Quiz is called a “lecture game.” We
used this exercise during the presentation on learning styles and personality
Basic idea. Presenter does a “data dump” of factual information.
Presenter stops the lecture at intervals, allowing teams of participants to
come up with questions on the materials covered so far and to conduct a short
Application. This lecture game is especially useful for
presenting significant amounts of technical information or conceptual content.
Sample topics. Principles of quantum physics. Compiler construction.
The Linux operating system. ISO 9000 standards. Quality award criteria.
Flow. Warn participants that
your presentation will be interspersed with quiz contests. Set up a timer
for 10 minutes. Make the first segment of your presentation. Stop the presentation
when the timer goes off. Organize participants into teams of three to seven
members. Ask each team to come up with three or four fact-recall, rote-memory
questions and one or two open-ended, divergent questions. After 3 minutes,
ask a team to read a fact-recall question and choose an individual from
any other team to come up with the answer. Later, choose another team to
ask a divergent question and ask a team to give a response. Continue with
the next segment of your presentation, building up on the questions and
answers from participants. Repeat the quiz sessions as many times as needed.
the Numbers is called a JOLT. Jolts
are interactive experiential activities that lull participants into behaving
in a comfortable way and then suddenly deliver a powerful wake-up call. Jolts
force participants to re-examine their assumptions and revise their habitual
practices. A typical jolt lasts only a few minutes but provides enough insights
for a lengthy debriefing. We used this
as a transition to the Multicultural Self-Assessment to emphasize that first
we must know ourselves before we can know others.)
Quick, look at these sets of three
3; 6; 7
14; 28; 29
5; 10; 11
2; 4; 5
Review these sets to discover the pattern among the three numbers in each
Now write (or say) a few more sets of three numbers that follow the same
This discovery activity is the basis for the following quick jolt. I frequently
use this jolt as a 99-seconds demonstration of an interactive exercise.
(And before you read further, let me apologize to you. You are probably in
for a rude awakening.)
To explores causes and consequences of stereotyping.
Any number, "playing" in a parallel fashion
5 - 10 minutes
Brief the players. Tell them that you are going to present
a few sets of three numbers. Ask them to listen carefully and discover the
pattern among the three numbers in each set. Present the four sample sets
Invite participation. Most players will have a knowing grin
and some may blurt out their explanation of the relationship among the numbers.
However, ask everyone to listen carefully to your instructions. Tell them
to supply you with test sets by yelling out three numbers. Ask the players
to wait until you have said "Yes" or "No" to each test
set before offering the next one.
Provide feedback. Players will give you test sets that fit
this pattern: n, 2n, 2n+1 (any number, twice that
number, one more than twice the original number). Listen to each set and say
"Yes" to confirm that it follows the pattern.
Nag the players. After verifying a few test sets, ask the
players how they are feeling. Comment on the smug look on most faces. Present
the following information, in your own words:
Many of you are falling into the trap of hasty generalization. You found
a formula that links the numbers. You immediately start proving your hypothesis
by offering a test set that fits the formula. You feel happy when your test
set gets a "Yes". You offer more test sets of the same type and
enjoy feeling smart and superior. You don't present a test set that doesn't
fit the formula because if you get a "No" everyone will think that
you are stupid. You yourself will feel stupid.
A true scientist, however, keeps an open mind. She attempts to disprove her
hypothesis. So how about if you try some test sets designed to get a "No"
Give feedback. Here's where the jolt comes: In spite of
how it might appear, the pattern is simply any three whole numbers in
ascending order. According to this formula, these test sets will receive
7; 9; 10
19; 24; 25
10; 20; 2,000
8; 60,000; 7,000,000,000
And these test sets will receive "No":
5; 9; 9
12; 200; 9
98; 15; 3
Listen to new test sets and answer "Yes" or "No" according
to whether they contain three whole numbers in ascending order.
Return to your nagging. Whenever someone's test set receives
a "No", ask the person how she feels. Explain that most people feel
depressed when their hypothesis is rejected. Actually, a "No" provides
valuable information, sometimes more valuable than a "Yes".
Speed up the process. Explain that you are going to try
out some more test sets yourself. Use crazy sets of numbers (such as "5;
78; 2,365,897") and give a resounding "Yes" to each.
Explain the pattern. Ask players to tell you the formula
or the pattern that you are using. Confirm the formula of any three whole
numbers in ascending sequence.
Relate the experience to the process of stereotyping. Explain
that this simple activity illustrates the human tendency to stereotype things,
including people from other cultures.
Just because we meet a small sample of people from a different culture who
share a few common characteristics, we assume that everyone in that culture
will share the same characteristics. We strengthen this narrow opinion by
selectively looking for the same characteristic among new members of the culture.
We don't pay attention to other unique characteristics that would challenge
our hypothesis. We may actually feel upset if someone does not conform to
our stereotypical perception.
