How To Conduct An eLearning Focus Group Successfully

elearning focus groupAn elearning focus group is a great way to do some research for an online course. It is a source of information that can assist you while designing or developing a new learning material. While the main concern will be the content, you also have to consider how you will deliver it. You will effectively increase the success rate of the course if you can choose the right strategy that will boost the learning experience of the participants.

Of course, a focus group is not as simple as gathering or talking to a lot of people and asking questions. You want to make sure that you know how to conduct this group so you can get the information that you need without wasting valuable time and effort. If you do this correctly, you can get started on creating the elearning course.

Here are a few tips that will help you conduct the focus group for the online course you are developing.

  • Know the objective of the focus group. The objectives will help you pinpoint the challenges that you need to overcome as you create the course. These challenges will influence the type of information that you will get from the focus group. To get the objective of the focus group, you have to map out the course first and try to anticipate what the participants will be expecting from it. This is how you will know what areas the group can help you develop. Their feedback will allow you to make the right choices so you can create a course that they would want to learn from.
  • Think about who you will include in the focus group. Obviously, a focus group consists a select number of people who represent the interests of the participants as a whole. You need to be careful in making your selection. The qualifications will depend on your objectives. A great way to start is to choose a representative from the different demographics of the expected audience of your online course (men, women, young, old, etc). Your focus group can also include people who are knowledgeable of the subject matter that has to be discussed. In the workplace, you can tap into the opinion of managers who can give you their expert opinion about what the course needs. Try to get the opinion of people who know the subject matter and those who don’t. That should also be a great way to get a diverse set of information from the focus group.
  • Schedule different meetings with the focus group. Usually, a focus group should be more than two. However, you need to make sure that the number of people will still be manageable. If you have enough time, schedule a different session with the men and another for the women. Or you can separate the managers from the employees. That way, employees will not be conscious of speaking out their minds. The same is true for the other members of the focus group.
  • Plan the meeting with the focus group. First of all, try to come up with the right venue, time frame and agenda for the meeting. The time should not be too long – maybe an hour. This should be enough to get a lot of information without being too long that the engagement becomes low. You should also time the meeting so that it will not be rushed. That means this should be scheduled way before the due date of the elearning course. For the agenda, this should be done beforehand. These will include questions and sample portions of the course that you want the focus group to comment on. Prepare the survey form and questionnaires and distribute them at the end of the meeting.

If you follow these tips, you can really get a lot of information from the elearning focus group. This will help you create a great online course that can meet all your learning objectives.

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