Designing and Conducting Focus Groups

2022 Focus Group dates and details will be announced soon!

2021 Dates

Session 1: January 11-12, 2021
Session 2: January 13-14, 2021
Session 3: April 5-6, 2021

About the Course

These two-day courses on designing and conducting focus groups are useful prior to, during and after programs, events or experiences. They are helpful in assessing needs, generating information, developing plans, testing new programs and ideas, improving existing programs and evaluating outcomes.

This course is an interactive, intensive (yet enjoyable) overview of focus group procedures that can be used in public and non-profit environments. Practical approaches to determining the appropriate use of focus group studies, design options, developing questions, recruiting participants, moderating skills, and analyzing and reporting results are emphasized.

Course Objectives

At the conclusion of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the process and procedures for planning successful focus group studies
  • Demonstrate ability to moderate focus groups
  • Develop workable and useful questions for focus group studies
  • Identify several strategies for analyzing focus group results

About the Instructors

Richard A. Krueger, PhD, is a University of Minnesota professor emeritus. He taught qualitative research methods and program evaluation and served as the evaluation leader for the University of Minnesota Extension Service for more than 20 years. Although trained as a quantitative researcher, Krueger teaches courses and workshops on focus group interviews throughout the United States and internationally.

Alicia Menanteau, PhD, is a University of Chicago trained sociologist. Menanteau is founder and president of Insights360, a qualitative research firm which is MBE- (Minority Business Enterprise) and WBENC- (Women’s Business Enterprise) certified. Menanteau has designed and executed in-person and virtual (online) research using a myriad of methods and techniques for international and domestic clients for over 20 years. Beyond past service as a visiting sociology professor at the University of South Carolina Upstate, Menanteau more typically is leading multilingual workshops and interactive presentations that bring research to life for clients, research colleagues and students.

Tentative Schedule

Due to the current pandemic, the focus group course will be offered in an online format. Students should still plan to participate in the course as if it was offered live and in-person. The course will have a mix of scheduled in-person zoom activities during the originally scheduled time frames with the addition of recorded lectures and online activities. Students can expect to use both Canvas and Zoom.

Day 1

8:30am Class Begins
Overview of Focus Groups
9:45am Break
A Focus Group Experience & Moderator Skills
11:00am Break
Moderator Skills continued
How Organizations are Using Focus Groups
12:00pm Lunch
1:00pm Asking Questions that Yield Powerful Information
2:00pm Break
Developing a Questioning Route
3:00pm Break
Analysis of Focus Groups – Part 1
4:00pm Individual Consultations & Questions
4:30pm Adjourn

Day 2

8:30am Practice Sessions
10:30am Break
Analysis of Focus Groups – Part 2
12:00pm Lunch
1:00pm Analysis continued
2:00pm Break
Selecting, Inviting, Incentives:
Focus Group Participants – Getting People to Attend
3:00pm Break
Special Problems with Focus Groups
Equipment, Environment & Participants
Determining the Cost of a Focus Group Study
Reporting Focus Group Results
Summary & Evaluation
4:00pm Individual Consultations & Questions
4:30pm Adjourn

Non-Credit Continuing Education Registration


The registration fee for this two-day workshop is $595. You will receive an email letter outlining program logistics two weeks prior to the start of the workshop.

Requests for refunds will be honored in full if a written cancellation request is received 7 days prior to the course date. After that date, a $50 administration fee will be charged to all refund requests. The Centers for Public Health Education and Outreach (CPHEO) reserves the right to cancel any course. In the event of a course cancellation, registrants will receive a full refund of the program registration fee. CPHEO is not responsible for refund of travel or other costs incurred by registrants.

The Centers for Public Health Education and Outreach will provide a certificate of attendance verifying 1.5 CEUs (15 contact hours) offered for this program.

Graduate Credit Option

Admitted Students:
Participants admitted to a University of Minnesota degree program will follow University of Minnesota registration procedures for spring semester. The course is PubH 7250 and is offered for one semester graduate credit.

View Registration Form (PDF)

Non Admitted Students:
Participants who are not admitted to a University of Minnesota degree program may also register for graduate credit. Complete the form above, scan and email to Meghan Taylor, who will complete your registration for the course. Parts 1, 2, and 4 of the form must be completed by the student. Non-admitted students must make arrangements for University of Minnesota credit by January 4, 2021, or March 29, 2021 depending on which session you choose. If you have questions or need help registering, please email Meghan Taylor at


You will be billed for tuition and fees through your University of Minnesota student account. Other student fees may apply depending upon your student status and credit load for spring semester. Tuition and fees for students enrolled in other University of Minnesota colleges and departments apply.

Enrollment is limited. Early registration is encouraged.

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