I am sure you will agree with me when I say that it often becomes difficult for a single training manager to get the best out of his class, if the size of the class is quiet large. Right! Participants might show less interest to listen. Some might yawn and their body language indicates that they are in no mood to proceed further. So, is there a way out to solve this problem?
Yes indeed! There is a solution to this problem. Do you (the training manager) have the time to add fun activities to your learning methodologies? These group or fun activities take only a few minutes to build. You don’t require a lot of material for that. They are simple yet effective enough to bolster the learning activity in a classroom. And, above all, these activities help to invigorate the minds of the learners by getting them into active participation and enabling effective collaboration among them.
There might be different such activities, but each of them are designed for a distinctive purpose. In general, these games are designed according to the objective.
- As session icebreakers: A good trainer always tries to catch and hold the group’s attention at the very beginning of each session. So, questions such as “How many of you know that…“, “Who wants to volunteer…”, … and so on. You might see a couple of hands going up.
- To involve the trainees: Here the main focus is on the trainees, not the trainers. Trainees are expected to react to a verbal response, physical movement, and intellectual activity. Here, brainteasers, group-discussion, and treasure hunt are some activities that can be easily applied.
- As illustrations: There are instances where extensive presentation of concepts, theories or models will bring boredom to the audience. Role-play, mind-map, and learning by association will pave the way for effectively engaging the learners. All these games provide examples that will be implanted in trainees’ memories for long periods of time.
- As session closings: In addition to summarizing, trainers can incorporate some activities that stimulate the trainees to perform some actions. Trainer/trainee show and tell and test your constraints are some of the games that are designed to facilitate transfer of learning from the training context to the real working environment.
The one thing that is to be remembered is that all these activities are designed for reinforcement or consolidation of learning in a particular module or course. Much of the learning is not totally new, but is tangential to what is already known. Thus, these activities help to associate or connect between different contexts that ease learning. And, lastly, with practice and repetition, learners (or trainees) are in a better position to recall a particular idea or concept.
But, just like the coin that has two sides, there is a negative aspect to this strategy. It happens when one misuses it or mistreats it. These fun activities should not be designed in a way to kill time or just to impress the learners. Rather, it should encourage them to take active participation. These games should be treated as props to add realism to the activity, and of course, it should be a low-risk one.
Training is a very serious business in every organization. So, to bolster your ILT training, these games should be treated as supplements that are used occasionally to reinforce and strengthen learning.
Are you already using these activities or want to give them a try? If used with an appropriate objective in mind, I am sure you can expect a better response from the participants in your classroom.