Course Energiser: "The Best Course Evaluations Ever"
"The Best Course Evaluations Ever" is a great little activity for the end of a course. It's a good lead-in to the actual course evaluation itself which can sometimes be over-serious and a bit nerve-wracking. It also carries a message that can act as a reminder to all participants before they evaluate the course, that it is not the activity that counts but the meaning you give it.
Purpose: to end a training session on an upbeat and playful note; to explore how we give meaning to an activity.
Preparation Time: none
Running Time: 2 to 3 minutes
Training Exercise Style: fun and playful active exercise
Multiple Intelligence style: kinaesthetic
"The Best Course Evaluations Ever": Steps
1. Bring people together into their normal seating arrangement, eg a semi-circle or in groups or in rows at desks or tables.
2. Give the following instructions and demonstrate each action as you give the appropriate instructions.
"Please stand up. Close your eyes. Keep them tightly shut. Now open your eyes. Keep them open for the rest of the exercise.
"Now turn around 180 degrees clockwise and stop. Look over your right-hand shoulder to the front. Look over your left-hand shoulder to the front. Now complete your turn by another 180 degrees clockwise so that you are facing the same direction you started with.
"Lift your right arm above your head and make a fist. Bring it down and gently pat the left side of your chest 3 times.
"Now lower your arm and sit back down."
3. Now act as if you are debriefing the exercise by keeping a straight face and saying,
"The next activity, when you'll be filling in your course evaluation forms, is the last task of the course. To lead into it, I thought it would be a good idea to give you a whole-body energiser that would ensure you're able to truthfully complete the form.
"Now that you've just done this physical exercise, if anybody asks you later on about today's training session, you can truthfully reply:
"It brought me to my feet."
"It opened my eyes."
"It gave me a new view of things."
"It turned me around completely."
"It touched my heart."
(Note that, for a more dramatic effect, put these statements on a flipchart or overhead and bring them up one by one as you announce them.)
4. This always gets participants laughing when they see the lighthearted nature of the exercise. Add that, on a serious note, the exercise can act as a reminder that everything we do in learning is about how we interpret it. Whether it is well-designed or not, well carried-out or not, or well debriefed or not, is not the point. We can learn as much (and often more) when exercises don't work as we can when they do. And what we take away from training is always what we decide to take away not what someone else determines.
5. You can now move on to the evaluation exercise and the end of the course.