Since the growth of internet usage, researchers have been experimenting with applying qualitative research methods to this new medium, for example by conducting online real-time group discussions using web-based chat-room technology (also known as E-groups).
Harnessing technology to replicate traditional face-to-face methods has met with limited success, although its value for certain groups, especially geographically dispersed populations, has been proved. Researchers are also exploring quite new ways of researching offered by this medium. These include the use of electronic bulletin boards and of moderated email groups, and new combinations of qualitative and quantitative approaches.
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