Pilot course qualitative evaluation– based on each partner’s analysis

In this chapter we present a compilation of feedback derived from all partners surrounding the development of the pilot courses as well as associated aspects that are not reflected in the evaluation form. The reflections also included the aspect related to the development of the Pilot courses (perspective of partners as trainers) and also their identification of improvements needed on the materials tested

From the Czech Republic, and Portugal, it became clear to us, that many aspects of positive psychology are already being used very actively, hence many of ideas behind the tools are not new to them in this sense. We also learned that social workers in the Czech Rep. and Portugal are very careful about using tools that have a “psychological” aspect. They expressed concerns, that the use of some of the tools might create some sort of psychological reaction, that they as professionals are not equipped to deal with. The Czech pilot course participants suggested narrowing the scope of the tools in order to avoid possible psychological trauma which they are not qualified to handle. An example of this could be using the “Circle of happiness” to analyse work opportunities rather than one’s whole life. Adaptations to the tools, to cater for these needs have been discussed in the consortium.

During the workshops, the following observations were collected by the workshop facilitators whilst testing the tools/during the workshops:

Individual and group contract 

  • OK (minor changes and suggestions)
  • Important to start each session with clarification of what will happen during the session. Where are we now, and which steps will we take, and where will we end up.

Value cards

  • the perception of pictures is dependent on cultural background; we can use it, but we risk that a person with different cultural background will understand it quite different; it is nevertheless possible to explain in discussions, not a grave problem
  • Do not mirror when a person is explaining their values – just listen and let them speak.
  • more detailed instructions; need to clarify more to have the real perception on the goals;

Values by Self- Assessment

  • Wheel: choose a coherent numeric value range for the Wheel, so that the scheme matches the values 1-10 of the participants.
  • In tested version the current Wheel’s values are from 0 to 10, whilst the participants had to use the values from 1 to 10; Divide this activity in present form in two: Part I and Part II.
  • Part I – questions from 1 to 4 and the definition of the goals;
  • Part II – some of the persons that tested the activity believe that in most cases it is too soon to explore the part on HOW, WHEN, WHAT…. This being one of the first activities in the Toolbox, they suggested that Part II should be explored according to the different groups and timing.
  • Regarding the values group discussions: trainer must not mirror what the participants are saying. Let them say what they associate with the image. But do not repeat or try to analyse/copy what is being said. Just listen.
  • The group activity is a good activity, as the sharing in the group inspires the others to think about their own associations to what is being said, get insight into other’s values in order to work on the development of their own future goals and values.
  • Using the word VALUE/S: Everyone can talk about values, not difficult to find words to describe them. There are no right answers. Perhaps the use of the word “values” should be re-evaluated, perhaps expand to talk about a good experience/memory from your (participant) past/present.
  • Sensitive ISSUE: Groups of young adults who are socially vulnerable may have difficulties sharing with others for fear of “losing face”. it is important that the person leading this activity has won their trust, or that they feel comfortable in the group.
  • Talking about those experiences that are positive in your life can help you get an insight in your future plans.

Strength cards

  • a useful tool to clarify conditions and possibilities of future growth; we can recommend especially in case the client does not have any concrete idea about his/her future occupation (No. 3 Solitaire)
  • They would like to test with clients from Arabic environment – is it possible to translate cards in Arabic?
  • Difficult to play solitaire, the participants felt discomfort in having to “rank” their strengths. Perhaps we need to rethink the name of the character strengths game “solitaire”. Participants felt very/quite uncomfortable having to sort their strengths from best to less good they found it difficult, too complex, and felt like they had to leave something out.
  • They felt more comfortable in choosing only 5-7 cards, and explaining why they felt they represented them best, then choose 3 more, as a supplement to their strengths.
  • More detailed instructions needed;
  • Need very detailed and specific instructions for printing the cards;
  • Include a technical guide for printing; You must find advanced settings for printing. When printing the pages, ensure that you print on both sides and choose the option; flip over the shorter edge.
  • Review and correct the text on the cards. Some of them are not correct and are different from the VIA questionnaire – at the basis of strength identification, which is an American version, and may happen that when translating from English to Portuguese that sme of the meaning changes. But we need to keep in mind here, that it is not supposed to be the same text on the cards and the VIA activity. We have made our own version of the strengths in the strength cards.
  • Some of the participants believed that the words and explanations should be similar; this cannot be achieved, it is not possible to copy the text from the VIA text. (copyright etc)
  • Size of the DK cards are not the same as the CZ versions.
  • Make the image larger, with smaller margin. (same size as before)
  • The larger sizes of the cards should all be available for all languages, in identical sizes and layout. Important as the images will be too small with the smaller versions of the cards.

