Make the Most of Online Bulletin Board Groups for Qualitative Research

Louise Principe
Jan 27, 2022

Due to the rise of agile market research, there has been a growing interest in using online bulletin boards in remote qualitative research. The main advantage of using an online bulletin board is its flexibility - respondents can participate asynchronously in the study. This approach is handy for reaching participants that are geographically limited or have varying levels of availability.

What is an online bulletin board?

When researchers create a bulletin board online, they are essentially opening a forum consisting of a virtual assembly of participants and a moderator with the sole purpose of gathering information on specific topics of interest through interactive discussions and activities. The moderator poses questions or presents stimuli for the participants to give their opinions and feedback when they log in on their devices.

How can you make the most of your online bulletin board research for qualitative research?

To make the most out of an online community study, moderators should capture the interest of their online community respondents, motivate them to respond to the activities or stimuli, interact with them to get in-depth feedback and track and review all the information gathered to generate worthwhile insights for their research.


Utilize a wide range of engaging activities that pique the interest of your participants to gain honest and actionable insight. These activities can be anything from open-ended text responses, exercises, or problems.


You can gamify your online community or design a reward system to help motivate your respondents to participate in the study. Incentives can be given based on the points collected when responding to moderator probes or comments. By gamifying your online bulletin board and positively reinforcing active participation, you can increase the overall quality and quantity of the output in your activities.


When you create a bulletin board online, you should factor in time at the start for participants to build trust and rapport with each other and their moderator. You can do this through general introductions or an icebreaker. Keep this in mind for you to generate honest feedback.

Engage with participants through live chat and run asynchronous online research studies. This allows the moderator to probe in real-time for a deeper understanding of bulletin board responses and gain new perspectives from spontaneous participant interaction. Make sure to strike a balance between facilitation and allowing participants to establish meaningful conversations. Avoid being overly intrusive because it can be a risk for biased feedback. To limit and avoid bias, you can customize the visibility of an activity and the sharing of responses between participants.

Track and Review

Throughout your research, track and manage the progress of your bulletin board groups to see how your participants are faring. This way, you can see who is on track and who is falling behind. You can divide your respondents into clusters based on their profile or criteria to view the unique nature of their responses.

After your online bulletin board is completed, you can translate your results into a transcript or a spreadsheet so you can review all your data in an organized format. This gives you a clearer picture of what insights you can compile to build a comprehensive report. 

What is the best tool to create a bulletin board online?

Civicom ChatterBox™ is a digital discussions platform that can offer a lot of flexibility and accessibility for you and your respondents. It includes features like gamification, analytics, and reporting tools, which can significantly impact the success of your research. Keep your online community studies robust and engaging with powerful yet user-friendly capabilities that are engaging, mobile-ready, and accessible.

Keep Your Bulletin Boards Robust and Engaging

Civicom ChatterBox™ is ideal for creating short-term studies and extended online communities. Learn more about our digital discussions platform.

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