Designing and Facilitating Focus Groups

In order to design and facilitate your Focus Group, you need to propose a topic and plan, work with a faculty mentor, and create the Focus Group syllabus. Focus Group facilitators must be current CHID majors or minors* and can facilitate no more than two Focus Groups:

  • Write a one paragraph summary of your proposed Focus Group topic, share it with and request a CHID professor/instructor to be your faculty mentor (note that UW graduate students cannot serve as primary mentors), and then meet with your mentor to discuss and further refine/develop your topic and plan.

Focus Group plans need to include a clear statement of the topic/theme, learning objectives, guiding questions, and a brief list of texts and other materials. Be sure to maintain a clear focus and keep the scope of the Focus Group within reasonable limits. 

  • Once you have finalized your Focus Group proposal and have received your faculty mentor's approval, complete and submit the online Focus Group Form (UW NetID login required). The CHID Director must approve all Focus Group proposals. Submitted proposals are automatically forwarded to the director for approval.
  • Working with your faculty mentor, create a syllabus for your focus group. This should include a list of texts, reading assignments, and requirements. Two-credit Focus Groups should involve 6 hours of work each week, including time in the classroom, time devoted to reading and writing assignments, and time working on assigned projects.

Participating students will evaluate each Focus Group, and instructors and academic advisors will receive copies of the evaluation.

For additional information, review the CHID Focus Group Handbook, produced by a group of CHID students in Spring 2012, and updated in Autumn 2012.

*Exceptions may be made at the CHID Director's discretion, who may request that the proposed facilitator present their topic to CHIDposium for approval.