Energizing Training Review Activity – Verbal Volleyball

Energizing Training Review Activity – Verbal Volleyball

Content review activities that engage participants and challenge them to recall key concepts learned tie to brain-based learning research that shows repetition, novelty, and fun can help stimulate brain neurons. This helps learners gain, retain, recall, and use what they experience in a learning event. Adult learners potentially improve their learning potential through the use of such activities.

This activity (Verbal Volleyball) not only engages learners and provides recognition for what they accomplish, but also adds brain-based learning elements like sound, motion, emotion, fun, and repetition to the learning environment.

Time Required: 10 Minutes

Purpose:  To provide an opportunity for learners to review key concepts learned during the session and celebrate their learning.

Objective(s):  Through the use of an end of session review activity, the facilitator will be able to:

  • Actively engage learners in a review of key session concepts;
  • Allow for the individual celebration of learning.

Group Size:  Up to twenty-four (24)

Process:         

  • Form pairs of learners;
  • Have partners face one another:
  • Explain that they are going to play “verbal volleyball” in which they will review as many key concepts from the session as they can remember;
  • Tell learners to decide who will start;
  • When ready to begin, shout “GO” and the learner designated to start will shout out any key concept, idea, or issue covered during the session;
  • Partners will then shout out a different concept, idea or issue and they will continue volleying the concepts back and forth until they run out of ideas;
  • Explain that they cannot repeat a concept, idea or issue already said by their partner;
  • Once it seems that learners are running out of the idea, shout a thirty (30) second warning and at the end of that time, sound a noisemaker to indicate time has elapsed;
  • Have everyone give a “high five” (fingers extended and joined and slapping palms in the air above their head with their partner) for their accomplishment.

Process Follow-up:

Ask: What do you think some of the most important or beneficial concepts, ideas, or issues we learned today were? Why?

  • Go around the room and have each learner tell one key concept, idea, or issue that they experienced and how they will be able to use it on the job or in another environment;
  • Answer any questions learners have about session content;
  • Have everyone give a round of applause for their efforts.

Option(s):

Instead of using this as an end of session activity, you can also use it as an interim review. 

Props/Tools Needed:

Noisemaker (e.g. cowbell, Chinese gong, slide whistle, or bicycle horn)

Possible Topic Application:

Any session in which you desire to review key concepts.

Why It Is Brain-Based:

  • Engages learners mentally and physically;
  • Causes learners to access memory and recall data;
  • Adds a bit of novelty and fun to a review;
  • Appeals to kinesthetic learners;
  • Adds sound to the learning environment.

SOURCE: Creative Learning: Activities and Games That Really Engage People by Robert W. Lucas

Energizing Training Review Activity - Verbal Volleyball

About This Blogger – Robert W. Lucas

Robert W. Lucas is an internationally-known author and learning and performance expert. He specializes in workplace performance-based training and consulting services. Furthermore, he has four decades of experience in human resources development, management, and customer service in a variety of organizational environments. Further, Robert Lucas was the 1995 and 2011 President of the Central Florida Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD).

Robert W. Lucas has lived, traveled, and worked in 28 different countries and geographic areas. During the past 40 years, Bob has shared his knowledge with workplace professionals from hundreds of organizations, such as Webster University, AAA, Orange County Clerk of Courts, Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, Martin Marietta, all U.S. military branches, and Wachovia Bank. In addition, Bob has provided consulting and training services to numerous major organizations on a variety of workplace learning topics. To contact Bob visit his website at www.robertwlucas.com or his blog www.thecreativetrainer.com.

Energizer Flip Chart Activity – Word Search Puzzle Review

Energizer Flip Chart Activity – Word Search Puzzle Review

PURPOSE:    Brain-based learning activity designed to energize participants (in a group with a maximum of 18 people) mid-way through a training session and to review and emphasize key points, issues, and terms covered up to that point.

The activity can be used as a pre-test (icebreaker) to introduce terms at the beginning of a session or as an interim or final review during the learning event.

