Confirming Learnings ExerciseRead Now
A friend asked me if I knew of an exercise to use in some classroom training, presumable about Agile product development. I offered him something that I think many Scrum Masters, Agile Coaches, or Change Agents might find useful as they gently guide the learning of a given community of practice or center of excellence that they support.
This is usually played at the end of a session of Improv class, where the students make a circle, like a kind of "Dance Off" or Cage Match, and the idea is to try to take the most valuable Learning Objective which they think they've got the strongest understanding of, and then demonstrate exactly the opposite (or whatever it's definitely not), and everybody in the circle guesses what the learning is, and applauds on a loudness scale to the degree that the person demonstrating it wrong, really got it backwards...really, really, wrong.
The Trainer/Coach uses their arms like a sound meter to indicate the loudness of the crowd reaction, and can observe how well the class members collectively and individually are mastering the subject material.
As the applause grow louder the person demonstrating in the middle is doing a faux breakdance that ends with them point (sassy, spicy, 'How do you like them apples?' attitude) to the person in the circle that goes next. (Always pick the quiet/distracted one. It pulls them into the game.)
And the cycle repeats until everyone has demonstrated and got a Learning Object horribly intentionally wrong.
Here's an Example:
Let's say that one of the learnings is to "stay consistent in the character you're taking into an improv scene" and I get picked to get it wrong inside the circle, so I start talking like a certain trope (character) with a particular accent, or verbal tick, mannerisms or some kind of attitude/way of being, and I'm interacting with an invisible person, or someone off-stage, or in the circle, and then suddenly I change my attitude, all my mannerism or accent to something completely different, or the verbal tick disappears. -I totally got it wrong.
I don't SAY or DESCRIBE the learning objective and what it means to get it wrong. I actually DO a really poor job of improv, on purpose, by getting that aspect of good improv wrong (one of the Learning Objectives of the class lesson)...and I take the violation of the rule/guideline which we just learned today, and then keep messing it up, over and over while taking it to it's logical extreme, so that it's so bad that it's hilarious, and so glaringly ineffective and unworkable that everyone knows I'm couldn't possibly be getting it wrong by mistake. I'm messing it up on purpose, to show how clear I am about the principle/Learning Objective in class. You'd have to try hard to get it wrong, to the degree I'm displaying.
Make sense? Fun, right!?!
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