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Tip #733:  Ask: “So What?”

On August 6, 2018, Posted by , In learning activities, By ,, , With Comments Off on Tip #733:  Ask: “So What?”

“The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.” Mark Van Doren

We know that experiential learning activities contribute to better learning and retention. We design learning programs that incorporate these activities in a purposeful manner. We don’t insert a game just for the sake of a game. Every learning activity must achieve a specified level of learning, whether it be knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, evaluation or creation.

So, there is a reason why we select certain activities to achieve certain levels of learning for key content. But do we make the learning process as rich as it could be? I don’t think so. I’m embarrassed to say that I know now that I haven’t.

Let’s take a case … Read the rest

Tip #718:  The Power of the Mind

On April 23, 2018, Posted by , In learning activities, By ,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #718:  The Power of the Mind

“Believe it can be done. When you believe something can be done, really believe, your mind will find the ways to do it. Believing a solution paves the way to solution.” David J. Schwartz

The Thiagi Group free monthly newsletters offer all sorts of learning games. This game is taken from the April 2018 newsletter. I thought it was too wonderful not to share in its entirety!

Chevreul’s Pendulum 

April 1, 2018

You don’t have to be delusional, psychic, or gullible to experience the ideomotor effect. With this very simple activity, you can demonstrate the power of an idea to inspire action. It is named after Michael Eugene Chevreul who used this pendulum to explain how an unconscious movement … Read the rest

Tip #693:  Why Did It Happen?

On October 17, 2017, Posted by , In learning activities, By ,, , With Comments Off on Tip #693:  Why Did It Happen?

“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.”  Margaret J. Wheatley

In participative learning, it is important that each learning activity be debriefed to give the participants an opportunity to reflect on their experience and reinforce their learning.

It is just as important to have those involved in a critical work situation take time to assess whether the actions taken were effective and, if not, what should be done differently in the future.

I’ve always thought that it made sense to debrief a learning activity or management situation by asking these three questions:

  1. What went well?
  2. What didn’t go well, and why not?
  3. What did you learn?

Recently, I read … Read the rest

Tip #688: Experiencing Failed Communication

On September 12, 2017, Posted by , In learning activities, By ,, , With Comments Off on Tip #688: Experiencing Failed Communication

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Bernard Shaw

The following activities were designed and facilitated by Mercy Corps staff who attended a train the trainer session in Amman, Jordan. Each activity demonstrates one or more reasons why communication fails.

Secret Message:  Heba Asaad created a game about seven factors of communication. She split the eight people into four teams: A and B. The A teams at each table were given a secret message and told to mold playdough so that it represented the message.

Once the A teams were done, Heba placed clown masks on them. She told the B teams that they could only ask closed questions to try … Read the rest

Tip #686: New Perspectives

On August 29, 2017, Posted by , In learning activities, By ,, , With Comments Off on Tip #686: New Perspectives

“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

Tip #680: Creative Ways to Check for Retention

On July 18, 2017, Posted by , In learning activities, By ,, , With Comments Off on Tip #680: Creative Ways to Check for Retention

“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