The Power of Flip Charts in Problem Solving Activities

The Power of Flip Charts in Problem Solving Activities

The Power of Flip Charts in Problem Solving Activities

Whether you are a trainer, facilitator, adult educator, team leader and manager you likely face a common issue when trying to conduct problem-solving and decision-making activities and training sessions… you need an effective means for capturing ideas and planning.

The Power of Flip Charts in Problem Solving Activities by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Author, and Blogger

This is where classic flip charts come in handy. They are the perfect inexpensive, flexible, and easy-to-use piece of equipment. On them, you can make ideas and issues visual and capture thoughts and potential solutions from group participants.

Flipcharts encourage objectivity when groups brainstorm ideas or discuss issues. Points made can be captured for further evaluation and prioritizing once the input has been provided. Unlike whiteboards or similar writing surfaces, the capabilities of a flip chart are unlimited.

As long as you have flip chart paper, you can write on them, post them for reference and review, move them around the room and modify as needed. Further, after a session is over, flip chart content can be captured onto a computer or in another form and/or the sheets can be stored for future reference or documentation.

For creative ideas on how to make, use, transport, and store flip charts, get a copy of The Big Book of Flip Charts: A Comprehensive Guide for Presenters, Trainers, and Team Leaders.

Learn 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. 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.

Flip Charts Remain a Creative Value-Added Tool for Learning

Flip Charts Remain a Creative Value-Added Tool for Learning

Flip Charts Remain a Creative Value-Added Tool for Learning

Some trainers have abandoned the venerable flip chart in favor of technology-based tools in the classroom. My personal belief, and that of many other learning and performance professionals who still cherish this training aid, is that the simplicity and ease of flip chart use make it a perfect tool for capturing information. With a few strokes of the marker, you can add graphics, charts, and text to a blank page in order to present a concept or document discussions.

Flip Charts Remain a Creative Value-Added Tool for Learning by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas

The value of using visual aids, such as flip charts, cannot be understated. The following excerpt from a recent article on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) website points out the value of using flip charts and other visual aids:

“People tend to eye-minded, and the impacts visual aids bring to a presentation are, indeed, significant. The studies, below, reveal interesting statistics that support these findings:

  • In many studies, experimental psychologists and educators have found that retention of information three days after a meeting or other event is six times greater when information is presented by visual and oral means than when the information is presented by the spoken word alone.
  • Studies by educational researchers suggest that approximately 83% of human learning occurs visually, and the remaining 17% through the other senses – 11% through hearing, 3.5% through smell, 1% through taste, and 1.5% through touch.
  • The studies suggest that three days after an event, people retain 10% of what they heard from an oral presentation, 35% from a visual presentation, and 65% from a visual and oral presentation.”

For more information and creative ideas on how to effectively create, use, transport, and store flip charts get a copy of The Big Book of Flip Charts: A Comprehensive Guide for Presenters, Trainers, and Team Facilitators.

Energizer Problem Solving Flip Chart Activity for Training – “Please Help Me Out”

Energizer Problem Solving Flip Chart Activity for Training 

“Please Help Me Out”

Brain research on learning indicates that one way to maximize effectiveness and have participants better gain, retain, recall, and use what they learn in a training program is to actively engage them in the learning process.

Finding interesting and effective ways to extract ideas or solve problems during training can be challenging. By getting learners actively involved in the solution process, you tap their broad reservoir of knowledge and ideas while encouraging them to take ownership of the ultimate solution. Using flip charts to capture ideas during the problem-solving process is a great way to ensure the transfer of learning and make ideas visual and memorable.

Energizer Problem Solving Flip Chart Activity for Training – “Please Help Me Out”

 

Energizer Problem Solving Flip Chart Activity for Training – “Please Help Me Out” by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Author

The following activity, titled “Please Help Me Out” is a creative and easy means of engaging learners to identify solutions to workplace situations or problems.

PURPOSE:

To provide an action-oriented means of generating solutions to questions or issues from the group.

OBJECTIVES:

Through a process of shared problem solving, participants will:

  • Play an active role in problem-solving.
  • Contribute potential solutions to peer issues, concerns, or problems.

PROCESS:

Post one blank flipchart page per participant around the room.

Explain to participants that they have five minutes to think of an issue, problem, or question they have related to a given topic, such as enhancing teamwork.  For example, someone might come up with, “How do I get peers to buy into my ideas more often?” or “What techniques could I use to better organize my time on team projects?”

After everyone has an issue, give them 2-3 minutes to select a blank flipchart page and print their item on paper.

Once all ideas are written, go around the room and have the author of each item explain briefly (in less than one minute) what they mean.

After all, statements are clarified, give each person a marker, and instruct participants to go to the flipchart page posted to the right of theirs and stand.

Once in place, tell participants they are to rotate clockwise, writing one idea or suggestion for improvement related to the page topic on each page.

When they finish, they should move to the next sheet of paper.

Repeat this process for 20 minutes or until everyone seems to be running out of ideas.  The reason for continuing to go back to the same sheet numerous times is that reading someone else’s comment may give a participant another idea or suggestion.

Add additional flipchart pages that are necessary if one fills up.

NOTE: 

You may want to put an extra sheet of paper under each posted sheet to prevent possible damage to the wall by ink saturation or “bleeding” through the paper.

MATERIALS NEEDED:

TIME REQUIRED:

Approximately 45-60 minutes.

For additional creative activities using flip charts in training, consider getting a copy of The Big Book of Flip Charts: A Comprehensive Guide for Facilitators, Trainers, and Presenters.