Energizer Flip Chart Activity – Word Search Puzzle Review by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Author, and Blogger

OBJECTIVES:   Through an interactive team activity, participants will be able to:

  • Review and reinforce key content covered in the session.
  • Work together to compete against other groups.
  • Practice intra-group communications.
  • Have fun!

PROCESS:

  1. Form three or four equal-sized teams. Any odd numbered participants can join any group.
  2. Provide a flip chart easel, pad, and markers to each group.
  3. Based on the program topic, the facilitator will prepare identical word search flip chart pages with the terms of key issues, ideas and concepts hidden and scattered throughout a series of letters (see sample below) for each team. These pages will be turned over behind the easels and out of view until the facilitator starts the activity.
  4. Prepare two “master flip chart” pages that the facilitator keeps at the front of the room. On one create an alphabetical listing of all terms to be found in the word search puzzle (words are shown below the sample word search example below). On a second “solution” flip chart page, create a word search identical to that used by the teams and circle each word they are to find from the alphabetical list page.
  5. When ready to introduce terms or as an interim/final review at some point in the program, unveil the prepared flip chart with the alphabetical terms listed. Do not unveil the solution page with circled terms until after the activity ends and a team has been declared the winner.
  6. Have each team line up in a row before their easel containing the scrambled words.
  7. Instruct participants that they are going to be trying to solve a word search puzzle by finding key terms, concepts, or issues that are part of the session content and that words can be found across, backward, up, down, or diagonally.
  8. When the facilitator shouts “go,” the first person in each team quickly proceeds to their easel. Turns over the word search puzzle and looks for the first word from the facilitator’s master list on the team’s flip chart page. When they find it, they circle it with the marker, then rush back to their team and pass the marker to the next person, who repeats the process and so on. Once the marker is passed, the team member goes to the end of his/her line as the activity cycle continues.
  9. The team getting all of the terms first shouts “Done” and all other teams stop looking for words.
  10. The facilitator does verification of terms.
  11. If all terms have been found correctly, the winners are rewarded (small toys, candy bars, or whatever).
  12. If words have been missed, the facilitator shouts “Continue” and they resume until someone again yells “Done.”  The verification process is repeated.
  13. Review the key terms and definitions as a group.

MATERIALS NEEDED:

  • Prepared word search flip chart pages for each team.
  • Prepared master flip chart with word search terms listed alphabetically.
  • Prepared master flip chart with word search showing all words circled.
  • Assorted colored water-based flip chart markers.
  • Incentive rewards for members of the winning team.
  • Flip Chart easels and pads for each team.

ALTERNATIVE:  As an alternative to using flip charts for each team, you can print copies of the puzzle and distribute to team tables. Doing so loses the interactive and physical movement of the activity.

TIME REQUIRED: Approximately 10-20 minutes depending on team sizes.

HOW THIS RELATES TO ADULT AND BRAIN BASED LEARNING:

  • Actively engages learners.
  • Stimulates recall and memory of key concepts and key terms and concepts.
  • Appeals to visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning modalities/styles.
  • Increases energy and noise level in the room, thus energizing learners.
  • Applies the concept of rewards and incentives to help encourage participation.
  • Incorporates novelty and fun into the learning event.

Energizer Flip Chart Activity - Word Search Puzzle Review

For addition, creative training ideas and activities, get a copy of The Creative Training Idea Book: Inspired Tips and Techniques for Engaging and Effective Learning, The Big Book of Flip Charts: A Comprehensive Guide for Presenters, Trainers and Team Facilitators, and Creative Learning: Activities and Games That Really Engage People. 

Three Factors Impacting Learner Engagement

Three Factors Impacting Learner Engagement

Three Factors Impacting Learner Engagement

Some research related to brain-based learning suggests that by getting participants actively engaged during a learning event you potentially help them to better gain, retain, recall, and use what they experience. To accomplish this, be creative in identifying activities and processes that will allow your participants to actively engage in the training and share their knowledge and expertise.

Three factors that can impact the success of activities, exercises, and games that you might build into your training design follow.

