Saturday, February 7, 2009

Tip #262: Helping SMEs Become Open to Using Participatory Activities

ways to check for comprehension that are participant-directed and provide great value. The instructor doesn't have to do a thing but set up the activity.

I'm referring to Grab the Koosh, where participants each write down two different content-related questions on two different index cards. They write the answer to the question on the back of the card. Then they assign a point value of 1 (easy) to 10 (very difficult) to each question. The participants at each table take turns reading their questions. Whoever at the table can grab the Koosh (or the pen or anything centrally located on the table) first gets to answer the question. If the answer is correct, the person gets the points. At the end of the activity, the participant with the greatest number of points wins and can be rewarded with a prize or a privilege.

Regarding the last issue of facilitation, we can discuss how we plan to give them an opportunity to learn how to facilitate the activities and to practice their facilitation. Depending on the time and situation, this might be a one-one-one coaching or a "half day workshop with a pilot session run through later.

If we lay the groundwork correctly and adequately address their concerns, they should be open to actually using participatory activities in their own programs.

Next week, we will discuss how to meet the third challenge: helping SMEs see that participatory activities are not necessarily difficult to design.

This week, we continue a discussion regarding how to teach subject matter experts (SMEs) to incorporate participatory learning activities into their technical curriculum and to become comfortable facilitating this interaction.

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