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Conducting Focus groups. ACE seminar teaching session By Susan Mlangwa. Contents What is a focus group Purposes of Focus groups Types of focus groups Techniques used in focus group moderation Preparing the focus group session Planning the session Facilitating the session

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conducting focus groups

Conducting Focus groups

ACE seminar teaching session

By

Susan Mlangwa

slide2

Contents

What is a focus group

Purposes of Focus groups

Types of focus groups

Techniques used in focus group moderation

Preparing the focus group session

Planning the session

Facilitating the session

Key role of the moderator

Immediately after the session

what is a focus group

What is a focus group?

It’s a group interview of 6-10 people at the same time in the same group, that relies on the interaction within the group based on the topics that are supplied by the researcher, occurring in a relaxed, permissive environment that fosters the expression of different points of view, with no pressure for consensus.

The discussion involves perceptions, opinions, attitudes, feelings, personal experience and, knowledge on the topic that is the subject of research

purposes of a focus group

Purposes of a focus group

Exploring respondents’ behavior, experiences, ideas, beliefs, perceptions, attitudes, feelings, values and reactions in a social setting

Generating hypotheses

Finding a common language

Revealing group dynamism and norms

Brainstorming (products-ideas/concepts, communication-ideas/concepts,…)

Developing questions or concepts for questionnaires

Early prototyping (i.e. for piloting purposes)

types of focus groups

Types of focus groups

There are about 9 types:

Single focus groups

Two way focus groups

Dual moderator focus groups

Dueling moderator focus group

Respondent moderator focus group

Other participants focus group

Mini focus group

Teleconference focus groups

Online focus groups

techniques used in focus group moderation

Techniques used in focus group moderation

There are about 6 types:

Direct open questioning (classical type)

Projective techniques

Sub grouping

Self administered questioning

Check list

Confrontation with stimulus material

preparing the focus group session

Preparing the focus group session

Key things to consider

understand fully the research objectives

prepare the discussion guide

plan the session

understand the recruitment method then supervise recruitment

acquire all necessary materials/instruments needed for the session

recorder, batteries, pencils, pens, flipchart, markers, etc

:

planning the focus group session

Planning the focus group session

Key things to consider

schedule the focus groups (with venue in mind, and time

decide and reserve a setting/venue and arrange for refreshments in advance

revisit ground rules ( i.e. keep focused, maintain momentum, and get closure on questions.

prepare the agenda

plan to record the session

facilitating the focus group session

Facilitating the focus group session

double check sample recruited if meets the membership criterion

focuson collecting useful information to meet the goal of the meeting

introduce yourself and co- facilitator if used (i.e. note taker)

explain the means to record the sessions, seek consent

carry out agenda (see previous slide)

carefully word each question before you ask it to the group…allow sometime for responses …then facilitate discussion

facilitating the focus group session contd

Facilitating the focus group session (contd)

after each question is answered, carefully reflect back a summary of what you heard (the note taker may do this)

ensure even participation (manage difficult participants)

dominant

quiet or shy

interrupting

questioning

negative

closing the session, thank them and ask if they have anything to add, if not thank again and close.

immediately after the session

Immediately after the session

verify if the tape recorder, is used, worked throughout the session

make any notes on your written notes e.g. clarify any scratching, ensure pages are numbered, fill out any notes that do not make sense etc.

write down any observations made during the session e.g.

where and when did the session occur?

what was the nature of participants on the group?

where there any surprises during the session

did the tape recorder break?

key role of the moderator

Key role of the moderator

A good moderator is able to

understand fully the research objectives

make feel respondents at ease

build trust

listen

be alert

be flexible (without loosing focus)

show sensitivity

observe

be attentive for non-verbal behavior

key role of the moderator contd

Key role of the moderator (contd)

A good moderator is able to

link reactions together

encourage participation of each respondent

facilitate/stimulate interaction between respondents

challenge group members

keep control over the conversation

probe

synthesize