Presentation on theme: "Conducting Focus groups ACE seminar teaching session By Susan Mlangwa."— Presentation transcript:
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 Key role of the moderator Immediately after the session
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 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 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 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 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 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 double check sample recruited if meets the membership criterion focus on 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) 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 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 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) 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 …