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Trainers and participants start the seminar with very different expectations. Therefore, it is needed for all involved persons to share at the beginning of the training their expectations. In this way, trainers and participants can agree upon certain things and disappointments can be avoided.

Time 45 minutes

Material Standard

Group Size ca. 20 people

Keywords expectations, cards, start




Also interesting:


The aim is to make expectations of participants and facilitators regarding content and cooperation transparent, to consider and integrate them.


1. Individual work: The participants are asked to note down their own expectations regarding the seminar as on cards (1-3 keywords only on each card). [10 minutes]

2. Plenum: The cards are read aloud and sticked on a poster, which can be prepared before. The participants have the possibility to comment them and put them one after another in an order concerning the topic. [35 to 45 minutes]

3. The trainer summarizes expectations and comments, and adds the expectations of the trainers. [10 minutes]

4. Discussion and negotiation in the plenum. The aim is to reach a consensus in terms of the planning of the seminar. If necessary and possible, the program is going to be adjusted.

What's relevant?


Show the aspects to what the learners should add their expectations. This clarification helps to give more precise feedback. More: Planning


Expectations are important information at the begin of a learning process and also for evaluation in between (formative evaluation) or at the end of a programme. When evaluating the seminar trainers and participants should fall back on the expectations to check in how far they have been fulfilled.

More: Evaluation


The sum of results or achievements which participants intend to reach on different levels.


They are different to needs - the requirements which learners have in order to be able to work toward achievements.

Both need to be considered.


It is open how much the trainers should position themselves in this early stage of the seminar regarding different comments.

+ Transparency what expectations will be covered by the programme and giving participants the opportunity to discuss and negotiate

- Participants might be inhibited to bring in their own, possibly completely different expectations.

Variation: Expectation Box

Use instead of a plenum an expectation box: Participants do their cards inside anonymously. Then trainers might evaluate them later during their planning sessions. Or small groups of participants go through the cards and summarize the mentioned aspects.