1

I'm looking to run a card sort to help gain understanding of how people would group & categorise courses. I currently have a list of 142 courses. I'm worried that the list is too long and participants will not complete the task. I could break it down and randomly surface say 50 different titles to sort for each participant, but would this skew the results?

4
  • How many participants will be taking part in the card sort? (this may have an impact on the ability to break the task down)
    – Whitingx
    Jul 25, 2014 at 9:51
  • We're going to start with a sample of 40 people then expand to a further 100. Jul 25, 2014 at 10:16
  • Thanks @dereck - in that case I'd see no issue with breaking this task down.
    – Whitingx
    Jul 25, 2014 at 10:20
  • Is this a physical card sort or will you be using some program that will hopefully make it easier for the participants?
    – Michael Lai
    Jul 27, 2014 at 23:45

2 Answers 2

1

You could use the Delphi method:

In this approach, the first participant creates an initial sort, and then the remaining participants review and modify that sort. This imposes a much lower mental load on the remaining participants, rendering a sort of 200+ items a much more tractable proposition (in theory).

Ref: Card Sorting using the Delphi Method

It's an alternative supported by Donna Spencer who wrote the Card Sorting Book.

enter image description here

1
  • 1
    An interesting technique, thanks for sharing that link. I wonder if having an initial sort could lead to response bias from the remaining participants. Something to be aware of perhaps?
    – Whitingx
    Jul 25, 2014 at 14:49
0

Breaking the card sort down into random groups of ~50 course titles shouldn't skew the results.

Bearing in mind the average times taken to complete a card sort exercise based on number of items;

http://www.interaction-design.org/encyclopedia/card_sorting.html#heading_Time_to_sort_html_pages_107177

you could be looking at 1-2 hours for the participants to complete the exercise. The potential drop-off in participant engagement over this time would have more of a negative effect on your data then you would get by breaking the task down.

Hope this helps.

2
  • The time to sort is one of my concerns. A quick test with a couple of people highlighted this. I think I'm going to run with the random 50 items. Thanks for the link too. Jul 25, 2014 at 11:11
  • No problem :) glad it proved useful
    – Whitingx
    Jul 25, 2014 at 12:55

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.