Strength cards images (blind test)

A blind test was carried out on the images for the strength cards, and we received the following reactions (only images that need changing are included here, the rest are ok):

  • Perspective; “Two people talking” image: doesn’t reflect a strength –suggest replacing it with the image of two people looking out over a landscape. Mette is finding a suitable image.
  • Curiosity; testing persons guessed that this image was for the perspective strength, needs to be changed.
  • Forgiveness; looks nice but identified as love
  • Love of learning; change to two boys reading books
  • Self-regulation: don’t understand the image, inner regulation (the one with dogs and cat better) – the picture is contradicting itself
  • Spirituality; should not reflect religiousness
  • Hope; can’t see it, too dark, can’t see water and snow – new suggestion plant growing. Is also optimism.
  • Leadership; the coach needs to be more in focus
  • Appreciation of beauty; too dark, comment was made: maybe he is thinking he will commit suicide?
  • Gratitude; it’s “cold” looks like praying.. suggestion to replace with an image of someone giving a gift or a glass of water (possible to use the image from humility here instead)
  • Perseverance; not very clear what this represents, perhaps find an image with a marathon runner close to the finish line – masculine and sport.
  • Zest; Good – but would rather see a child on a trampoline or something along those lines
  • Love; don’t see the heart – didn’t like it (it looked like blood)- suggestion to replace with two persons, in relation with each other. (not man and woman)
  • Humility – perhaps a Tibetan monk instead?
  • Prudence; perhaps something fragile – (in Danish, change the text on the back to “fornuft og omtanke”)
  • Honesty; Add “troværdighed” to the Danish version

Success stories

  • More detailed instructions would be needed

Strength spotting

  • Review the questions. Some of the questions are quite similar and very/quite hard to distinguish among them and to thus what to answer. Coneqt and MYO suggest removing the questions and describe the activity; explain the strength and place the card corresponding to the strength on the table.

VIA Character Strengths Test

  • more detailed instructions; more detailed suggestions about how to explore/combine this VIA test with the Solitaire; We need to make it clearer, that the strength cards and the VIA test are 2 different self-assessment methods, which cater to 2 different learning styles, hence they are not the same and should not be exactly the same. Suggest, if possible, that the test is taken first.
  • Regarding; a comment that there is no need to register the Top 5 strengths – The test is on line and the participants will get the result (on paper or pdf file) For the online version: if it’s not possible to print, the hand out can be used to register the order of the strengths, or the order of the strength cards. This will help clients to remember the order in which they placed their strengths.

Wheel of Life

  • Maybe not suitable to (analyse) the whole life of clients especially refugees; they do not have many reasons to perceive dimensions of their lives positively at the moment, so the graphics will most probably put them in depression. We will have to refer to the description of the activity, where it is explained ow to use this activity. Perhaps we need to underline, that it is not an activity which places focus on 9 being better than 3 etc, rather an activity which focuses on visualising where the individual is right now and where he or she would like to go.
  • Possible solution: the same as before – in some cases, to use it only to analyse a certain segment of life, use it as a motivational tool (e. g. work, living, language learning, etc.)
  • Otherwise, it is possible to use it more widely – e. g. when choosing school or kindergarten for children, etc. (factors: distance, language used at school, happiness of children, etc.) This could correspond to pros and cons list making.

