Tip #234: Debunking Myths About Interactivity in an Auditorium
Certainly, there are activities that do not lend themselves to an auditorium setting. These include flip chart activities (brainstorming and gallery walks), relay races, scavenger hunts- and any other exercise that requires participants to move from place to place.
However, while an auditorium is certainly NOT an ideal learning environment, it is still possible to successfully facilitate interactive training activities in an auditorium setting.
Participants can pair up with the person next to them, or create a small group with the folks seated directly in front or in back of them.
Participants can signal their responses to a questionnaire (thumbs up if they agree, thumbs down if they disagree). They can pop up out of their chair with an answer.
Participants can be led through a visualization that will engage many of their senses, yet will not require them to move or say anything!
Participants can throw a Koosh ball to the person they want to answer a question.
Participants seated in different sections of the auditorium can compete against each other in completing a questionnaire, creating a written work product, proposing solutions to a case study problem, or playing Jeopardy.
Participants can also be given interactive training assignments, after which volunteers can report their results. These assignments might include: drawing themselves as either a food, a vehicle, or an animal- and describing the specific qualities and characteristics in their drawing; completing an individual assessment, then discussing their responses with the person next to them; brainstorming ideas and popping up with an answer; filling out a worksheet or a crossword puzzle; participating in a question and answer session; etc.
There are innumerable interactive training activities that can be facilitated in an auditorium setting. The key point about learning settings is that it doesn’t really matter WHERE you are, it’s WHAT you have the participants DO!!!