Moderation cards

"Moderation cards" is a flexible tool that can be used for inquiring about participants' expectations, gathering their experiences, evaluating the course, or in any situation where the trainer wishes to gain or summarise the group's experience, opinions, questions, ideas, or suggestions.

< 24 pers.

20 - 45 min.

A5 cardboard cards in different colors

Outline

The trainer presents the topic and gives each participant (or each group) three to five cardboard cards on which the participants write their answers or opinions. They write only one statement on each card. If this task is carried out in groups, each group first discusses the possible responses and then agrees upon a number of statements to write on its cards. The possible number of statements per group is flexible, but the total number of responses should not exceed 30, otherwise it will be difficult to further organise the information.

The trainer collects the cards, groups the statements according to their content, and pins them to the wall. Each group of cards on the wall is given a heading. The trainer then presents the headings and statements to the whole group. In the next step ambiguous responses can be clarified, cards can be moved, headings can be adjusted, missing information can be added, or statements can be ordered according to their relevance.

The information collected in this exercise can be used to launch further discussions and to provide structure for the work to come.

Moderation cards

Comment

This tool is widely popular in German-speaking countries, where it is known by the name Metaplan. The advantage of this tool is that it involves everybody in the process -- even the "silent" group members -- and offers a practical way for structuring the results and presenting each response within the bigger picture.

The trainer may use a weak adhesive tape or Blue Tack (a kind of sticky gum that sticks to nearly any surface and can easily be removed) for sticking the cards to the wall or board. Sticky notes are not a good alternative because they are too small and responses can therefore not be seen from a distance. 10x15cm is a reasonable size for the cards. Using different colours, forms, and sizes of cards offers even more possibilities for grouping and structuring information.