With the GutCheck tool, moderators are given 30 minutes to get through their objectives. We’ve even included a timer that flashes yellow at 10 minutes left and red at 5 minutes left. Yet it’s common for moderators, even those who are very experienced, to lose track of time. In those instances, the best thing you can do is follow your objectives, not feel pressure to stick strictly to your guide.
Regarding both objectives and stimuli, the guide is often broken into sections of questions. So, in a case where a moderator might be showing 3 separate concept statements and then gauging reactions, the moderator can anticipate 3 separate sections of questions. It should be the moderator’s prerogative to watch the clock to give roughly equal amounts of time to each section.
For example, assuming that we devote 3-5 min to an introduction and a wrap-up/conclusion, a moderator is roughly left with 20 minutes of time to cover their objectives. If you know you have 3 pieces of stimuli to get through with probing, you should watch the clock and allow ~7 min of attention to each. During those 7 min, moderators should focus on answering objectives rather than sticking to the guide verbatim. This may mean skipping other portions of the guide – and that’s ok.
One way to make this easier on yourself might be to keep a printed out guide, with questions highlighted by objective, near you while you moderate. This way, you can get a feel for your pacing as you start to conduct chats on a new guide!
For more tips on online moderating, check out our support page. Happy chatting! B-)
About the Author
Elizabeth is an Online Research Strategist at GutCheck. She likes ghosts.