In our recent webinar, “Engaging Online Participants: 10 Tips to Getting the Most Out of Your Online Focus Group”, we received over a hundred questions meaning we couldn’t answer them all on the spot. In addition to a follow-up session (details to be announced soon), here are answers to the five most common ones posed during the webinar.
Q. Please recap points 1-10 quickly to drill it home for us.
A. Here are the ten tips at a glance, and if you’d like more, there is a Best Practice guide that you can download for future reference.
- Check your lighting
- Look and talk to the webcam
- Take time to build rapport at the outset
- Guide people through the conversation
- Screenshare is a versatile visual aid
- Turn-taking allows everyone to have a say
- Raise hands or immediate comments
- Don’t forget to probe
- Use intentional silence
- One more thing (is there anything else you’d like to share)
Q. What’s your preferred group size? What’s optimal for engagement across participants?
A. In general, we recommend 4-6 participants for an online session. Any more, you’ll struggle with engagement and even just managing the flow of the group. I personally prefer to be on the lower end with 4, maybe 5 participants, but it may come down to your preferences, the focus group length (whether sixty or ninety minutes), and also how much you have to cover in the session.
Q. Why use InterVu over a free platform such as Zoom?
A. There are two key considerations here. The first is data security. Zoom, and similar tools, are video conferencing and webcam platforms that aren’t required to adhere to the stringent data security protocols that we need for research purposes. This is both true for the live session as well as the ensuing recording. Secondly, while the other platforms do have many useful features, such as screen share, they don’t have all the features of a dedicated research platform, such as the client backroom. To read more, see Why InterVu Solution Sheet.
Q. When a participant is making markups on stimuli, do the other participants see that? Can you limit what each participant sees?
A. When a participant uses the Draw tools to mark up stimuli in InterVu, those marks can be seen by all attendees in real-time and captured in the recording as well. If preferred, these types of exercises can be uninfluenced by using a feature called ‘Breakout Rooms.’ This essentially creates a separate room for each participant to work independently on an activity without being able to see other participants. The Moderator can jump into each breakout room to see/speak with the individual participant while they are completing their work as well.