Encourage players to share real-world
experiences. Ask for examples of being surprised by the unexpected
behaviors of people from other cultures. Conclude the session by encouraging
participants to try to disprove their own assumptions and hypotheses.
(Newton is called a JOLT. Jolts are interactive experiential activities
that lull participants into behaving in a comfortable way and then suddenly
deliver a powerful wake-up call. Jolts force participants to re-examine their
assumptions and revise their habitual practices. A typical jolt lasts only
a few minutes but provides enough insights for a lengthy debriefing.)
Here’s how you conduct NEWTON:
Ask participants to pair up and stand facing each other. Ask them to plant
their feet firmly on the ground, raise both their hands, and place them
palm to palm. Now tell the participants that they win if they can make the
other person move his or her feet--within 30 seconds. Blow a whistle and
start a timer. Most participants will use brute force to push each other.
A few martial-arts practitioners may suddenly stop pushing and let the other
person's momentum topple them forward. After a suitable pause, blow the
whistle, stop the activity, and compare different strategies used by participants.
Ask for a volunteer for a quick demonstration. Select someone of the other
gender. Assume the initial face-to-face, palm-to-palm position. Whisper
to the other person, "Let's dance!" Hum a lilting tune and move
your feet, inviting the other person to follow you. Politely listen as participants
yell that you cheated. Point out that you merely asked them to make the
other person move his or her feet within 30 seconds. There was no prohibition
against moving your own feet. Continue with the debriefing, bringing out
learning points related to making assumptions, win-win solutions, modeling
appropriate behaviors, solving conflicts, and the futility of meeting force
Double Negatives or Double
(Double Reversal is known as a Creativity Technique.
Creativity Techniques provide a structure that enables
participants to solve a problem or to utilize an opportunity in a creative
fashion. These techniques are useful not only for learning new skills and
knowledge but also for improving the performance of a team.
We used this at the beginning of the workshop.)
Do you remember that the negative of a negative is a positive from
your algebra classes? We use this principle in the Double Negatives
technique for generating ideas. This technique is effective because your brain
gets excited whenever you do something negative and mischievous.
To brainstorm a set of strategies for achieving a goal.
1 to 30
10 to 30 minutes, depending on your goal and the number of participants.
If you have 2 to 7 participants, ask them to work as a single team. With
more participants, divide them into 2 to 5 teams, each with four or six members.
It does not matter if some teams have an extra member.
Note: These instructions are for an individual. If you are
working with teams, make suitable modifications.
Specify your goals. Write down one or more goals related
to the problem or to the opportunity. Select a goal for further exploration.
Here's a sample goal: Workshop participants should return on time after
a coffee break.
Write the laog. A laog (pronounced
lay-augh) is the exact opposite of the goal. In most cases, you can
create the laog by replacing the verb in your goal with its antonym.
Here's the laog: Workshop participants should not return on time after
a coffee break.
Brainstorm strategies for achieving the laog. Ignore your
original goal. Write down a list of ideas for achieving the laog.
Here are different ideas for ensuring that the workshop participants will
not return on time after a coffee break:
- Make the early participants
wait for the latecomers.
- Repeat what you have already
done for the benefit of the latecomers.
- Punish the early participants.
- Reward the latecomers.
- Make sure that the participants
have nothing to look forward to after the coffee break.
- Encourage the participants
to check their voice mail and catch up with their telephone calls during
- Ensure that the latecomers
will not miss anything important.
- Accept the habit of being
late as a cultural difference. Don't impose your cultural values on the
- Give infrequent breaks so
that the participants have a lot of things to do.
- Give such short breaks that
nobody can return on time.
- Give such long breaks that
people get distracted.
- Conduct your workshop in
a distracting environment.
- Come back late from the coffee
break. Set an example for being late.
- Don't specify a definite
return time. Let the participants decide when they should return.
- Make sure that your training
format makes participants uncomfortable and reluctant to return.
Reverse each strategy. Write the opposite of the strategy
for achieving the laog.
Here is an example:
Strategy: Make the early participants wait for
Reversal: Get started on time. Don't wait for
Try to reverse all your strategies. However, if any of them
appear to be irrelevant, ignore them.
Sometimes you may reverse a strategy in more than one way. Here's an example
of a strategy being reversed two different ways:
Strategy: Punish the early participants.
Reversal 1: Reward the early participants.
Reversal 2: Punish the latecomers.
Edit your list of reversals. When you reverse your strategies
for achieving your laog, you end up with strategies for achieving your goal.
Examine each strategy and rewrite it to make it more specific and practical.
Here's an example:
Original strategy: Punish the latecomers.
Edited strategy: Ask each latecomer to sing a
Expand your list. Your edited list of strategies may suggest
additional ones. Keep adding strategies to the list.
Repeat the process with other goal statements. If you have
more goal statements, select another one, state its laog, write strategies
for achieving this laog, and reverse them into strategies for achieving the