Photo by: Gerd Altmann via Pixabay
As a Langevin Master Trainer, I want all our workshop participants to get the most out of the training they attend. That’s why using creative and memorable review activities during the courses we teach is so essential! These activities help learners store and retrieve information, which is especially helpful once they leave the training setting. Reviews also allow the instructor to check the learners’ comprehension.
Let me share some of the basics of this very effective instructional technique with you, along with a few of my favorite review activities for both instructor-led training and the virtual classroom.
WHAT is a review?
A review activity clarifies and highlights the key points for learners during training. You’ll want to incorporate a variety of review types throughout your training. They can include activities like friendly competition, physical movement (if in a traditional classroom setting), background music, and active engagement.
WHY do a review?
A review activity reinforces key concepts. It also allows participants to experience success when they give the correct answers. It provides the participants with opportunities to elaborate and reflect on what they’ve learned. This, in turn, gives them time to make connections and comprehend the value and relevance of their new learning.
Review exercises also give you—the instructor—a chance to determine if there are any gaps in the learners’ understanding and an opportunity to clarify any misconceptions. Instructors can then answer questions before moving on to the next chunk of content.
WHEN should I do a review?
Instructors typically use a review after presenting a chunk of content, before moving on to a new chunk of information. You’ll also want to give your learners more frequent chances to review material that’s more complex or that they may be less experienced with.
Starting each morning by reviewing the previous day’s work is an excellent way to reinforce what was learned before moving on to new content.
There are other times during training when reviews are beneficial. For example, before or after breaks, before and after lunch, and before the end of the training day. An end-of-day review also leaves the learners with a positive note and a sense of accomplishment.
WHO does the review?
The key to a successful review is to involve the learners and have them interact with the content as much as possible. The review method you choose can be instructor-driven or participant-driven depending on your purpose and the participant’s level of knowledge and skill.
For example, you may want to plan an exercise that is peer-driven or includes table group presentations. In a virtual environment, use breakout rooms (3-6 participants each) to let your learners discuss and reflect in a separate space from the main classroom. Collaborative reviews and fun, game-like competitions between groups increase participant engagement and take learning to a higher level.
WHERE do I get ideas for creative review methods?
There are dozens of review exercise techniques online and, of course, in a Langevin workshop! We use a variety of methods in every Langevin virtual or instructor-led workshop. Keep reading for my favorite review methods that work with any type of content.
The first three methods are for a traditional classroom setting, and the last three are geared for the virtual classroom:
Provide a list of key points and ask learners to review the material associated with each item. Once the groups have had a chance to review the material, have different partner groups share their findings, allowing other groups to add on, clarify, or ask questions as needed.
Pull it Out of the Hat
Collect a variety of items and place them in a hat. Ask each learner to select one item and describe how it relates to something learned in class and how they will transfer that learning back to their job.
Have learners work in teams to create challenging—yet answerable—questions about the content that was covered during training. Once each team has had an opportunity to design their questions, they try to “stump” the other teams. Add rules, points, and other guidelines to make this a competitive and interactive activity.
Ask all learners in the attendee pod to raise their virtual hand. The instructor begins by calling on a participant to share one topic/concept that was most meaningful to them. Once they’ve answered, they lower their hand and call on another participant with their hand still raised. The review activity continues until all virtual hands are down.
Put the learners into small groups of 4-6 and disperse to breakout rooms. Once in their assigned rooms, the groups have a set amount of time to identify something (relating to content already covered) for each letter of a word spelled out vertically on the whiteboard. For example, for the word “training” the groups would share something they learned that starts with each letter: t, r, a, i, n, i, n, and g.
“Draw” a Picture
This review is best for a virtual course consisting of multiple sessions. At the beginning of a subsequent session, ask the learners to use the drawing tools to create a picture on the whiteboard grid that represents a tip/concept/topic that resonated the most with them. The picture doesn’t have to be perfect, as each person will have a chance to explain their drawing. Debrief one at a time, starting at the upper left side of the grid, and working down and across the rows.
Share your favorite review techniques in the comments section and help all of us add to our training toolbox!
This article was first published February 13, 2017.