tips on the many ways in which you can use cards as a reviewing
tool. Reviewing = processing / debriefing / reflection
Roger Greenaway's Active Reviewing Tips 14.1 ~ ISSN 1465-8046
A free monthly publication from Reviewing Skills Training
ARTips 14.1 Reviewing with Cards: 8 methods
~ 1 ~ EDITORIAL: My Reviewing Kit
~ 2 ~ ARTICLE: Reviewing with Cards: 8 Methods
~ 3 ~ RESOURCE: Dialoogle
~ 4 ~ ACTIVE LEARNING BOOKSHOP: Toon Cards
~ 5 ~ ARCHIVE: Reviewing with Pictures
~ 6 ~ EVENTS: April 2012 and beyond
~ 7 ~ LINKS: Big Screen Magic and Lights Camera Action
~ 8 ~ LAST ISSUE and FUTURE ISSUES
~ 9 ~ About Active Reviewing Tips
EDITORIAL: MY REVIEWING KIT
These are the items in my reviewing kit that I carry to trainer-
training workshops. They fit into a small rucksack or a small
trolley on wheels - if that's your bag ;) Most items have
* 100 picture postcards or a box of Dialoogle pictures
* 15 x 2 metre nylon climbing ropes - ideal for making large
diagrams (but too short for a decent climb)
* A dummy microphone and remote control for action replay
* A pack of playing cards - multiple uses
* 5 giant playing cards for demonstrating the Active Reviewing
* Plenty of blank index cards (or similar)
* Cards with ready-made questions for Brief Encounters
* Some notes on how to turn these items into a reviewing kit!
That is as much gear as I need for any trainer-training workshop
for one to five days.
You will notice that the most common item in this list is 'cards'
of some kind. This issue of Active Reviewing Tips gives you some
ideas about how you can use various kinds of cards for reviewing.
If you have your own favourite ways of using cards feel free,
motivated and welcome to share your secrets with other readers of
Active Reviewing Tips - which is now in its 14th year and still
introducing new ideas to readers (as well as some old
Enjoy your card making, collecting, swapping, buying, using ...
and even writing about how you get on. It is always good to
review your own practice and taste your own medicine.
email@example.com (for competition entries and any other business)
PS If you like this issue, please tell others.
If you can suggest improvements please tell me.
If you tweet, you can now follow @roger_review on Twitter
~ ARTICLE: REVIEWING WITH CARDS: 8 METHODS
REVIEWING WITH CARDS: 8 METHODS
By Roger Greenaway, Reviewing Skills Training
CARDS provide endless possibilities as a reviewing aid. Index
cards (slightly larger than playing cards) are ideal for most
- they are cheap, handy and portable compared to other visual
- they can be written on without needing a hard resting surface
- they can be readily sorted and arranged in sequences and
- they can be shuffled, dealt and used in the style of card games
CHAT CARDS: LISTENING TO AND REPRESENTING OTHERS
* The group and/or the facilitator generate review questions
relating to the previous activity. These are written out, one per
card, with the number of cards corresponding to the number of
* The cards are shuffled and dealt out (one card per pair).
* Pairs discuss the question on the card, for a fixed time (say 2
minutes), then pass the card on.
* Follow up with a group discussion on each question, starting
each discussion with the rule: "You may only contribute by
representing the views of your partner".
* If you warn participants in advance about this rule, you will
achieve a higher quality of listening in pairs and a higher
quality of contribution in the whole group setting.
CARD RACE: AGENDA RAISING AND PRIORITISING
* Everyone has three cards on which to write review questions or
review topics (in thick pen).
* The cards are spread out face up on the floor / table.
* Any individual can veto a topic by turning a card face down.
* Cards with similar questions are placed on top of each other.
* The remaining face-up cards (and piles) are lined up for a
* Each person moves their 'favourite' question forwards three
spaces (a 'space' can be the height of a card), their second
favourite two spaces, and their third favourite one space. The
floor is a better surface unless you have a really big table.