Audience Makeup. Ensure that you choose activities and content that is appropriate for the group you will be facilitating. Some activities (e.g. role-play) work best when participants know one another well or are comfortable with one another. Talk to program sponsors and/or participants to discern who will comprise your audience.

Participant Knowledge and Experience Levels.  To successfully build on what learners know, you must first determine current capabilities, knowledge, and experience levels. You can do this through the needs assessment process that is part of the Instructional Systems Design (ADDIE) model used by many learning and performance professionals.

Also, ensure that the planned activity suits the audience level (e.g. frontline employee, supervisor, manager, or executive); otherwise, you can easily either intimidate or bore your learners.

Desired Involvement. Decide how, and to what extent, you want to involve participants. While much self-discovery is possible, you will need to intermingle your own involvement and knowledge with that of your learners, so that they feel appreciated for what they know, but also feel that you are contributing to their knowledge and skill development.

You should not be the “sage on the stage” with all the input or answers. Neither should you simply be a facilitator who simply draws out learner knowledge and expertise without helping meld it so that learners see connections to the session topic and hear valuable ideas from you. Strive for a combination of those roles.

Learn All About Robert C. ‘Bob’ Lucas Now and Understand Why He is an Authority in the Creative Training Skills Industry

Robert C. ‘Bob’ Lucas has been a trainer, presenter, customer service expert, and adult educator for over four decades. He has written hundreds of articles on training, writing, self-publishing, and workplace learning skills and issues. He is also an award-winning author. Robert W. Lucas has written thirty-seven books. The book topics included: writing, relationships, customer service, brain-based learning, and creative training strategies, interpersonal communication, diversity, and supervisory skills. Additionally, he has contributed articles, chapters, and activities to eighteen compilation books. Mr. Lucas is retired from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1991 after twenty-two years of active and reserve service.

Using Sticky Notes in Brainstorming Energizer Activities

Using Sticky Notes in Brainstorming Energizer Activities

Sticky-notes (e.g. Post-It Notes) are useful in several ways when groups are brainstorming or problem-solving. A pad or two of sticky notes and pencils placed on every table make it easy for each person to jot down ideas, suggestions, or potential solutions to problems (one per note) as they arise.

Using Sticky Notes in Brainstorming Energizer Activities by The Creative Trainer 

Here are two ways to use sticky notes in an energizer activity:

Have participants capture their ideas on sticky notes and then post their notes on a wall, dry erase board, flip chart, or blackboard during an icebreaker or group team building activity. Once the notes are there, they can be arranged or rearranged into various categories or prioritized as learners are instructed or choose.

Using Sticky Notes in Brainstorming Energizer Activities

Sticky notes can also be used to vote through a nominal group process for problem-solving and decision making. To do this, conduct a facilitator-led brainstorming session where you collect ideas, issues, problems, possible problem solutions, or other pertinent session related information.

Sticky Notes Can A Tough Subject Easier To Understand

Capture learner input on a flip chart page and post that page on the wall with painters tape.

Next, give each participant three blank sticky notes and have them go one at a time to vote on what they believe is the most important item(s) or viable suggestions or solutions on the posted list. Participants can put one note next to three different items or can choose to put multiple notes next to individual items.  The top three items could then be addressed as action items.

For more creative energizer activities and suggestions for designing, using, transporting, and storing flip charts, get a copy of The Big Book of Flip Charts: A Comprehensive Guide for Presenters, Trainers, and Team Facilitators.

Learn All About Robert C. ‘Bob’ Lucas Now and Understand Why He is an Authority in the Creative Training Skills Industry

Robert C. ‘Bob’ Lucas has been a trainer, presenter, customer service expert, and adult educator for over four decades. He has written hundreds of articles on training, writing, self-publishing, and workplace learning skills and issues. He is also an award-winning author. Robert W. Lucas has written thirty-seven books. The book topics included: writing, relationships, customer service, brain-based learning, and creative training strategies, interpersonal communication, diversity, and supervisory skills. Additionally, he has contributed articles, chapters, and activities to eighteen compilation books. Mr. Lucas is retired from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1991 after twenty-two years of active and reserve service.