|Reviewing and debriefing practices in Outdoor Management Development, Corporate Adventure Training and Experience-Based Training and Development. Lifelong learning is never long enough!||
Answers to most of these questions can be found throughout this site. As this site is developed, more responses will be added and referenced.
One response on this site will be the publication of an article that compares indoor simulations of outdoor activities (such as Desert Survival) with outdoor simulations of indoor work-related activities.
SIMULATIONS: DESIGNED vs. UNDESIGNEDBut the very word 'simulation' can draw attention away from the real value of reviewing in OMD (Outdoor Management Development). A focus on 'simulation' leads us to think of relevance and transfer of learning happening as a result of careful design. But my own experience, and my research, strongly suggest that it is the undesigned outdoor experiences that have greatest impact and value in outdoor management development. I do not choose to avoid or discourage simulations because of this 'discovery' - but I do strongly emphasise the importance of helping managers to maximise their learning from undesigned experiences (and from simulations that do not turn out as expected).
WHAT HAPPENS TO REVIEWING ON SHORTER COURSES?Given the continuing trend towards ever shorter Outdoor Management Development courses, the search is on for finding ways of maximising learning in the shortest possible time. On the other hand, we know that development takes time. (In fact ethical questions arise if too much 'development' happens in too short a time.) Taking these points together implies that reviewing some time after the outdoor experiences may be necessary and desirable. My discovery of the importance of such follow-up was almost accidental.
FOLLOW-UP: FOCUS ON PLANS OR EXPERIENCES?The idea of using follow-up meetings as a progress check on action plans is an idea that is well established. My own follow-up meetings (in the course of my research) involved asking managers to tell me about the experiences during their outdoor course which they felt had most affected their learning and development. Most happened to mention that this process of reviewing the experience again 4-6 weeks later resulted in further learning and development - even though that was not the purpose of my interviews.
RE-REVIEWINGThis happy 'accident' further reinforced my belief in the value of
re-reviewing experience - in the sense of getting back into the experience rather than simply reviewing the plans arising from it. Another month or so after the experience, the 'same' valued experiences when 'dipped into' again produced further valued learning and development.
101 METHODSThere must be 101 good ways to conduct such interviews whether face to face or via telephone, teleconferencing, videoconferencing or by exploiting other internet capabilities. Provided that the interview gives the learner an opportunity to retell the story of a valued experience, the chances are (it seems) that value will be added and further connections will be made.
9 STORIESNine examples of the stories that were told to me can be found online in the Interview Index. These not only illustrate the value of 're-reviewing' interviews - they also illustrate the wide range of valued experiences (both designed and undesigned) that can occur during outdoor management development courses.
REVIEWING MATTERSAs a result of these experiences I have become even more convinced of the extra importance of reviewing in Outdoor Management Development - given the particular difficulties of designing learning when managers and the outdoors are brought together on an intensive developmental course. It is a potent and unpredictable mixture. That is it's value. And that is one of the main reasons why effective reviewing matters so much.
Everything else matters too! The trainer/facilitator in OMD needs a wide range of skills throughout the whole process. Emphasising the value of effective reviewing does not imply that short-cuts can be taken in other apsects of OMD.
TOOLS FOR REVIEWING IN OMDYes, there are many other reviewing tools that can be used in outdoor management development apart from the 're-reviewing' process outlined above You will find some of these in the OMD LINKS INDEX