Tools for Schools, February/March 2005, Vol. 8, No. 4
Engage all the senses: to increase learning
By Nusa Maal
If you really want to engage learners, try taking a multisensory approach. Presentations that appeal to auditory, visual, and kinesthetic modalities simultaneously connect more deeply and have a lasting impact. Everyone has a dominant learning style. Much like cross-training works for athletes, developing programming in other styles enhances learning. Learners will get more benefit from exercises, and they’ll feel energized along the way.
Prepare: Where's the restroom
Participants deserve and need basic information about the logistics of your workshop. They also need an opportunity to meet and greet other participants. This activity addresses both of those needs.
Brainstorming is a method for tapping the resources of the entire group. Through brainstorming, a group strives for quantity of ideas, not quality. To ensure that that happens, the facilitator asks participants at the beginning to refrain from evaluating or criticizing ideas when they are announced.
Incubate: Six hats
This activity is especially helpful to groups that want to reflect on a future event or proposed change.
Evaluate: Consensus voting
The facilitator asks individuals to react to a proposal by raising the number of fingers that correspond to their position.
Organize: Round-robin interviewing
Use this activity during a workshop to encourage teachers to share what they are learning during the session.
Act: Action plan
Before the session ends, invite participants to commit to their next steps. Ask participants to post their plans on a wall where everyone can read them.