Monday, June 21, 2010

Using Role Plays for Evaluation

Got back from a workshop from Hubli where my friend was conducting a technical session for faculty members in an engineering college. I came across a very interesting and innovative approach of role play that she used during the beginning of the workshop. Our objective was to evaluate how much the participants remembered from the last workshop that was conducted few months back and also to learn what they took forward into their classrooms and what they could not.
Three groups were formed randomly and assigned three concepts/themes that they needed to demonstrate in the form a role play. Group 1 was asked to enact a scene of a staff room which had a discussion between a set of faculty members who had gone through the workshop and those who had not. Group 2 was asked to enact a classroom scene in which one of them had implemented a technique and it was a big hit. Group 3 was asked to enact a scene in the classroom in which one of the faculty member had tried out a new technique but did not give the expected outcome/failed miserably.
I realized that conducting such an activity helps not only bring out what happened in reality but also inner thoughts, attitudes, fears and interpersonal challenges involved in experimenting with something new. This approach is well-suited for any change management programme which involves a follow-up of a previous training programme before advancing to the next level. It can also be used in order to understand inner thought processes and mind set challenges of participants prior to adopting the change process.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Ball Games

As trainers, we are always interested in reinforcing certain concepts and reviewing key messages/learnings of previous day's training session. Three interesting games come to my mind which can make reviews easy, effective and fun. One among these which I conduct without fail is called "catch and throw". This can be played effectively with about 15-20 participants inside a room.
Ask the group to form a circle and you as a facilitator stand in the middle of this circle. Take a soft ball or make a ball out of paper by crumpling it. Inform the group that you will randomly pass on the ball to anyone in the circle and whoever is closest to where the ball lands, that person has to catch it instantly. Once the ball is in his/her hands, s/he has to share one learning that s/he will carry back or implement in daily life or classroom (if it is a group of teachers). Once it has been shared, that person has to randomly throw the ball towards someone else. This time, the second participant who caught the ball has to share a different learning. The ball cannot be passed on to a person in the circle more than once. All the participants have to share one unique learning based on the previous day's session. I have personally found it to be a good warm up to start the new day and helps make the review/recap fun.

Another game that can be used in a similar way is "pass-the-parcel". The only change here is that once a participant has shared his or her learning, they can be asked to move out of the circle to avoid repetition. Music from mobile phone or a ring tone itself can be used during the game.

Finally, if there is enough space and if the chairs are movable chairs, musical chair game can also be played. Do try these techniques and post back to me with your experience.