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You, your institution or school, and your participants have different preferences and expectations regarding the common learning process. Planning is the art of developing a plan for structured and goal-oriented learning, considering the diverse expectations and needs of stakeholders, activating the qualities in a group, and ensuring that all of its parts gain from the common process.


A learning process consists of the standard elements described in detail in the During section. No matter if it lasts several days, several hours, or only one hour, the working conditions need to be clarified, or learners need to be enabled to involve their qualities, curiosity and expertise.

At several stages of a longer process they also need opportunities to reflection on their needs, questions and experiences, and also to assess their learning during the process (formative evaluation). A final evaluation focuses on the learning outcome, its relevance for their future and on the evaluation of the learning process they were involved in. Finally, learners and facilitators need to describe learning outcome or competence development.

Five Process Dynamics in a Workshop or Training

Planning a workshop or seminar means taking into account different process dynamics. The learning as an activity is curricular, the group dynamics is evolving, the topical concept is structured, creative thinking requires methodological alternation.

#1 Curricular Nature of Learning


The first is the curricular nature of learning as a circle between experience, reflection and conceptualization, Therefore, a process needs to foresee place for regular experience and regular reflection/assessment. In this picture, the red stripes symbolize regular self-observation and reasoning phases.

#2 Divergence and Convergence


Second, a learning process is oscillating between two opposite ways of thinking. Divergent thinking opens the mind to different impulses - rather open-ended and explorative. Convergent thinking is narrowing our thinking. It's logical and directed toward a conclusion or result. The interplay between divergence and convergence characterizes the whole process and also explains the dynamics in smaller units on a micro-level. One approach to satisfy dimensions is to mix and alternate methodology.

#3 Content Order


Third, the order of the topical aspects of a learning event shapes the process, often in a linear way. The topical string is often the only clearly-described program aspect. For example, in a program schedule this includes key aspects of a day, of a part of a day, or of a unit.

#4 Group Dynamics


Fourth, the group dynamics need to be taken into consideration. In particular, when a group is starting together, the phases of group development claim their space from group formation to storming, then norming toward finding into a performing mode. In order to achieve this, consider the idea of Cooperative Learning, team building measures at the beginning and recognize, that probably higher group performance will be possible during the later steps of a process.

#5 Competence development


At the end the workshop, lecture or longer educational programme should support the participants' acquisition of competences. Check:

  • Do the planned elements address the most relevant specific (sub) competences - knowledge, attitudes, values, skills?
  • Does this plan empower participants in the sense of supporting self-development and does it offer enough qualitative opportunities to participation and co-creation?


Resources: Handbooks

Resources: Planning and organizing

Quality and criteria

Apps and Tools: Creating Texts Together, Collaborating


Erasmus + and EU: Useful Links