About a year ago the folks at EBB Associates had sent me an email inviting me to contribute to a book titled: Road-Tested Activities — a book of practical and creative activities that trainers used in their classes. I nearly disregarded the request, since my head’s pretty much full of other people’s activities. But then, I never do anything exactly the way someone else does. I take what I’ve found to be pretty darned neat and put my own spin on it, which I’ll argue is kind of the point for this exercise.
For example: we’re all used to training classes that involve a review in some way, shape, or form. State a topic. Ask a question about it. Get an answer. Move on. This is how I learned in school. It’s how I learned in other training classes. It bored me stiff.
Of course, review is important. But just as important is how you conduct the review. In high school, we may have used flash cards. Bob Pike uses a technique called “Window Paning.” I’ve seen many trainers adapt game shows such as Jeopardy, or Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. I didn’t have the capacity to get as complex in my webinars, but I still wanted a creative way to review. For select webinars, I would identify five or six topics to review and created a technique that selected those topics to review “at random.”
I put “at random” in quotes because I’m simply not that good to create a randomizer in PowerPoint. But I am good enough to make the learners believe, at least for the length of the activity, that the selections are random. Surprisingly, that simple perception added an element of suspense to the activity that kept participants on their toes. Each didn’t know what topic he/she would be assigned to review, so everyone had to be prepared for all topics. And it wasn’t the “teacher” telling them what to practice, it was an impartial third party — the computer, in all its exciting randomness.
I know I’m beating around the bush in describing my activity; I don’t think it’s ethical to discuss the details here, although I’m under no illusion that my submission is the sole reason anyone would purchase The Book Of Road-Tested Activities.
Here’s my question for you: what other people’s activities do you regularly use in training(one that you’re free to share, of course.)? What did you change to make it your own?