Dynamic Research

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A very effective "4-minutes questionnaire" for the beginning of a training.

Time 20 minutes

Material Standard

Group Size 20 people

Keywords expectations





The aim is to share the expectations of participants regarding goals content and methods before a seminar starts working intensively. This allows planning of the seminar according to the needs of the participants.


1. Divide the group into 4 smaller groups. If you have a large group, you can also make two times four groups with two groups working on the same questions.

2. Each group gets one question to do research about. Questions could be:

  • What must happen here, so you leave this training satisfied?
  • What do you think about the question of ...?
  • How deep is the knowledge about the issue...?
  • What do I expect from my trainers?

After each group gets one of the questions, make sure that they understand, that they not only have to answer themselves but they have to conduct a representative research in the whole group.

3. The time is as follows:

  • Preparation time for the research: 4 minutes
  • Research itself: 4 minutes
  • Preparation of the presentations of the results: 4 minutes
  • Presentation of the results: 2 minutes

As trainer you are the timekeeper. Depending on the group it can be longer or sometimes even a minute shorter. All of the phases happen simultaneously except the last one (presentation of the results), in which one group presents after the other.

Matthias Haberl

Matthias Haberl.jpg

Project manager for the Austrian development organisation Südwind, freelance trainer, facilitator and author of handbooks and on Competendo.


It is a quick and dynamic method that makes the participants work intensely together already from the very beginning. Sometimes the results are a bit superficial. Then it is your task to ask after the presentations the right questions.