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Active Reviewing Tips 1.7 Remember the Individual
A C T I V E . R E V I E W I N G . T I P S Vol. 1.7 December 1998.
~~~~~~ A C T I V E . R E V I E W I N G . T I P S
~~~~~~ FOR DYNAMIC EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING
~~~~~~ the free monthly newsletter linked to the web-based
~~~~~~ 'GUIDE TO ACTIVE REVIEWING AND DEBRIEFING'
~~~~~~ Editor: Roger Greenaway firstname.lastname@example.org
~~~~~~ Vol. 1.7 December 1998.
~~~~~~ From the editor: ABOUT THIS ISSUE ~~~~~~
I MET A SUBSCRIBER FACE TO FACE LAST WEEK. I was providing a reviewing
skills workshop in the Scottish Highlands. And one of the participants
introduced himself as a subscriber to 'Active Reviewing Tips'. His very
first question was ''how many other people subscribe?'' The answer is 148.
So here's 149 thank you's and the answer to a question that may interest
more than one subscriber. Yes there is more than one! :-)
OBSERVANT readers will have noticed that the title of this newsletter has
grown a bit since last month. All will be explained in the next issue.
Readers with GOOD MEMORIES will know that this issue was to be about:
''Reviewing for Individuals, plus a chance to take part in some
That's just what's coming up.
The focus on INDIVIDUAL reviewing should be of special interest to people
who normally review at a group level. In a group setting it can be
difficult to give sufficient attention to individually different
experiences. So this issue provides a few tips on the subject.
The individual focus is also on YOU! I chose not to ask you for any
demographic information in the sign up procedure with the list service provider. So I know
nothing about you. That's just how it should be - I don't expect my
newsagent to ask me to fill in a form before I buy a newspaper.
But I would like to know your VIEWS - about this monthly ezine. A good
reader response to the 7 questions below, will help me to develop this
ezine around your interests.
~~~~~~ Feedback: REAL REVIEWING ~~~~~~
I have found the 7 questions below to be good ways of getting useful
feedback in a live setting. I have yet to find out if this works well via
The process is very simple:
1) Hit the 'Reply To' button to create an email message that is
automatically addressed to 'Active Reviewing Tips'.
2) Answer each question below and hit the send button.
That's all! But if that doesn't work (or if you prefer) just copy and
paste the 7 questions into a new message and send it to:
3 QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PAST
Whether you are a new or old subscriber, please think about what you have
found Plus, Minus and Interesting about 'Active Reviewing Tips', and write
your response beside the # marks below.
1 PLUS Point about 'Active Reviewing Tips'
1 MINUS Point about 'Active Reviewing Tips'
1 INTERESTING Point about 'Active Reviewing Tips'
3 QUESTIONS ABOUT THE FUTURE
Whether you are a new or old subscriber, please say what you would like to
see in 'Active Reviewing Tips' in future:
1 MORE QUESTION
Any other comments or suggestions?
Credit: 'Plus, Minus and Interesting' (or 'PMI') is a question sequence
that Edward de Bono devised to help people find a third or lateral way of
making an evaluative response. His official website is:
~~~~~~ Reviewing Tips: REMEMBER THE INDIVIDUAL ~~~~~~
A common (default?) pattern of reviewing in a group is when the facilitator
asks questions to the whole group. This is mistake number one if your
priority is to help individuals review their own personal experiences. At
the heart of the experiential learning process is the learner's curiosity
rather than the facilitator's curiosity. (In fact, the facilitator is an
optional extra and is not an essential feature of experiential learning!)
To conduct all reviewing as whole group sessions inevitably restricts the
time and opportuntiy for individuals to get in touch with, express and
learn from their own experiences. Of course, there are plenty of good
reasons for conducting reviews at a group level, but do you provide the
optimum individual/group balance in your own reviewing style? These 10
'tips' will help you to facilitate reviewing at the 'individual' level, and
may help you to think about the optimum balance.
1) Encourage learners to generate their own questions (before activities
and before reviews).
2) Encourage learners to set individual objectives in addition to any
course or group objectives that may exist.
3) Give learners time (and a structure) that will help them prepare for a
group review session. This could be alone or in pairs. It might involve
writing or drawing or collecting symbols.
4) To maximise the time for individuals to review their own experiences,
use a structure like 'Guided Reflection' that takes everyone through their
own private review process at the same time.
5) Use questionnaires, log books, tape recorders or word processors - any
resource that gives individuals a structure and opportunity to make
recordings about their experience and their responses to it.
6) Establish a rule for one 'special' reviewing session that the focus will
be on individual experiences. Encourage 'I' and 'my' statements and
discourage (or disallow) the use of 'we' and 'us'. You may want to finish
the session (or start the next session) by reversing the rule.
7) Encourage the use of visual aids and creative media to help individuals
express their feelings, thoughts and ideas to each other and the group.
8) Create opportunities and develop skills in the giving and receiving of
personal feedback - so that a group develops the habit of recognising and
appreciating individuality and diversity.
9) Ensure that (even in team building programmes) there is time and space
for individuals. 'Solo Challenge' is an example of individual programming
in the middle of a team-focused course. It is naturally easier to focus on
individual experiences in reviewing where individuals have each been 'doing
their own thing' during the 'activity'.
10) Set an example. Tell the group from time to time what you are
experiencing. But don't overdo it! Ensure that you are not one of those
facilitators who probes into the feelings of others from behind a
poker-faced firewall. In appraisal sessions consider joining in so that you
are also giving and receiving feedback via the structure you have set up.
Most of the ten tips above are strategies rather than specific techniques.
You will find plenty of techniques in the Online Guide to Active Reviewing
~~~~~~ Other Ezines About Reviewing ~~~~~~
Still looking! Suggestions welcome if you know of any.
Last month's ezine about reviewing was 'PowerQuotes'.
This inspired the following response from Barbara Kawliche ...
~~~~~~ Using ''Quotes'' as a Reviewing Technique ~~~~~~
I like to use participants' own "quotes" as a reviewing technique. Ask them
to describe their experience in one or two sentences which would be
interesting or intriguing to someone who was not there. Depending on the
group you may want to give examples or more specific directions, but I
generally find that the most creative quotes come from the fewest
Discussion of these quotes is usually lively and those who originally came
up with something like "It was great" often change their quote during the
If you use this activity to review an entire program, it's worth the effort
to write the quotes down and have them photocopied as a keepsake for each
person. If you are not in a place with a copier (often the case), you can
mail or e-mail the list later.
Youthwork Links and Ideas
~~~~~~ FUTURE ISSUES ~~~~~~
• NEXT: Reviewing 1999 (a practice for 2000!); an explanation of the
new title for this ezine; a brief overview of the findings from REAL
REVIEWING (which you will want to see if you chose to take part - please
do!); + more tips and links.
• Shapes in Reviewing: Using Circles
• Creating Fresh Perspectives: Why and How
• Disability and Recognising Ability
• Reviewing to Achieve Objectives
Here's 5 opportunities to 'get involved' - if you would like to
contribute or suggest links or references on any of the above
topics. You can do this anonymously, but I would prefer to give
you full credit for your ideas. It's your choice. Please send
your ideas to: email@example.com
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