#astd2012, Starting a Learning Event With a Simple Hello

I am reporting from the 2012 ASTD conference in Denver where I just finished the morning session of the pre-conference workshop called Interactive Techniques for Instructor-led Training. this workshop is being led by Sivasailim Thaigarajan, Ph.D. and Tracy Tagliati.

They led with an activity called Hello. this exercise can be found on the Thiagi.com Web site along with hundreds of other exercises. Here is a link to the Hello exercise.

This was a fun exercise that served many purposes.

  1. Sets the stage to get everyone to participate and participate for the rest of the day.
  2. Easy to control the time. You can increase or reduce the time needed.
  3. Works with multiple intelligences.
  4. Draws out more reserved participants.
  5. Everyone has a chance to have their voice heard.
  6. This is a way to split up cliques.

When we played the game, we address the following four questions or topic areas:

  1. Expectation. What do you want to get out of the workshop?
  2. Experience. What is your background?
  3. Project. What project are you working on? What are objectives? Who are participants?
  4. Training effectiveness. What factors contribute to the effectiveness of training?

The presenters did a great job of adjusting their lesson to the participants. I believe this was primarily due to not relying primarily on content but instead adjusting the activities.

As we progress through the course, Thiagi stressed that he would not be teaching content because the content was on the Web. Instead, he was going to show us how to adjust the activities to fit our content. So far, he has achieved his intent.

Thiagi also stressed that he does not believe in fun but does believe in engagement. Engagement comes when people find the material personally relevant.

The Hello exercise is part of frame game template. You can tailor it to your own questions. You can decide on as many questions as needed. You can change the exercise to be a closure or a midday summary game. It was nice to see how you could adjust the exercise to varying conditions.

I strongly recommend looking at this activity for one of your upcoming programs.