How to write a discussion guide for a focus group

March 7, As I see it, discussion guides serve two important purposes:

How to write a discussion guide for a focus group

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The first article in this series explained how to plan a group discussion. Use tools which promote discussion.

Flip charts, whiteboards, and sticky notes are ideal. The nature of these tools make them ideal for encouraging participation: Diverge first, then converge.

Creating a Discussion Guide | Qualitative Query

Not only does this strategy carry the risk of missing a good idea, but it makes participants tentative, fearing embarrassment for offering an idea that may be immediately eliminated.

Instead, consider starting your session by brainstorming and letting the ideas flow without analysis and judgement. This encourages early participation and gets everyone involved.

Restate and summarize often. Summarizing is important to remind your group of the consensus that has been achieved. In short discussions e. In long discussions e.

Focus Group Moderator Guide - How to Write It

I try to do this at least every 60 or 90 minutes. Be open-minded and curious. The sign of a poor discussion leader is one who attempts to systematically convince everyone else in the room that they are always right.

As the discussion heats up, emotions can run high among participants. Instead, help all participants understand and appreciate the perspectives being offered by others.

To succeed, draw upon classic public speaking skills e. As leader, you have great influence over the mood of the room. Exhibit genuine positive emotions, such as happiness, excitement, curiosity, optimism, surprise, and thoughtfulness. Attempt to stifle negative emotions, such as anger, boredom, disappointment, disgust, indifference, hopelessness, or misery.

how to write a discussion guide for a focus group

Record minutes as you go. If minutes are required for your discussion, it is your responsibility as the leader to ensure they are recorded.

Each time you record a shared decision, it builds momentum for the group. When the discussion is flowing, it is tempting to ignore the clock and let it flow. This is a dangerous habit. Schedule slips inevitably lead to unsatisfied objectives.

Sometimes, you need to be flexible and consciously reschedule on the fly. Most of the time, however, it is wiser to stick to the schedule. In a lengthy session e. Remember to take breaks at regular intervals; exhausted participants will tend to lose focus and become quiet.

how to write a discussion guide for a focus group

Resolve problems with the environment as they occur. Delegate leadership when appropriate. There may be situations where it makes sense for someone else to lead the discussion for a certain topic within your overall session.

Ask them ahead of time so they have a chance to prepare. Let them know when you will pass control to them, for what purpose, and for what duration of time.A focus group discussion guide (sometimes called a topic guide) is a questionnaire for focus groups, and for other types of qualitative research, such as individual depth interviews.

It is called a discussion “guide”, rather than a questionnaire, because it is only meant to be a guide. Focus Group Interviewing Richard Krueger 4 Beginning the Focus Group Discussion The first few moments in focus group discussion are critical.

In a brief time the moderator must create a thoughtful, permissive atmosphere, provide ground rules, and set the tone of the discussion. The first part of the focus group moderator’s guide should provide the background information needed to conduct the interview.

Start with the research objectives. Prepare your moderator's guide. The moderator's guide is the "script" that your focus group moderator or facilitator will use. In addition to the focus group questions, it can include any other information that should be shared during the focus groups, such as ground rules for the discussion.

How to Write a Research Paper. What is a research paper? A research paper is a piece of academic writing based on its author’s original research on a particular topic, and the analysis and interpretation of the research findings.

Thank you for coming. A focus group is a relaxed discussion.. Present the purpose. We are here today to talk about your teaching experiences since you participated in the Undergraduate Faculty Enhancement workshops.

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