Assessment, Evaluation, and Testing

Focus groups are a qualitative data collection tool to gather information about perspectives or points of view from a particular group setting. It is used for accessing a broader range of view on a specific topic.

A focus group is constituted by 8 to 10 participants, a facilitator or moderator and the note-taker. Focus groups foster different points of view and perceptions that are used to gather information for discovery, evaluating, bench marking, verifying feelings, opinions and thoughts (Patton, 1990).

At MDC focus groups are useful to investigate the effectiveness of a particular strategy, and to explore new ways to improve processes in the academic and student support services. The purpose of the focus group should be clear and identifiable that qualitative data is the best option.

  • Faculty, staff and administrators who need assistance with focus groups are encouraged to submit an IE Service Request form.
  • It is responsibility of the focus groups administrator to seek the MDC Institutional Research Board (IRB) approval. IRB approval is usually needed when the purpose of the focus group is to conduct research using human subjects and the results may be published in a journal or presented at a conference. Please review MDC’s IRB website for additional information.
  • Focus groups administered at the College must have the support from the appropriated Academic and/or Student Dean responsible for the area.

For additional information please contact the Director of Assessment, Evaluation, and Testing, Silvio Rodriguez

Focus Group Resources

Visit our Sharepoint Focus Group resources page on Sharepoint, for more information.