener, recruiting adult learners, and conducting fieldwork.

mobile ethnography with adult learners

This case study will outline the overview, the recruitment criteria, and the qualitative recruitment process of a mobile ethnography study with adult learners.

Mobile Ethnography Project Overview

A generational research and solutions company partnered with Drive Research, a mobile ethnography research company for a qualitative recruitment study in the United States. A total of 30 participants were required to complete a 10-question mobile ethnography study with video responses.

Drive Research recruited and qualified 40 participants to ensure 30 of those recruited would participate. It is important to over recruit research participants because of those who cancel last minute for personal reasons, or don’t show up to the study in general.

Each video response of the mobile ethnography study lasted around 30 to 60 seconds. In order to participate in the study, participants were required to download an app and register for an account.

Qualified participants of the mobile ethnography project received a $50 stipend processes by Drive Research. This stipend helps encourage full participation and is a nice reward for participants offering their generous feedback and time.

Qualitative Recruitment Criteria for the Mobile Ethnography Study

The qualitative recruitment focused on the following criteria for the mobile ethnography research project:

  • Adults aged 25+ who have earned some college credits, but have not finished their degree.
  • Must be open to continuing or finishing their education/degree.
  • A split of males and females.
  • A split of household incomes.
  • A split of ethnicities.
  • A mix of regions across the country.
  • At least two participants who are veterans or active military, guard, or reserve.

Qualitative Recruitment Process for the Mobile Ethnography Study

After the generational research and solutions company signed off on the proposal, our qualitative recruitment firm scheduled a 30-minute project kickoff meeting with the client. This meeting is helpful to discuss the objectives, process, timeline, and screening criteria for the mobile ethnography study. After the kickoff meeting, Drive Research developed a screener based on the client provided criteria referenced above.

The process of recruiting adult learners to participate in the mobile ethnography study was two-fold. Drive Research used national, paid randomized social media ads to those who met the screening criteria to drum up interest in the study. Our qualitative recruitment firm also has access to an in-house panel, in which we were able to send email invitations to members who matched the target market.

Both the paid social media advertisements and the email invitations sent recipients to an online survey developed by Drive Research. The online survey acts as a funnel and is able pre-screen the audience. This removes any respondent who does not meet the criteria standards set by the generational research and solutions company.

Those who did qualify from the pre-screen survey are screened again by phone to verify they meet the correct credentials with additional questions.

All qualified adult learners received a confirmation email, a calendar invitation for the mobile ethnography study, follow-up reminder phone calls, and a text message as needed to sign-up and complete their video responses through the app.

Contact Drive Research

Drive Research is a market research company located in Syracuse, NY. Our team has the knowledge and tools to design a robust market research study, should it be the right fit for your business.

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