WFU Focus Group Moderating Service

To help the Wake Forest community in its efforts to gain insights from focus groups, a volunteer team of WFU staff, experienced in focus group moderating has formed. The WFU staff who volunteer to help as facilitators are just that, volunteers.  Each is a full-time employee at Wake who does not have focus group facilitation as part of their job description.  They volunteer because they believe in the importance of qualitative research at Wake and want to help as their schedules allow.

Focus groups can be an excellent way to gather qualitative information on a variety of topics and for a number of reasons (e.g. service development or product review).  However, often they can be tricky to execute, particularly when it comes to running (moderating) the groups.

A moderator with “too much skin in the game” might be seen as defensive or having all the answers which can lead to shutting down the very conversations desired.  Proper focus group moderating draws out each group member (even the shy ones) to add diversity to the voices, manages the clock so all the research questions are raised, and probes for more details when needed.

While each research project is different, the moderators have agreed to provide the following estimated services on a project:

  • 1 hr prep with department/researcher requesting the service (“client”) to help refine questions and discuss general focus group strategy (perhaps over two, half hour meetings prior to conducting the focus group);
  • 1 hr focus group moderating; and
  • 1 hour debrief, discussing what they observed, including review final report (e.g. 30 minute debrief + 30 minute review of final report)

The client is responsible for:

  • initial question design;
  • participant recruitment;
  • arranging the date, time, and location of the group(s);
  • provide note-taker and/or transcription of group(s); and
  • draft initial and final reports.

Resources for Planning a Focus Group

Request a Focus Group Moderator

How Can I Become a Focus Group Moderator?