A short guide to managing and moderating focus groups online

This course is now delivered online as a series of live sessions which fully meet the learning objectives of face-to-face training.

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.

"A great interactive well structured course with a very qualified professional."

Jennifer Smith, February 2023

"A very helpful and practical learning experience."

Emile - Emotional Logic, February 2023

"An informative and interactive experience to help improve your qualitative research."

Hugo Adams - Emotional Logic LTD, February 2023

"Everything I expected and more."

Haley Millard - TfWM, February 2022

"A safe space to practise moderation and receive feedback."

Liz Haas-Pietronave - GSK Consumer Healthcare, February 2022

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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