Saturday, March 14, 2015

Show me the activity

Many years ago as I worked with a process training team I asked to be shown through the content. This was new to the team since they never expected their manager to actually look at the content they had put together. Not that it was needed, but since I was newbie in training, they proudly took me through the content they had put together.

It was mostly Death by Powerpoint for me, but they said they had some activity. On investigation it was found to be that mostly the activities were about circling words or finding words or joining words. Apart from that, they had one activity that they were justifiably proud of. This activity was called jeopardy.

The slide looked like this:

And on clicking any of the boxes, a question opened and the participants had to open it and answer it. This was the activity that they were proud of. (There are templates available on this on the net I suppose).

And I thought, well not bad.

Turned out, this activity was the most used across all the trainings. Every training upon investigation turned out to have the same activity - Jeopardy.

Finally, there was a new training the team was working on and I asked them which activity are you going to use here? Pat came the answer - Jeopardy.

They never got around to using it. The activity was banned from all future trainings till I was in charge.

These kinds of activities fall into what I think are mindless engagement methods. And a lot more thought is required while putting in activities in training.

Another of my 'favorite' activities is where the great facilitator distributes chits across the room and guess what - they have animal names printed on them and team bonding is achieved when people walk across the room shouting in those animal calls. Once we ended up paying a bomb to a vendor who promised great engagement and came up with this juvenile activity. Needless to say, the vendor was banished for ever. 

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