A short guide to managing and moderating focus groups online

This half day course is for people who want to transfer their moderating skills to the online environment. After a short review of moderating theory, we will look at the changes in practice required to moderate successfully online. Numbers are limited so that each participant has a chance to moderate part of a group and receive feedback and coaching. The aim of the course is to build confidence.

Learning Outcomes

You will be able to:

  • Explain the benefits and limitations of working online
  • Manage client expectations and participation
  • Optimise your moderating skills for an online environment
  • Understand how to use research stimulus online and which techniques work best

Who will benefit:

This course will provide a safe and supportive space  to transfer and adapt your qualitative skills to the online environment. Some experience of interviewing or moderating face to face is desirable; the course is not for complete beginners.

Learning Method

As the course itself is held online, you will be learning continually, both from the perspective of the participant and as a moderator.  It includes moderating practice and a feedback session. You will see yourself working online and be able to optimise your approach. A brief will be sent in advance so you can prepare your part of the discussion guide.

Course Delivery Mode: virtual training course, using a video platform.  The course will not cover focus groups on chat-based platforms. There will be supplementary information sent after the course.

By agreeing to participate in this training course you also agree to download any software application(s) that are required for the fulfilment of the course.

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.

09:00 Tutor and Delegate introductions

09:15  Review of key moderating skills; interviewing and group dynamics

09:45 What you need to do differently online, using whiteboards

10:00  Managing client expectations, recruiting, and preparing participants

10:10  Short break

10:20  Prepare for moderating an online group

10:30  Rolling moderator practice. 6 people have 15 mins each moderating time.

12:00  Short break

12:10  Feedback and coaching on the moderating, including experience as a respondent

12:50  Summary of learning and feedback

13:00 Close

Additional Information

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