Delphi Method in a Digital Age: Practical Considerations for Online Delphi Studies

Delphi Method in a Digital Age: Practical Considerations for Online Delphi Studies

Christine A. Haynes (Independent Researcher, Australia) and Kaye Shelton (Lamar University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5164-5.ch009

Abstract

With the rapid advancement of online survey tools, research collaboration tools, communication platforms, and statistical analysis tools, the Delphi method is an increasingly popular research approach to gain insight from experts into complex problems or when future-oriented planning is required. This chapter focuses on practical considerations and implications for practice when conducting studies online using the Delphi method. Practical logistics for the management of online Delphi studies explored in this chapter include preparing for a successful study, designing communication strategies, addressing technological considerations, and handling of qualitative and quantitative data.
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Delphi Method In A Digital Age

While Delphi was invented in a paper-based world, technologies of today pose new opportunities and challenges for the Delphi researcher. The requirements to carry out studies using the Delphi method have moved from needing physical space and filing systems for handling mailing labels, postage-paid envelopes, and questionnaire duplication (Hasson, Keeney, & McKenna, 2001) to those of a digitized world where online surveys, electronic communication, and computer-based software, comprise the researchers’ toolkit. At a conceptual level considerations for Delphi studies largely remain the same as when the method was invented. Researchers need to prepare studies, design surveys, communicate with participants, and analyze data. However, practical logistics carrying out these functions have changed greatly over the years and now require considerations to manage, customize, automate, and expedite Delphi studies.

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