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on April 7, 2006 at 5:10:55 pm



Focus Group

A traditional focus group consists of a 90-120 minute discussion among 8-10 individuals, who have been selected based upon having predetermined common characteristics (i.e., buying behavior, age, income, family composition, etc.), which is led by a trained moderator who conducts the session in a room with a one-way mirror using an interview guide that has been developed jointly by the client organization and the moderator.


In an educational setting:

A focus group is an evaluation method which answers questions such as:


What are the logistical requirements?

What corrections must be made?

What enhancements can be made?

A focus group of students can elaborate or clarify the results of a questionnaire.

Questionnaires, interviews, and focus groups are three of the most frequently used strategies for collecting formative evaluation data.


The ideal size for a focus group is generally between 6 and 12 people. This size group encourages participants to contribute their ideas.



A mini-group is essentially the same as a traditional focus group except it generally will consist of 4-6 participants...and often will be somewhat shorter than 90 minutes in length.


Internet focus group

An Internet focus group is conducted entirely on the Internet, with participants recruited on line and brought together to participate under the direction of a moderator at the same time. All communication in the Internet focus group is implemented by the individuals typing responses to the moderator or the other participants. The number of people participating in these groups ranges from 5 to 15. Participants can be in any location to participate.


Telephone focus group

Telephone focus groups consist of a simultaneous conference call among 5-10 people that is monitored by a moderator who is charged with directing the discussion among the participants.Participants can be in any location to participate in telephone focus groups.


Individual in-depth interviews

(Individual in-depth interviews (IDI’s) are generally interviews lasting 30-60 minutes conducted by a moderator in a focus group facility with only one participant. Often there is a one-way mirror and observers watching the session. Occasionally IDI’s are conducted at a client’s office or a neutral location that might be more convenient for both parties.



Ethnography is the art and science of observing consumer behavior, and drawing conclusions based on the findings from these observations. This is typically conducted by a trained anthropologist or sociologist who attempts to draw conclusions about human behavior based on the actions of a limited number of people who are observed in a real world environment.not sure whether they both are belonged to focus groups) retrieved from: http://www.groupsplus.com/pages/Respect3.htm

The elements of focus groups

Format: Group session
Size: 8-12 per session; invite twice as many
Length: 1.5 to 2 hours
Number of sessions: Varies; should be more than 1
1. Selected; by invitation only
2. Similar characteristics
Forms of data:
1. Conversation, including tone of voice
2. Silences (words and issues)
3. Body language
Collection of Data
1. Audiotape
2. Transcribe
1. Flexible yet focused
2. Uses interview guide; modify based on early sessions
Formats for reporting:
1. Selected quotations
2. Analysis of repeated themes



Grudens-Schuck, N. , Lundy,B. A., and Larson, K., May 2004 focus group Fundamentals Iowa State University Extension. Retrieved April 5, 2006 from:


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