Learn basic theory and practice moderating in a safe environment, with supportive feedback and coaching.

Most qualitative  researchers learn by watching others moderate, but often without the full understanding of the skills and behaviours they are observing.  This course is for complete beginners or people who have observed groups (face to face or online) but not moderated more than a few. It covers the basic principles of people and group management, writing topic guides and eliciting skills, as well as the mindset required for empathy, insight and an unbiased approach.

The course is run over a day and a half with a limited number of participants to ensure everyone has enough time to practice, ask questions, and receive feedback. You will practice listening and eliciting skills, moderate part of a group online, and learn how to evaluate moderating skills. You will be able to reflect on your own moderating, and will receive coaching from two very experienced qualitative researchers

The course will be held online but will refer to both online and face to face techniques.

Learning outcomes/learning objectives

You will have

  • A good understanding of how to start and manage people in focus groups
  • More effective listening skills, eliciting and probing for insight
  • An understanding of how to use stimulus material, manage energy and difficult situations
  • Insight into your own developmental pathway

Who will benefit?

Qualitative researchers/moderators with little or no experience who want to gain confidence and be able to moderate on their own, with enough awareness to develop their skills.

Learning method

Delegates will be required to prepare a section of a topic guide for moderating an online focus group. You will also take part in the group as a respondent, which is a valuable learning experience.

The first training day will be a mix of theory and exercises. The practice group moderation will be recorded and will be available online prior to the coaching session, which takes place the following afternoon.

Course delivery mode

Online, virtual classroom

Trainer bios

Mo Ressler

With a degree in Psychology Mo joined Bill Schlackman’s famous market research agency, as a graduate trainee.  She went on to work in creative development research at Ogilvy & Mather.  She then changed track as a TV researcher on entertainment and documentary programmes at the BBC before returning to research as an independent qualitative research consultant. 

She has specialised over the years in strategic brand development, NPD and  public consultation work.  In the last fifteen years she has been working as a qualitative research training consultant, delivering regular courses to the MRS and as a relationship counsellor.

Joanna Chrzanowska

I am a Fellow of the MRS and an Accredited Trainer specialising in qualitative research skills, thinking and methods. I was an early adopter of online qualitative methods. In a lifelong career, I can count the depths and groups I have done in the thousands. I have published ‘Interviewing Groups and Individuals in Qualitative Market Research’ (Sage) and a number of eBooks.

Additional Information

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