Focus groups are an increasingly popular qualitative research method but it is vital to understand the kind of data they generate so that they are chosen wisely. As a method they require considerable questioning and facilitation skills. This highly interactive course shows how to improve the quality of focus group research by achieving optimum group composition, and ensuring a lively and fully participative discussion.
This is a foundation level course run by the Social Research Association (SRA).
- the nature of focus groups and focus group data
- using focus groups appropriately
- discussion guides and focusing exercises
- questioning and moderating skills
- the composition of focus groups
- practicalities of recruiting and running groups
- to give participants a clear understanding of when to use focus groups as a qualitative method
- to illustrate the importance of group composition and its impact on group dynamics
- to describe techniques for involving participants, keeping the discussion on track and ensuring sufficient depth of coverage
- to provide first-hand experience of one of three key roles: facilitator, group member, observer