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Active Reviewing Tips 2.10   Active Reviewing (part 2)

Active Reviewing Tips for Dynamic Experiential Learning
http://reviewing.co.uk
 
Active Reviewing Tips 2.10 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ISSN 1465-8046
 
CONTENTS
~ ~ ACTIVE REVIEWING ARTICLE - Part 2
~ ~ HOW TO TRANSFER LEARNING - New training workshop
~ ~ About Active Reviewing Tips
~ ~ How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe
 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
~ ~ 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 associated with the
~ ~ 'GUIDE TO ACTIVE REVIEWING' http://reviewing.co.uk
~ ~ Editor: Roger Greenaway roger@reviewing.co.uk
~ ~ Vol. 2.10
~ ~ ACTIVE REVIEWING ARTICLE (Part 2)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
 
Editor's note: I have just learned that http://reviewing.co.uk
has received another complimentary review in the Training
Journal. If you have a copy of the review, please let me know.
I'd love to see a copy!
 
CONTENTS (TOP)


A C T I V E    R E V I E W I N G
 
[This is Part 2 of the article begun in Active Reviewing Tips 2.9]
 
REVIEWING BY DOING
active testing of theories during a review
 
Course members arrive with theories about what a good leader, a
good manager or a good team member does. They record their
theories for display, and after doing some group tasks and
receiving feedback from observers, the group considers whether to
adjust the theory and/or their practice.
 
Groups also develop theories about themselves and each activity
may put such theories to the test.
 
Testing theories is a sound process, but groups can sometimes
delude themselves. Reviewing can be a time for examining any of
these theories (whether about managing, or about teamwork, or
about the nature and behaviour of their own group). Trainers
should be alert to opportunities for testing out theories -
especially suspect ones. 'EXCUSES' provides an example of this.
 

EXCUSES
A group which was highly disorganised following their arrival at
a remote and basic mountain hut came up with a theory about
themselves during their initial review in the hut. This went
along the lines of:
"...it was dark..."
"...we'd never been there before..."
"...we were tired..."
"...we would manage it much better another time, or in a
different 'new' situation..."
 
After their return to the training centre, their disorganised
arrival at the hut was reviewed for a second time. This time, the
trainer darkened the room and supplied the group with three
torches after scattering information about the hut's resources
around the room on bits of paper.
 
This simulation allowed the group a second attempt to organise
themselves on arrival at the 'hut'. It was just as much of a
shambles. The second (active) review had exposed the inadequacy
of the initial (all-talk) review and brought out a more accurate
explanation of the group's disorganisation.
 

NEWSROUND EXTRA
sharing individual experience through action
 
This is particularly useful where a group has been operating in
smaller units or comes together to review their individual
experiences. In these situations (where there is a lot of news to
exchange) verbal review methods can be particularly
time-consuming. Levels of concentration and interest may be low
when the time comes round for the last people in the group to
tell their stories.
 
One way of keeping people 'involved', is to invite people to act
out the story as it is told. One person acts or mimes the part of
the narrator, while others take the parts of any animate or
inanimate objects which turn up in the narrative. This can become
exhausting and chaotic! It can become so physically involving
that rather than bringing the story alive, the story gets lost as
the group concentrate on the challenge of staging it. More
time-consuming, but more controllable (if desired), is to give
individuals time to prepare performances in subgroups. Each
performance can be required to include (for example) 2 high
points, 2 low points, 2 interesting points and 2 learning points.
 
SHARING WORK EXPERIENCE THROUGH ACTION
Individuals can represent their work experience or 'problem at
work' by putting it into action using the group. The
problem-solving resources of the group can then be harnessed by
other group members offering alternatives through action. For
example ...
 
"SHOW ME A BETTER WAY"
A trainer was unhappy about his introductory meeting with a new
group. A few days later, he invited group members to enact
alternative ways of starting the course, each in turn taking on
the role of the trainer. The trainer discovered a wider range of
options and received useful advice as the group discussed their
suitability.
 