* The writer of the winning card initiates discussion on their
SCORE CARDS: MONITORING GROUP ACHIEVEMENTS
Up to ten cards representing 'group goals' are pinned in a row
along the foot of a noticeboard. Imagine a vertical column above
each card. When a card reaches the top of its column, the goal is
achieved. At a suitable point during each review, a group member
(a different person each time) is asked to move the cards up or
down to show the extent to which they think each 'goal' was
achieved. If the scoring is challenged, it is discussed until
group consensus is reached. (Alternatively use two cards to mark
highest and lowest scores on each dimension.)
When this exercise is first introduced, goals might be about
keeping to ground rules; achieving programme objectives; or
developing group skills such as listening, decision-making and
teamwork. New goals can be introduced at any stage: these are
likely to be more specific, reflecting recurring issues or
relating to new tasks or new aspirations..
JOGGER CARDS [aka GOAL KEEPERS]: ACTION POINT REMINDERS
* From previous reviews, each individual should have at least one
personal 'Action Point' relating to their behaviour during
activities, such as: 'I should speak up more', 'listen more',
'not give up easily'.
* Up to three action points per person are recorded on 'jogger'
cards (as in 'memory jogger') and given to an 'observer' for the
next activity. The more cards there are, the more observers will
* During the next activity, observers look out for individuals
who do not appear to be implementing their action points, and
unobtrusively show them the appropriate card together with a
thumbs down signal. If observers notice people working on (or
succeeding with) their action points, they should show the
appropriate card together with a thumbs up sign.
* Any disputes about this feedback are postponed until the
CREDIT CARDS: AN APPRAISAL EXERCISE
Each card has a short phrase such as: you tried hardest; you
surprised me most; you laughed the most; you were the most
predictable; you helped me most; you cared most about others etc.
Also known as 'COMPUTER CARDS', this popular appraisal exercise,
in which people pass each other cards with ready-made messages on
them, is very unpopular with individuals who receive a pile of
negative cards. (There are better and more sensitive ways of
providing critical feedback.) Even if played with cards with only
positive messages, those who receive no cards at all do not feel
This feedback method is more concise and valuable if the cards
refer to specific events during the activity being reviewed. So
be prepared to include some last minute additions to tailor this
technique to what actually happened.
SIMULTANEOUS SURVEY: AS AN APPRAISAL EXERCISE
Everyone stands in a circle with a blank card and a pen. Ask
everyone to collect five positive feedback statements about the
person on their left.
People record five different key words or phrases (from at least
five people) as they carry out their survey. Because people will
finish this exercise at different times it helps to have
background music loud enough to maintain some privacy for the
last conversations in the survey stage.
You can keep the music playing while people pass on the feedback
to the person who was on their left, and then present them with
their card as a souvenir.
Depending on the group and your purpose you may want to give
everyone a second card on which to turn their survey findings
into art work or at least making the words colourful, bold and
attractive. And you may also want to make the presentation of the
cards a performance in front of the whole group.
BRIEF ENCOUNTERS: SHARING POSITIVE EXPERIENCES
The purpose is to get to know others while learning about their
experiences of success.
The briefing is on the cards that you give out. One side of each
card has the standard briefing. The other side has two unique
questions about success (or any topic you want to focus on).
This is an excellent way to start an event where people are
arriving at different times, but it can be introduced at any
point. My own collection of questions brings out people's
strengths and their humour and focuses attention on the theme of
the day (which in this case is 'success'). Everything you want
from an icebreaker!
1. Find a partner and stay on your feet.
2. Ask one of the questions on the back of this card.*
3. Answer each other's question in < 1 minute.
4. Swap cards and find a new partner.
* Be kind: adapt or change your question if your partner is
struggling to answer it.
You can copy and print out the success questions at:
where you can also read about the experiences of trainers who
have used this exercise. If you use it (or have used it) and have
some comments to add, please do so!
PLAYING CARDS: FOR UNFACILITATED SMALL GROUP REVIEWS
You need these five cards:
Ace of Diamonds (or any diamond) = Facts
Two of Hearts (or any heart) = Feelings
Three of Spades (or any spade) = Findings
Four of Clubs (or any club) = Futures
The Joker (wild card) = Anything
The group arrange the cards in the above order with the Ace of
diamonds (or any diamond) on top of the stack of 5 cards. While
the diamond is showing everyone says something about what
happened during the event being reviewed..
