Understand Student Expectations With This Ice Breaker

Meeting Expectations Can Make or Break Your Class

students concentrating in class
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Expectations are powerful, especially when you're teaching adults. Understanding your students' expectations of the course you're teaching is key to your success. Make sure you know what your students expect with this ice breaker game for adults.

Ideal Size

Up to 20. Divide larger groups.


Introductions in the classroom or ​at a meeting, to understand what every participant is expecting to learn from the class or gathering.

Time Needed

15-20 minutes, depending on the size of the group.

Materials Needed

  • A flip chart or white board
  • markers


Write Expectations at the top of a flip chart or white board.

When it’s time for students to introduce themselves, explain that expectations are powerful and that understanding them is key to the success of any class. Tell the group that you would like them to:

  • Introduce themselves
  • Share their expectations of the class
  • Add a wild prediction of the best possible outcome should their expectations be met. Ask them to be as specific as possible, and encourage silliness or fun if you want.


Hi, my name is Deb, and I’m expecting to learn how to handle difficult or challenging people, and my wildest expectation is that if I knew how to do that, nobody would ever get under my skin again. Ever.


State your objectives of the course, review the list of expectations the group made, and explain whether or not, and ​why, if not, their expectations will or won't be covered in the course.

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Your Citation
Peterson, Deb. "Understand Student Expectations With This Ice Breaker." ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, thoughtco.com/icebreaker-understand-student-expectations-31374. Peterson, Deb. (2020, August 26). Understand Student Expectations With This Ice Breaker. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/icebreaker-understand-student-expectations-31374 Peterson, Deb. "Understand Student Expectations With This Ice Breaker." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/icebreaker-understand-student-expectations-31374 (accessed March 22, 2023).