Enhancing the potential of Focus Groups
Focus groups are used regularly in qualitative research, but sometimes under-used in that the potential of this method is under-estimated. Focus groups can be much more than lightly structured group interviews, instead creating vibrant spaces for dialogue in contentious fields, allowing participants not just to articulate what they know, but also to know more critically through the communal exchange. The emphasis in this course is on how focus groups can be used as a constructive method particularly well suited to inclusive/participatory/transformative research designs.
The day will include aspects of how to organise an effective focus group, but the primary focus will be on going beyond traditional focus groups by incorporating enriching features such as video stimulus, communal activities and repeated focus groups in iterative cycles. The tutor will draw on her experience of facilitating different kinds of focus groups for different purposes and participants.
This one-day course provides opportunities to share practical experiences, distil insights, and learn about new possibilities. There will be activities to support skill development and prompt discussion. Course participants will be offered templates for planning focus groups. We will also address the types of analysis that make best use of focus group data.
The tutor draws on her own experience in facilitating focus groups to present options including:
We will discuss such issues as:
By the end of the course participants will:
This intermediate level course is relevant to anyone wanting to explore the potential of focus groups as a social science research method. It is accessible for all researchers and particularly useful for those researching in professional contexts such as education, social work and health or researchers working with marginalised groups including children and disabled people.
26th April 2018
This is provisional : TBC
10.00 Arrival and coffee
10.15 Introductions: To ourselves and our experience of focus group
10.30 Activity: Starting a focus group and establishing rapport
11.00 Input & discussion: Why use focus groups?
11.30 Exploring examples: Enriching features for less articulate participants (including activities within FGs)
12.00 Exploring examples: Focus groups as co-production (including repeated FGs, power dynamics)
12.30 Question and answer forum
13.45 Input & discussion: Stimulating recall, reflection and dialogue (including photo and video options)
14.30 Activity: working with planning templates
15.15 Input & discussion: Analysing focus group data
15.45 Helpful resources
The fee per day is:
Full refund for cancellation two weeks before the course, NO refunds can be made after this date.