When ready to move on, the diamond goes to the bottom of the
stack, leaving the heart card on view. While the heart is showing
everyone says something about what they experienced or felt
during the event being reviewed.
When ready to move on the heart goes to the bottom of the stack
revealing the spade card - for digging a bit deeper. This is the
cue for everyone to provide explanations about why things
happened as they did or why people felt as they did. At this
stage the group are exploring hows and whys which should lead to
When ready to move on the spade goes to the bottom of the stack
revealing the club card, which leads into a future-focused
discussion that is connected to any statements arising from the
previous three cards.
When ready to move on the Joker comes into view, which is the
signal for a free-for-all. This is not an invitation for chaos or
rudeness: it is an invitation for free-flowing discussion arising
from the review so far. The only 'rule' at this stage is that the
cards should now 'follow' the conversation. For example, it
people are expressing feelings, the heart should be on view, if
people are sharing future hopes, dreams, or intentions, the club
should be on view.
For more information see:
REVIEWING WITH CARDS
Four of the above activities just require blank cards, two
require cards with ready made questions or statements, two
require a pack of playing cards. Whether you regard this as
resource-lite or resource-intensive depends on where you are
coming from in your reviewing practice. Wherever you are coming
from, I hope at least one of these ideas will help you extend
your practice as a facilitator of reviewing.
PS added since initial publication:
Cards to help (young) people say sorry produced by Totem Development. Partly inspired by the Elton John Lyric “Always seems to me, that ‘Sorry’ seems to be the hardest word….” -Elton John and Bernie Taupin
~ RESOURCE: DIALOOGLE - PICTURE CARDS:
A picture is worth a thousand words. With Dialoogle you can kick-
start, renew, diversify and qualify communication in dialogues
and group conversations.
'Dialoogling' makes use of a series of picture cards created to
stimulate associations, inspire creativity, and to help people
formulate feelings, perceptions and ideas.
'Dialoogling' makes conversations flow more freely, enhancing the
value and outcome for all participants. Dialoogle is an ideal
tool for teachers and psychologists, business leaders and
coaches, HR and management consultants - for anybody striving to
improve the quality of a conversations in any context.
See for yourself at:
~ ACTIVE LEARNING BOOKSHOP: TOON CARDS
Chris Terrell's pack of Toon Cards is a set of cards in which
each card has a cartoon and a caption. They are designed for
personal development work with young people, and Chris describes
many ways in which you can use them. You will find a review at
Amazon. Look for Toon Cards here:
Do ALL your Amazon shopping (not just books) via
<http://reviewing.co.uk/reviews> and not only do YOU get a good
deal, so do CHILDREN around the world who need our help. I worked
for Save the Children for 4 years so I know about the value and
quality of the work they do. Please support them by buying your
books (and any other Amazon goods) via ROGER'S ACTIVE LEARNING
~ ARCHIVE: REVIEWING WITH PICTURES
Creative reviewing with pictures:
visual debriefing methods for reflecting on experience
~ FACILITATION TRAINING 2012 [VARIOUS PROVIDERS]
If you are a provider of facilitation training, please send me
the details if you would like the details included in future
issues of Active Reviewing Tips.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
15th April 2012
Environmental Learning Cards
Betws-y-coed, North Wales
16th April - 15th June 2012
Ecopsychology Distance Learning Programme
people who would like to explore ecopsychology in a structured
and supported way, but who don’t have the time or resources to
attend a residential course or engage with longer, formal study.
17th April 2012
Facilitating Experiential Learning in the Outdoors
IOL Wales/Cymru (IOL members free)
24th April 2012
101 experiential techniques for counselors and therapists
Michael Gass, New Hampshire USA
The workshop: http://www.aee.org/conferences/workshops-2012gass
Or save the air fare and buy the book for around £20 @
25-28 April 2012
2012 World Appreciative Inquiry Conference
Towards a new economy of strengths
- scaling-up the generative power of AI
26-27th April 2012
Experiential Learning Congress
organised by The Academy of Business in Society
26-29th April 2012
16th EEEurope Conference
This annual conference provides a unique meeting place for
experiential educators, trainers, therapists, teachers and others
who are interested in sharing, discussing and challenging their
knowledge, methods and techniques.