This method can help people develop constructive action plans.
Symbolic and abstract representations of work can sometimes
provide a more effective means of sharing than realistic
representations, but both approaches have their value.
 

INSTANT REPLY
(through re-enactment)
This is a method of promoting understanding between groups or
between subgroups. Group A has a theory, perhaps a grudge, about
Group B, which is related to a particular incident. Group A now
re-enact the incident as if they are Group B, and in the presence
of Group B.
 
As soon as Group A has finished, Group B replies with their
version of what happened. Because the reply is spontaneous, it is
likely that the dialogue between the groups is honest and open,
with the groups learning about each other without lapsing into
defensiveness and justification.
 
To even things up, the exercise should be repeated, this time
starting with Group B re-enacting an incident as if they are
Group A.
 

ACTIVE APPRAISAL
The presentation of mimed gifts to each other can be worth more
than lots of words. These tend to be more considered and sincere
than verbal 'gifts'. Verbal explanation of symbolic gifts is
recommended if there is a risk of misunderstanding!
 
ACTING ON APPRAISAL
"I'll try out your advice"
A manager led a group on a mountain expedition, and received a
thorough and constructive appraisal. A few days later he staged a
re-enactment of the expedition in which he tried out the advice
offered by the group.
 
SEARCH TECHNIQUES
Some active reviewing techniques can be surprisingly
time-efficient. Some techniques simply provide quick and easy
ways of finding out what's worth talking about (although they can
also be used for other reviewing purposes). Amongst these 'search
techniques' are:
 
* HEAD-HEIGHT HAPPY CHARTS in which individuals show their state
of morale at various points during an earlier exercise by the
height of their heads above the floor.
 
* LINE-UPS. Attitudes, behaviours and contributions during an
exercise can be quickly revealed by lining up in order of, say,
enthusiasm, thoughtfulness, job satisfaction etc.
 
Alternatively, the attitudes within the group can be demonstrated
by HUMAN SCULPTURES, in which the centre and periphery of the
room correspond to the centre and periphery of the group.
 
In all such techniques, individuals can place themselves, and can
have the option of moving one or more (perhaps all) of the others
in the group.
 
ACTIVE REVIEWING AS A GROUP NORM
Active reviewing techniques should not be regarded as the sole
property of the trainer.
 
Once a group is familiar with the use of active language and
active conventions, then the mixing of discussion and action can
become the norm - providing everyone with wider opportunities for
enlivening, extending and enriching their reviews.
 

HOLISTIC EXPERIENCES NEED HOLISTIC REVIEWS
If the experiences being reviewed are holistic rather than purely
cerebral, then it makes sense to offer reviewing media and
methods that are suitable vehicles for these multifaceted
holistic experiences. If the reviewing vehicles offered are
merely discussion-based, then the less discussible aspects of
experience will remain untapped, unreviewed and unharnessed.
Important sources of power, energy and insight will remain
neglected and underused.
 
IT'S DIFFICULT TO FIND WORDS TO EXPRESS ...
People interviewed after disasters struggle to find words that
adequately express their feelings. Experience-based training
should of course not expose people to such trauma, but the
principle is the same: new and intensive experiences, however
traumatic or pleasurable they might be, challenge us to find
adequate ways of expressing ourselves. Experience-based learning
(especially when it is also adventure-based) creates experiences
that can be very rich, extensive, intensive, confusing or
complex. If the quality of the experience is to have maximum
impact for learning, then it must be matched by reviewing methods
that are capable of dealing with the depth, essence and richness
of the original experience.
 
THE REVIEWER'S TOOLKIT
Active and creative reviewing techniques should be seen as basic
tools in a reviewer's toolkit, but they will never replace the
need for the skilful and imaginative use of verbal techniques,
and for facilitating group discussions. Active reviewing
techniques have many purposes. At all stages of the reviewing
cycle there are active techniques that can assist the reviewing
process i.e. for establishing facts, for expressing feelings, for
examining findings and for exploring futures.
 
