Make Training Reviews Fun in Adult Learning Sessions
Many trainers and adult educators struggle to find ways to gauge learning effectiveness, reinforce what has occurred in the classroom and effectively engage adult learners. If you simply design their sessions to make training reviews fun, all of these goals can be accomplished.
By thinking back on your own early childhood learning experiences, you can often gain ideas on ways to enthuse adult learners and energize your training environments. Much of what we know as adults began when we were just starting school. Teachers had us on the floor, playing with toys, games and other items that tied to the concepts they wanted to reinforce. We were laughing, sharing, engaging and enjoying the experience without even realizing that we were learning important life lessons. These techniques can also be useful to you in delivering adult learning sessions.
One fun and novel way that I use to engage my adult learners and make training reviews fun is to use a creative musical toy game called “Pass the Pickle.” After I have covered numerous key concepts, I sometimes use it as an interim review activity at some point during a session. This game is an effective and fun energizer when the information shared has been a bit tedious or complex (e.g. required orientation, regulatory or legal training). I also use it when I want to get learners moving to stimulate their brain a bit. In other sessions, I use the game at the end of a session to review and reinforce key concepts and ideas explored during the session.
I conduct the activity in the following manner, but you can modify as you desire:
- Form small groups of 6-8 people in circles at the back of the training room and randomly select a group leader.
- Give each group leader a Pass the Pickle toy.
- Instruct leaders to push the button on the bottom of the toy when you say “Go.”
- Toys are passed clockwise around each circle during the game.
- When the music stops (it is randomly programmed to stop at different time lengths), the person holding the toy shouts out one key term or concept learned during the session. These cannot be repeated by another participant later.
- That person then restarts the toy, passes it to their left and steps back out of the circle to observe and listen as concepts are reinforced.
- When only one person remains in each group, stop the review activity.
- Have everyone give a round of applause for their effort.
- Reward group leaders with candy or a small incentive related to the session topic (e.g. a toy, prize or otherwise). Reward examples might include a smile face toy in a customer service session, a foam squeeze toy in a stress management class, or something related to money for a group of cashiers.
- Have everyone take a seat.
- Facilitate a group review in which participants randomly volunteer to stand and share some of the key concepts they experienced.
- Reward volunteers who share ideas with an incentive.
By taking time to make training reviews fun you are tapping into the neuroscience of learning (also known as brain based learning). Researchers have identified numerous factors that can be used to help stimulate brain neurons and create an environment in which learning potential is enhanced. Fun, novelty, music, learner engagement. movement, and repetition are just a few of the elements that you can use in your adult learning sessions to actively involve participants in the learning process.
For more ideas on ways to make training reviews fun in adult learning sessions, and actively engage your adult learners, read other articles on this blog. Also check out The Creative Training Idea Book: Inspired Tips and Techniques for Engaging and Effective Learning, Training Workshop Essentials: Designing, Developing and Delivering Learning Events that Get Results, and Energize Your Training: Creative Techniques to Engage Learners.