Seminar on Delphi technique

Last week’s Social Informatics Research Group meeting was a seminar on the Delphi technique. Marianne Wilson and David Haynes introduced the technique, which is a ‘structured way of corralling experts’ input’. It is based on two or more rounds of feedback on a series of statements or scenarios, and can be used to avoid ‘group-think‘, to identify areas of uncertainty and to establish priorities.

Marianne Wilson spoke about her use of the technique for participatory design, in her PhD research, to design a useful career support chatbot to support Skills Development Scotland’s services for young people. 

David Brazier spoke about use of the technique in the ‘iDP’ project, which researched how library staff and others may be ‘digital proxies’, i.e. asked to log into and take actions on users’ online accounts (e.g. apply for benefits) when the users cannot do so themselves.

David Haynes spoke about use of the technique to identify future research themes in online privacy and risk.

Discussion focussed on how research group members might use the technique in future research, covering topics such as:

  • Anonymity in the process
  • Numbers of rounds, and elimination of items for subsequent rounds
  • Use of the technique to find both consensus and dissensus
  • Choice of panel members, and how to brief them on the process
  • Platforms/software
  • Reviews of papers covering use of the technique
  • Use of the technique in community representation research and by consultants.

The presentation slides are here. A recording of the session is available to Napier members.

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