Assessment for options for future jobs

  • It is good in case the client does not have a clear professional specialization; it can help to clarify the type of personality in the process of looking for future occupation (indsæt I purpose of exercise)
  • When tested on unemployed youths (18 years): They did not feel it changed that much for them, and their perception of future career paths, although it may have confirmed what they already thought.
  • 1: Suggestion: the trainer reads the content, and the activity is completed in plenum. Whilst testing in small groups, we received the following feedback:
  • Difficult to understand what needed to be done. Took a while to understand the TOL acronym was for tools… not all the acronym make sense, also see People-PER.
  • Change some of the text in instructions; give more simple instructions; e.g. replace Professions dreams and write only Professions desired
  • We need to include guiding Qs to each step: why should they do this activity? How do we talk about the activity?
  • Change some of the professions in the table – Step 3;
  • There is no such thing as a meat cutter in English, perhaps we mean a butcher?
  • Improve the instructions along the activity – it is very long and complex. For example: at the end of step 4 give the instruction to check the professions according to the Code. Instead of a code, perhaps write the whole word, eg instead of TOL – TOOLS and in smaller font
  • Step 2: score chart to be completed directly after to make it less confusing in the end. One step at a time, followed by sum up activity after each step. The score is calculated for step 2 directly after filling out step 2.
  • Result profile: Transfer results from step 2 (line 2) to the last activity (step 4).
  • Something needs to be explained on the sum up activity of step 4.
  • After the 3 highest values at the end of activity; we need to create a link between professions dreams and results profile. Do they see a connection, or what is it we want them to realise here?
  • Title of activity: 4 steps to identify future career paths (remove “4 steps to identify future” from the title) – new title; Future career paths
  • Do not understand observations/suggestions text on p 47 – the information is divergent. Please elaborate?
  • Info text: connect “interest” to working with “values”.
  • In the dk version we can link to the online tool: job compass
  • Thicker border lines around the job categories – visually confusing.

SWOT Analysis

  • Well-known, the trainers have used it for years
  • This tool is used already by the technicians, we propose to replace it/complete it/ give the possibility to use another analysis that explores Skills – Tree of Skills HOWEVER: the SWOT works, and it can be used, even if we already know it, it is not unnecessary as a tool.

Learning Positive Emotions:

  • replace the word Teacher;
  • improve the instructions/give more details;
  • 4.1.1. is too complex. There are different emotions/theories presented – Paul Ekman and Barbara Fredrikson, and there is no explanation about them, only the definition of some of them (quite confusing); PT suggest keeping only Barbara Fredrikson. add another Handout with suggestions of positive sentences to use in the activity;

Support Network

  • Some participants in the training think that this would not appear suitable to recommend for work with refugees and migrants as, for instance, they risk to only strengthen their dependency on the ethnic community and weaken their capacity for being independent and the ability to become integrate into the society
  • May need to be explained how to use in particular with refugees, to find out who can help them OUTSIDE their familiar network.
  • More detailed and specific instructions, for other issues?
  • Replace the diagram, very hard to fill and it does not appear very relevant;
  • Change some of the questions


  • Lots of questions regarding the ABC Model and its relationship with the activity; this activity really needs to be discussed with the partners. When the activity was tried in Denmark it was quite different
  • Where to describe the situations – positive and negative? How will the participants explore these situations? There is no place to register any reflections or conclusions;
  • there are a lot of handouts in this activity but it’s quite hard to understand how and when they can be used and related to the diamond;

Tolerance to the Differences

  • The images presented are well known to participants from Portugal and used in many contexts; to maintain this activity we should really change the pictures; UCP and SCML have some activities to propose

Goal Setting

  • A helpful activity, and can be combined with other activities
  • Minor adjustments to the text are needed.

