How to order questions for a focus group

Back to Library Back to Library

How to order questions for a focus group

How to plan and run a focus group explains all the steps in planning and running a focus group. This 'How to' is intended to help you order the questions that you want to ask.

Remember! When you are developing your questions keep them SOO good (SOO = Short, Open-ended and One-at-a-time).  (By the way, we invented SOO. There has to be a book and a consultancy in it. #TasCOSS!)

Hint: An example of an open-ended question is ‘what was your experience of working with the counsellor?’ Closed questions ask for ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers. A closed question is ‘was working with the counsellor good?’

Here is how to organise your questions: 1

  1. Opening questions. These are ice-breakers to get people comfortable. They should be easy to answer. 
    Eg: Can you tell us your first name and when you started using our program?
  2. Transition questions. Provide a link between the introductory question and the key questions. 
    Eg: Think back to when you first became involved in the program. What were your first impressions?
  3. Key questions. These focus on the major areas of concern. They take the majority of the time in the focus group. 
    Eg: In what way is your life different because of your participation in the program?
  4. Ending question. These bring the session to a close.
    Eg: Is there anything else that we should have talked about, but didn’t?