This simple activity helps you to keep an overview on how a group feels at different times during a workshop. You can find out what might need to be adjusted in the workshop design as a response to how the participants are feeling.
Goal/Learning Objective/Expected Output
Receive quick feedback from participants on a continuous basis. Find out if adjustments of the workshop design are needed on the go.
Way/level of dealing with subject at stake
Individual reflection, visualised expression of emotional status.
Application in moderation cycle
Throughout, especially to be checked after longer breaks or between modules.
Accompanying method, very short, repeatedly throughout a workshop.
mid-sized group (no bigger than 20 people)
Level of difficulty
Needs to occasionally remind the participants to move their cards/figures. No special skills are needed.
- Facilitation cards
- little figures that can be identified individually.
The method is meant to keep a visual overview of the group’s mood and feelings throughout a workshop. For that, various facilitation cards are each labelled with a feeling or states of mind/mood. These feeling cards should offer participants a variety for them to choose from. During breaks, participants are asked to put their chosen figure on their current feeling or mood. Every break they check again, if the figure still reflects their feelings or if they want to put it somewhere else.
The facilitator has two options for using this visual overview of the participants’ moods. S/he can summarise what can be seen or concluded from the mood board (makes sense especially after a break) and reflect that back to the group. This information can also be used to adjust the planning of the remaining programme. If, for example, many people have put their figure on ‘tired’ before a longer presentation is planned, it might be a good idea to change that item on the agenda with another, more active one.
Either way, the facilitator should ask the group if the suggestion for a change of agenda resonates with them or if they want to stick to the initial plan.
As a suggestion the adjectives you offer could be: happy, bored, focused, moody, relaxed, enthusiastic, nervous, tired, in flow, thoughtful, sad, inspired, hungry, grumpy.
Put some blank facilitation cards and a pen next to them, so that participants can add their own feelings.
Ask the group to reflect on how they perceived the individual and group changes of moods. Was there a particular pattern? What supported the participants in situations when they were low on energy or what could have supported them?