101 Ways to Make Training Active


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction: Getting the Most from This Resource 1


Two Hundred Tips 7

Ten Layouts for Setting Up a Training Classroom 8

Ten Techniques for Learning Names 15

Ten Questions for Obtaining Participant Expectations 18

Ten Methods for Obtaining Participation 19

Ten Assignments to Give Learning Partners 21

Ten Occasions to Use Response Cards 23

Ten Ways to Make Learning Visual 25

Ten Suggestions for Activating a Lecture 27

Ten Common Games Trainers Play 29

Ten Energizers to Wake Up or Relax a Group 31

Ten Strategies for Forming Groups 33

Ten Alternatives for Selecting Group Leaders and Filling Other Jobs 35

Ten Tips When Facilitating Discussion 37

Ten Options for Role Playing 39

Ten Steps to Use When Facilitating Experiential Activities 40

Ten Timesavers When Active Training Takes Time 42

Ten Tricks for Calling Participants to Order 44

Ten Props That Dramatize Learning 46

Ten Interventions for Regaining Control of the Group 48

Ten Tips for Online Active Learning 50


Team-Building Strategies 55

1. Stand Up and Be Counted 56

2. Human Scavenger Hunt 58

3. Group Résumé 60

4. Predictions 62

5. Television Commercial 64

6. Me Too 65

7. Really Getting Acquainted 67

8. Team Getaway 69

9. Reconnecting 71

10. Setting Ground Rules 73

On-the-Spot Assessment Strategies 75

11. First-Class Survey 76

12. Introductory Go-Arounds 79

13. Assessment Search 81

14. Instant Assessment 83

15. A Representative Sample 85

16. Class Concerns 87

Immediate Learning Involvement Strategies 89

17. Active Knowledge Sharing 90

18. Rotating Trio Exchange 92

19. Go to Your Post 94

20. Lightening the Learning Climate 96

21. Exchanging Viewpoints 98

22. True or False? 100

23. Hangman 102

24. Buying into the Course 105


Active Lecturing 109

25. Gaining Attention 110

26. Inquiring Minds Want to Know 112

27. Teaching by Analogy 114

28. Listening Teams 116

29. Guided Note Taking 119

30. Lecture Bingo 122

31. Guided Teaching 125

32. Acting It Out 127

33. Team Quiz 130

Stimulating Discussion 133

34. Active Debate 134

35. Town Meeting 137

36. Three-Stage Fishbowl Discussion 139

37. Expanding Panel 142

38. Point-Counterpoint 144

39. Reading Aloud 146

40. Card Exchange 148

Prompting Questions 151

41. Learning Starts with a Question 152

42. Question Cards 154

43. Planted Questions 156

44. Role Reversal Questions 158

Team Learning 161

45. Information Search 162

46. The Study Group 164

47. Card Sort 167

48. Learning Tournament 169

49. The Power of Two 171

50. Team Investigation 173

Peer Teaching 175

51. Group-to-Group Exchange 176

52. Jigsaw Learning 178

53. Everyone Is a Teacher Here 181

54. Peer Lessons 183

55. Participant-Created Case Studies 185

56. Poster Session 188

Active e-Learning 191

57. E-Mail Exchanges192

58. Dear Addie Letters 194

59. Application Questions 196

60. Web-Based Scavenger Hunt 198

61. Real-time Feedback 200

62. e-Learning Journals 202

Emotional Intelligence 205

63. Jolts 206

64. Seeing How It Is 208

65. Billboard Ranking 210

66. What? So What? Now What? 212

67. Active Self-Assessment 214

68. Stop, Start, Continue 216

69. Storytelling 218

Skill Development 221

70. Show, But NOT Tell 222

71. The Firing Line 224

72. Active Observation and Feedback 227

73. Non-Threatening Role Playing 229

74. Triple Role Playing 231

75. Rotating Roles 233

76. You Write the Script 235

77. Practice-Rehearsal Pairs 237

78. I Am the 239

79. Curveballs 241


Reviewing Strategies 245

80. Index Card Match 246

81. Flip Chart/Slide Review 248

82. Review Scrabble 250

83. Crossword Puzzle 252

84. Jeopardy Review 254

85. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? 257

86. Participant Recap 261

Self-Assessment 263

87. Reconsidering 264

88. Return on Your Investment 266

89. What We Are Taking Away 268

90. Physical Self-Assessment 270

Application Planning 273

91. Self-Monitoring 274

92. Peer Consultation 276

93. Obstacle Assessment 278

94. Job Reminders 280

95. I Hereby Resolve 282

96. Follow-Up Questionnaire 284

97. Sticking to It 287

Closing Sentiments 291

98. High Fives 292

99. Connections 294

100. Group Photo 296

101. The Final Exam 298

References 301

About the Author 303

Pfeiffer Publications Guide 305

About the Author


MEL SILBERMAN was professor emeritus of adult and organizational development at Temple University, where he received its Great Teacher Award. He was also president of Active Training, Princeton, New Jersey, a consulting firm that provided courses on active training techniques, interpersonal intelligence, and team facilitation. He was the author and editor of over 30 books, including Active Training, and The 60-Minute Active Training Series.


"If you want to shift from lecture-based learning (or lack of it) to participant-centered (with plenty of transfer), then 101 Ways to Make Training Active belongs in your library. Mel never fails to provide practical tools and strategies for making training come alive." --Bob Pike, chairman and CEO, The Bob Pike Group and author, The Creative Training Techniques Handbook "I can now retire my beat-up copy of Mel?s original 101 Ways to Make Training Active that I have been using the last ten years. The second edition is even more practical. It retains the original brilliance and adds new and powerful activities. I am planning to buy two copies and keep one of them under lock and key." --Sivasailam ?Thiagi? Thiagarajan, resident mad scientist, The Thiagi Group and author, Design Your Own Games and Activities "Wow! 101 Ways to Make Training Active has just gotten better! What a great new collection of creative and useful ways to make training active and improve learner retention. I can?t wait to try them out." --Jean Barbazette, president, The Training Clinic and author, Instant Case Studies "Mel Silberman has done it again! With this second edition, he has polished to perfection his fabulous 101 Ways to Make Training Active. Sparkling with easy-to-read and easy-to-use ideas, this gem of a resource is a must-read for anyone in the training profession. You will use the wealth of material found in this book until its pages are flagged, dog-eared, and worn out." --Sharon Bowman, author, The Ten-Minute Trainer: 150 Ways to Teach It Quick and Make It Stick "We all know that learning by doing beats every other instructional method hands down. That?s why this book is so important. It?s packed with ideas for greatly improving learning effectiveness. A must resource for all trainers." --Dave Meier, director, The Center for Accelerated Learning and author, The Accelerated Learning Handbook

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