“Perspective is worth 80 IQ points.” Alan Kay
I recently conducted a workshop to introduce U.S. trainers to a variety of creative learning activities designed by Jordanians. The workshop began by explaining the context in which the activities were designed.
Because the participants in the Jordanian train the trainer program work for Mercy Corps, their focus was on major issues. These include: a poor economy, non-existent energy and water resources, lack of women’s equity, violence against women, and the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis on a poor country with limited resources.
My intention was to explain how each activity was designed and facilitated, and then have the workshop participants experience it in an adapted form. I did my best … Read the rest
“Never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun.” Randy Pausch
I’ve been designing and delivering training for many years- and I am constantly surprised and delighted at the creative learning activities participants in train-the-trainer programs design! This is one of the primary perks of participant-centered learning programs, because the facilitator is always learning new information, perspectives and techniques from the participants!
Here are three retention-checking learning activities that I’ve never seen before that were both effective and a lot of fun. All three of the activities also incorporate elements of challenge and competition, which adult learners appreciate.
One of the activities was designed by a participant in a Professional Trainers Certificate program in Madison, Wisconsin, and the other two activities … Read the rest
“I can excuse everything but boredom. Boring people don’t have to stay that way.” Hedy Lamarr
There are no dry topics, just dry training.
If you don’t believe me, consider these two creative participant-centered learning activities that replace the lecture typically used for teaching rules and benefits.
These activities were designed and facilitated during the Professional Trainers’ Certificate program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Continuing Studies.
Note: For both activities, the participants are seated five to a table. The activities work best if there is an even number of participants and no more than 5 content items.
Using art to teach rules and test retention. (With thanks to James Phetteplace)
- Provide a list of the rules.
- Have each participant
“Language exerts hidden power, like the moon on the tides.” Rita Mae Brown
For many years, I have used the same case study in a seminar to teach managers how to coach their employees to improve performance. Luckily, it has resonated with participants in the past, so I had no idea that it needed to be revised.
Recently, I had a rude awakening when the class (composed of participants with similar roles and responsibilities to previous participants) pointed out that the case study needed improvement to be meaningful for them.
Here are the changes that they requested:
- Current Language: The employee in question is identified by name but not by title.
Recommended Revision: Include the employee’s title, … Read the rest
“Games shouldn’t only be fun. They should teach or spark an interest in other things.” Hideo Kojima
The “Hangman” game is a wonderful way to check participant retention at the end of a session. I learned about it from Linda Fleischman at the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for the District of Columbia.
Here are the directions:
- Create groups to compete against each other. (Note: It works best if two groups compete against each other.)
- Provide each group with flip chart easel paper, markers and painter’s tape (if there aren’t enough easels).
- Give the groups 5 minutes to create their own lists of questions related to the content of the session.
- The groups should then take turns asking