[end of ACTIVE REVIEWING article]
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
DO YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE?
 

If you want to READ more about ACTIVE REVIEWING
 
1) Do nothing! Just continue with your free subscription to
Active Reviewing Tips and you will receive a monthly(ish) dose of
practical ideas for active reviewing.
 
2) Search http://reviewing.co.uk There's now a full text search
box at the top of the home page from where you can navigate this
220+ page site - mostly about reviewing, and quite a lot about
outdoor learning.
 
3) Use http://reviewing.co.uk to find related sites. You will
find useful links throughout the site.
 
4) Go to http://reviewing.co.uk/pbk.htm and learn more about
Playback online. (You can also buy a copy from here.)
 

If you want practical face-to-face TRAINING on the subject
 
1) Take a look at http://reviewing.co.uk/_wkshops.htm for a full
list of workshops or write to me at roger@reviewing.co.uk
You will find a menu of workshops to choose from, but in most
cases the workshops I provide are customised one-off events to
meet the needs of a particular staff team.
 
2) Stay subscribed to this ezine in which I will advertise any
open workshops that I am providing in the UK or in other
countries.
 

If you want to HOST a customised or open workshop, please write
to me at roger@reviewing.co.uk
 

  DON'T JUST DO IT -
 
    ACTIVELY REVIEW IT !!
 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
 
CONTENTS (TOP)

A NEW trainer-training workshop with
Roger Greenaway
Reviewing Skills Training
==========================
HOW TO TRANSFER LEARNING
and give your training lasting impact
==========================
Experience-based training has impact. But how do you ensure that
the impact leads to valued, significant and transferable change?
By taking part in this practical 2 day workshop you will learn
how to improve the chances that the full benefits of your
training are transferred to the 'real' world.
 
As a participant you will gain ...
 
* an understanding of key issues in the transfer of learning.
* the know-how to make learning experiences more transferable.
* an expanded toolkit of reviewing techniques that assist
transfer
* first-hand experience of 'transfer planning'
 
==== DAY 1 ====
 
TRANSFER, TRANSLATE OR TRANSFORM
* Who does what to assist transfer?
* Key issues about transfer
* Doing nothing about transfer
* What you can do before, during and after training events to
promote transfer
 
THINKING LINKING
* Warm-ups and skills development
* Mind opening exercises
* Association games
* Physical games
* Creative thinking exercises
* Systematic comparisons
* Pattern making
* Parallel worlds
* Developing learning skills
 
TRANSFER WITHIN A TRAINING EVENT
* Linking by design vs. linking by review
* 'Do-Review-Apply' within a course.
'* Do-Review-Apply' within an activity.
* Reviewing how transfer is happening
* Re-reviewing to find new associations
 
TRANSFER BEYOND A TRAINING EVENT
* When and how to focus on the future
* Reviewing how transfer is happening
* Models of transfer: bridging the gap with your favourite
vehicle for change.
* Transfer plan = action plan + learning plan
* Writing 'smart' objectives with muscle!
* Rehearsing 'what if' scenarios
 
==== DAY 2 ====
 
MAKING TRANSFER INEVITABLE
* Growth, capacity and potential
* Storing success
* Working with stories and metaphors
* Working at different levels
 
MAKING LEARNING READY TO USE
* hooks - internal and external
* talking with different people about the course
 
CUSTOMISING LEARNING TRANSFER
* travelling alone
* creating and using support
* action plans or learning plans?
* preferred learning style
 
BEYOND TRANSFER
* translating and transforming
* what do you do with unfinished learning?
* evaluation measures and supports transfer
 
Roger Greenaway is the author of Playback and other books and
articles about reviewing.  Roger provided his first
trainer-training courses in reviewing at Brathay in the early
eighties. He was awarded a doctorate in 1995 for a study entitled
'Powerful Learning Experiences in Management Learning and
Development'. Roger now provides reviewing skills training and
consultancy in the UK and abroad.
 

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