Training programs typically end with the participants quickly completing an evaluation sheet. The activity is fine, but the timing is problematic.
When participants complete an evaluation at the very end of the program, it takes all of the energy out of the learning environment. Their focus immediately goes inward, and they stop communicating with those around them.
There is a better alternative. Make evaluations the next-to-last activity in the session. Then use one or more engaging, physical and interactive activities to close the training session in a manner that will maintain learning excitement and energy.
These three activities reinforce what the participants have learned. In the next Tip, we’ll consider two other activities that reinforce the social connections that the participants have made with each other.
- Report key learning.
Give participants a minute or so to write down the most significant learning they gained because of the program. Then have them stand up and take turns reporting their key learning. A Koosh toss works well for this. The participants sit after they state their key take away and throw the Koosh to someone who is still standing. If some participants identify the same key learning, this will simply reinforce its importance.
Their reports provide an effective summary of the training content, emphasize and reinforce what the participants found most important, and give the trainer immediate feedback about the program’s effectiveness.
- Go on a walkabout.
Ask the participants to jot down how they plan to use what they have learned. Then have them pair up with someone with whom they have not worked during the session and go for a short (4-minute) walk.
While they walk, they should take turns talking about their plans. This will increase the probability that they will implement them. When the pairs return from the walkabout, they can give each other a high ten.
The process of walking and talking will generate a high level of energy and enthusiasm among the participants. Choosing to walk with someone “new” to them will also create new social connections.
- Complete the alphabet
Write out the alphabet letters on a long wall chart or several flipcharts. Have the participants work together to write a content-related word that begins with each letter. This prompts the participants to remember the content and be creative.
Question: What other summary activities do you have participants do at the end of a program?
May your learning be sweet,
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