UWSC Senior Project Director Ken Croes to Moderate QUALPOR Learning Bursts Panel on Online Focus Groups

UWSC Senior Project Director Ken Croes will moderate a panel on online focus groups for QUALPOR, the qualitative affinity group of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR). The panel, which will be held as part of the QUALPOR Learning Bursts initiative, is titled “Online Focus Groups: A Panel Discussion of Current Best Practices.”

Please see the event description below and register with the following link: https://uwmadison.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eQC8dHY4GVxHpUa


  • Cynthia Robins, PhD, Senior Study Director at Westat
  • Alisú Schoua-Glusberg, PhD, Principal at Research Support Services
  • Andrew Stavisky, PhD, Assistant Director of the Applied Research and Methods Group at the U.S. Government Accountability Office

Panel date: Feb. 24, 2022, 12:00–1:00 pm Eastern Time


In this panel discussion, researchers with extensive experience conducting synchronous online focus groups will take stock of this moment and share their insights and expertise on the current best practices. They will cover a range of issues, including considerations for deciding whether to do online or in-person groups, which videoconference platforms and features they use; and how they moderate and build rapport, lower tech barriers to participate, and decide how many participants to recruit to online focus groups compared with in-person groups. There will be time for Q&A.


By the end of this panel session, attendees should be able to discuss:

– Considerations for choosing between in-person versus online focus groups

– Videoconference platforms available for online focus groups and features to use

– Moderating and building rapport in online focus groups

– Lowering online tech barriers for participants

– Considerations when deciding the number of participants to recruit to online focus groups

Suggested readings ahead of the event:

Lobe, Bojana, David Morgan, and Kim A. Hoffman. 2020. “Qualitative Data Collection in an Era of Social Distancing.” International Journal of Qualitative Methods. 19:1-8. DOI: 10.1177/1609406920937875

Roberts, J. Kessa, Alexandra E. Pavlakis, and Meredith P. Richards. 2021. “It’s More Complicated Than It Seems: Virtual Qualitative Research in the COVID-19 Era.” International Journal of Qualitative Methods. 20:1-13. DOI: 10.1177/16094069211002959