Time management

  • This activity is still missing in Toolbox and we really believe there should be one concerning this important issue; SCML and UCP have some activities to propose.

Wrap-up activity

  • Replace or complement this activity with the one we experienced in Denmark (the diagram that sums up all the explored values, strengths, goals, strategies, timings, etc.). With this, the participants can have all the information accessible and in the same place (much more visual).
  • Sum-up activities should be added to Toolbox for each respective dimension and a Final sum-up activity for the end of the entire session. (total 4 sum up activities). Mette has created these documents and can be added to the toolbox.

Other comments

  • SCML and UCP suggested to add one more dimension: Decision making. With this dimension we would like to introduce the SMARTE Model activity and the Action Plan
  • The introduction to Toolbox is now in the Conceptual Framework. But in DK participants noted that it belongs to the Toolbox and should be moved to there.
  • All partners need to do a read-through of all materials, to ensure that the formulation is concrete and easy to understand.
  • The header for the technical sheets is missing in the Toolbox, needs to be added, so it’s clear what these sheets are categorised as. We cannot refer to technical sheets, if it is not clearly and visibly stated that they are technical sheets.
  • In Denmark, we received a remark about negative words associations. The wording along the lines of “ready to join the labour market” = , means that ‘you are not ready NOW’, which tells the individuals that at this point, they are not good enough.
  • Can we find a new way of describing this which gives a more positive word association?

Online Evaluation

  • Review all the questionnaires (for example: in Question 5, the scale is wrong and not following the questions; also, some of the questions are not relevant);
  • We evaluate the Toolbox and the Manual always as a whole, we should evaluate them separately, at least once?

Course Guide

The course guide was evaluated with participants at the DK pilot workshops, we received the following feedback/suggestions:

  • For Workshops, it would be good to have a collection of cases we can start with, to give grounds for reflection, setting the scene, and opening the theme for the day.
  • Start the Workshops with expectations of the participants to these events.
  • Cases should be handed out in an envelope, this makes the activity seem special and different, ensuring participants focus on the task.
  • Introduce relevant games to the Workshop, we can start the day with. Good for creating motivation and energy. Games help you become a good Workshop facilitator.
  • For the Course Guide, visuals are needed to highlight the entire process from start to finish (3 dimensions), perhaps an interactive diagram, can show the process, with fold-out topics for each dimension. – this is probably not possible to achieve in a pdf version, but suggested to perhaps find a way of creating this for the Moodle course version, as this would be online, or in the pdf version, link to the interactive diagram, which is placed on the website? Any suggestions how we can do something like this, if it’s even realistic?
  • Create a visual of the journey that learners are going to undertake.
  • We need to find out what will motivate the participants to L2W Workshops and how we (and future course facilitators) can demonstrate to future course participants, that L2W Workshops will change / improve their praxis and make their work easier and more efficient.
  • Work from a concept of creating a visualisation of a Management dilemma –> deputy management dilemma -> employee dilemma.
  • For the Genie, be more precise. Use the Can- Shall- Will triangle
  • Make tips and practical info stand out with thought-bubbles, in the Course Guide, to make the practical info visual and easy to spot.
  • Include in the theory part, Knud Illeris concept of lifelong learning, three dimensions of adult learning and competence development, learning styles, cooperative learning, mentoring for better learning, the learning triangle (use visuals to illustrate as much as possible)
  • Include advice on how to motivate your colleagues to attend the workshop too
  • How to prepare the Trainers to using the Toolbox
  • Suggestion for ensuring the availability of continuous support and mentoring: online Forum with volunteers/ create a L2W Ambassadors Body who have attended our workshops (in the start guided by the L2W team), to provide assistance and guidance to trainers that attended a Workshop and need specific feedback, i.e. reference to CPD Continuous Professional Learning, and mentoring for successful learning. Also, this support would represent a BIG ++++ for the assurance of the continuation and sustainability of the results Live2Work project, after the funded period has ended.