module 18: focus groups

module 18: focus groups

  • module 18: focus groups
    10/09/2020 - 17/09/2020
    9:30 am - 12:45 pm
    Thu 10/09: 9:30 am - 11:00 am | online web lecture
    Thu 17/09: 9:30 am - 12:45 pm | online Q&A

Course details

week 1 & 2 | register now


This highly interactive seminar reviews the theory and practice of focus group methods, and demonstrates how researchers can use focus groups to understand the issues, needs and ideas of particular groups (community groups, audiences, stakeholders, residents, users, customers, etc.). Participants will learn more about the history and theory of focus groups. Practical approaches to determining the appropriate use of focus group studies, design options, developing interview questions, recruiting participants, and moderating skills will be emphasized. This workshop will focus on the skills and knowledge needed to plan, implement, conduct and moderate focus groups. The morning session will focus on theoretical aspects of conducting focus groups and will include practical tips on how to design and conduct focus group studies (e.g. Questions of how to develop workable questions, how to recruit participants, how to plan a focus group study will be emphasized). The afternoon session will focus on the practical aspects of conducting and moderating focus groups. Participants will be able to practice their skills in terms of designing interview questions and moderating a focus group. They will also give each other feedback afterwards.

Course structure

After attending the seminar, participants are able to:

  • understand and explain the potential and limitations of focus groups as data collection methods
  • develop workable and useful research questions for focus group studies
  • describe the process and procedures for planning, designing and implementing successful focus group studies
  • demonstrate the ability to moderate focus groups


Basic knowledge of qualitative research methods is an advantage but not a requirement.


Dorien Brosens is Assistant Professor at the Department of Educational Sciences (VUB) where she coordinates research into learning and participation of prisoners. She has been involved in various national and European participatory research projects within prisons. Besides, she has experiences with both quantitative (e.g. surveys) and qualitative methods (e.g. focus group interviews, in-depth interviews). She also guides workshops and courses about focus group interviews at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and for professionals active within correctional institutions.

Venue   online

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