Tip #169: Interactive versus Experiential Learning, Part Two

There are approximately ten broad categories of interactive or experiential learning strategies. The first five categories are identified below, along with some specific examples. Please note that these categories often overlap. Scavenger hunt is actually listed under physical movement and reading, to emphasize this point. Many activities involve reading, writing, and discussion. A relay race is a game that also involves physical movement, writing, problem solving, and discussion, etc.

1. Art: Any creative design activity intended to embody training concepts in a visual or tactile manner.

  • Draw a picture of themselves as either a food, a vehicle, or a pet- and label their characteristics.
  • Use art supplies to create an image of the training essence or metaphor (bridge, fruit tree, etc.).
  • Create a mind map.

2. Discussion: Any activity involving verbalization of thoughts, questions, or experiences related to the training content.

  • Directed large group discussion.
  • Small group discussion.
  • Question and answer session.

3. Dramatization: Any activity that involves acting out some aspect of the training content.

  • Role play.
  • Skit.
  • Debate.

4. Game: Any activity that is enjoyable, interesting, often timed or competitive, and carried out by its own rules.

  • Crossword puzzle or board game.
  • Ice breaker.
  • Relay race, either physical or oral.
  • Competitive brainstorming, where groups compete against each other and the clock to come up with the best responses.

5. Physical Movement: Any activity that is primarily kinesthetic, intended to get the body moving.

  • Gallery walk, in which groups of participants walk from flipchart to flipchart, posting their answers to questions.
  • Pop ups, where participants pop up out of their chairs to give an answer.
  • Walkabout, in which pairs walk and talk together.
  • Ropes course involving various physical challenges.
  • Ice breaker or energizer, such as a Koosh toss.
  • Scavenger hunt to obtain ideas from other participants.

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