Tip #410: Training in Lagos, Day Two

“When you come to a fork in the road….take it” –Yogi Berra

At the beginning of the training on Day 2, I had a frank conversation with the group about the need to set strict time limits on activities so we could avoid a recurrence of the late day yesterday. They agreed and, to a great extent, complied.

They are so into the training- they take photos every time I show a cartoon on the Power Point, they stand next to me for pictures, every activity we do, someone is taking a picture. Since today focused on interactive learning activities, they had a lot to photograph.

Before I forget, they were each given a clear plastic letter-sized case that included a small notebook, a pencil, a square flat eraser, and a razor blade to use for sharpening the pencil. We need to clear off the pencil shavings from the tables after each training day.

I used a bingo-like game- and had to explain what bingo was. They had a blast.  We also used tinker toys to create merry-go-rounds and they were very creative in their building- although I wouldn’t want to ride on any of them if they were life size!

It was very gratifying to review their home practice, which was to create the title, learning goals and learning objectives as the first part of a lesson plan. They all got it!! Later, in debriefing a case study about a trainer who lectured for 2 hours, it was great to hear their suggestions as to what the trainer did incorrectly and what many changes that trainer would need to make to set the learners up for success.

At one point, the three table groups worked to identify learning activities for a lesson on minimizing the risk of infectious diseases. One group knocked my socks off with their creativity. To introduce the concept of an infectious disease, they created a simple game- their participants, sitting at tables, were to pass around small pieces of paper. Several of those pieces of paper had a dot on it, signifying an infectious disease. Once everyone had their piece of paper, the individuals with the dots were to raise their hand- and then identify all of the people with whom they had come in contact. What an imaginative way to lead into a definition of infectious disease.

They took to heart the idea of meeting the needs of different learning styles. For example, to check participant comprehension of which diseases were infectious, they planned to state a disease and have the participants move to the right of the room if they thought it was infectious and to the left if they thought it wasn’t infectious.

Another group loved using pop ups to check for comprehension and built in a requirement for an action plan at the end. I am so impressed with how quickly they not only absorbed the idea of participatory learning but also immediately applied what they had learned in their lesson planning process. Yup, very gratifying.

Another nice thing about today is that I had much less trouble understanding folks when they spoke. Yesterday, there were times I simply had no idea what had been said. Today, my ability to comprehend their cadences (which are somewhat British and very lovely) increased geometrically. By the time I leave next Wednesday, I may even understand a good 90-95% of what is said!

Morning “tea” happens during one of the breaks in the morning and includes some pastry with meat. The afternoon tea break yesterday included what looked like plain cupcakes and round flat cakes. I tried one of the latter, which tasted somewhat like very very dry corn bread. Not my favorite (I’m a chocolate and nuts gal).  Today, it looked like some kind of egg roll with what I imagine was very very hot dipping sauce. Lunch was better for me today because we ordered individually rather than having a buffet. I had chicken and chips (french fries) and cole slaw.

Interestingly enough, on our way to the training hotel a fellow passed by on a scooter with an enormous basket behind him on which were tied a pile of live very scrawny looking chickens! I’m wondering whether one of those provided my lunch. We also passed a statue of representatives of the three tribes (?) of Nigeria, each wearing native dress, holding up Nigeria.

Speaking of native dress, Tricia (my US contact who is here with me, thank goodness, and great company and help!) told me that Fridays are native dress days. I can’t wait to have an entire room full of folks in their native dress. Since they’ve been taking pictures of me every day, turn around will be fair play when I take photos of them!

In our next Tip, we’ll continue to discuss my Nigeria training experience.

May your learning be sweet.


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