30th April 2012
METALOG® training tools Workshop
METALOG® training tools are multifaceted interaction activities
and learning projects for indoor and outdoor use
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
DISCLAIMER: READER BEWARE
I do not guarantee anything about the quality
(or even the existence of!) events advertised in this message.
You are advised to make your own judgements about quality and
authenticity of any events listed above.
For the full Experiential-CPD Calendar see:
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
REVIEWING SKILLS TRAINING WORKSHOPS
If you would like to host an open event or arrange for an in-
house customised trainer-training programme please get in touch.
Write to: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Or view the sample training workshops at
My travels in 2012 will take me to these countries. If you wish
to host a reviewing skills workshop in one of these countries in
the month's shown, you may be in luck! Please get in touch.
July: Hong Kong
Write to: <email@example.com>
~ LINKS: Big Screen Magic and Lights
Sam Moore's 'Big Screen Magic' is full of useful tips for making
and using a slide-show as a reflection tool. Sam writes:
"A slide-show of pictures from a group’s adventures is a
beautiful way of rounding off a programme and with modern
technology it is easier than it has ever been. If we embrace
reflection as a key part of experiential learning, and believe
that an image is worth a thousand words, we can help the
participants relive the emotions of a programme and reinforce the
learning that they bring."
The tips are in 5 sections:
* Capturing Images
* Telling the Story
* Engaging the Ears as well as the Eyes
* Let It Play
* Useful Music to Accompany your Slideshow
And on the question of whose story it is, Sam advises:
"As tempting as it may be to add captions, funny or otherwise,
remember that you are helping the participants reflect on their
story not telling your version of it."
'Lights Camera Action: How to use video for learning' is a real
eye-opener to the many ways in which video of all kinds can be
used to enhance training and learning - whether using camera
phones, webcams or a video camcorder (such as Flip).
Have you thought of using video before, during and after a
programme? David Gibson describes ways in which video can be used
to help set up a programme in advance, to enhance the learning
process during the programme and to improve follow-up and
Throughout the article you will find ideas for both synchronous
(real-time) video and for asynchronous (recorded) video.
Although I am a fan of Action Replay (without a real camera), I
can also see myself becoming a fan of exploiting the amazing
opportunities for using video to enhance all kinds of training.
I have rarely been impressed by training videos because there are
usually much more interactive and dynamic ways of spending
precious training time. But with the kinds of ideas presented in
Lights Camera Action, video can become a highly participative
learning tool - whether learners are in front of the camera or
[The above link is no longer active but take a look at http://www.eureka-tp.com anyway - it's a great resource and you may even find this one in a new location.]
~ LAST ISSUE AND FUTURE ISSUES
Designing Review Sessions: 10 Tips
Topics under considerations for future issues:
* Reviewing as a takeaway skill for participants
* Evaluating Active Reviewing: how well does it work?
* Reviewing for different outcomes (using the same activities)
* Reviewing for teachers and lecturers
* Reviewing for consultants
* Reviewing one-to-one
* End of programme reviews
* Co-facilitating reviews
* The art of improvising
* Remote Reviewing
* Readers' Questions about Reviewing
* Sample designs for learning and development
* Integrated practice in experiential learning
(when does an activity become a review? when does a review become
an activity? examples of integrated practice - and do these
challenge or demonstrate experiential learning theory?)
Please let me know what you would like to see in a future issue
of Active Reviewing Tips - whether from the above list or on
another reviewing topic that matters to you.
If you like this issue, please tell others. If you want to suggest improvements please tell me: firstname.lastname@example.org
9 ~ About Active
EDITOR: Dr. Roger Greenaway, Reviewing Skills Training
9 Drummond Place Lane STIRLING Scotland UK FK8 2JF
Feedback, recommendations, questions: email@example.com
phone (UK office hours): +44 1786 450968
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Alternatively, enter your email address at:
The Guide to Active Reviewing is at
FROM GUESTBOOK: "I like the way you look at everything and then
return to what is simple, effective and memorable."
COPYRIGHT: Roger Greenaway 2012 Reviewing Skills Training
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