Active Reviewing Tips for Dynamic Experiential Learning

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Latest issue of this electronic newsletter from Roger Greenaway:-

Active Reviewing Tips for Dynamic Experiential Learning - http://www.reviewing.co.uk

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ISSN 1465-8046

You are receiving this free monthly newsletter either because
you subscribed to it [thank you] or because someone has
forwarded it to you [thank them - check the message header].

~ ~ A C T I V E . R E V I E W I N G . T I P S
~ ~ FOR DYNAMIC EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING
~ ~ the free monthly newsletter associated with the
~ ~ 'GUIDE TO ACTIVE REVIEWING'
~ ~ Editor: Roger Greenaway
~ ~ Vol. 2.2 February 1999
~ ~ No Questions Asked + Revolver
~ ~ Subscribers: 242 - a special welcome to new list members

REVIEWING = PROCESSING = REFLECTION = DEBRIEFING

CONTENTS

~~ Editor: No Questions Asked
~~ Reviewing Tips: Revolver
~~ Site News: Roger's Bookshop
~~ Future Issues: Your Interview Schedule!
~~ About Active Reviewing Tips
~~ Next Issue: Therapy for All
~~ How to Unsubscribe

~~~ From the editor: No Questions Asked ~~~~

Many review sessions in active learning seem to follow this
default pattern:

1) The activity, exercise, simulation or other experience comes
to a finishing point.

2) The reviewer asks questions to those involved - to prompt
discussion.

3) The review session is ended by the clock, or when interest
disappears, or when future action has been agreed.

Suppose facilitators were expected to facilitate reviewing
*without* asking questions. What would they do instead?
And what would learners do?

Yes I am questioning a questioning style of reviewing by asking
questions about it (well spotted!). But let's imagine the rule:
'NO QUESTIONS ASKED BY THE FACILITATOR'

I don't just want to say "Yes questioning skills are very
important but so are many others".

I want to show why NOT ASKING QUESTIONS is a really good idea.

I want to suggest that there are many ways in which facilitator
questions are counter-productive and un-facilitative.

I want to suggest that many question-led review sessions are
poorly planned events.

I want to suggest that facilitators ask questions when they don't
know what else to do.

I want to show how facilitators steal 'learning' cycles from
learners and turn them into 'training' cycles and 'planning'
cycles.

I want to suggest that question-led reviews rarely produce
sufficient 'involvement' to count as good use of learning time. I
am thinking especially about learners who remain on the sidelines
of such sessions - learners who are un-stirred by someone else's
agenda or sequence of questions (however 'soundly' based on
someone else's theory).

What are the indications that questioning is not working and that
an alternative approach is needed? Without an effective way of
monitoring the effectiveness of questioning, you will get stuck
with questions. One shot facilitation.

Most of the time questions are NOT necessary. What is necessary
much of the time is FACILITATING. By not asking questions, we
increase our chances of discovering, creating and using some of
the many other strategies and methods that can assist
facilitation.

I have still not dug deep enough. Because so far my argument is
little more than a suggestion that questions are probably the
most common reviewing method and a method that facilitators often
default to. But if the default pattern is working OK, why change
it? Why explore and develop alternatives? Why not simply develop
your questioning skills and use more and better questions?

Your challenge is to try facilitating a reviewing session without
asking any questions. It can be done! And it can be more
effective. Try it and see. If you don't know where to start,
visit www.reviewing.co.uk for ideas or view the Active Reviewing
Tips Archives at www.reviewing.co.uk/archives or try 'Revolver' -
this month's Active Reviewing Tip (next).

What are your favourite alternatives to asking questions? Write
in to mailto:[email protected] - you have a ready-made audience
looking for answers!

~~~ Reviewing Tips ~~~

'REVOLVER' works so well that I use it in most of my reviewing
skills training workshops. I invented it about 10 years ago after
a game of co-operative basketball that was inspired by Terry
Orlick's 'Co-operative Sports and Games Book'. (Basketball also
has Scottish-Canadian origins.) Each time I use this method
participants come up with new variations and applications.

Why is 'Revolver' such a winner?
The fact that people keep changing their positions (both physical
and attitudinal) has something to do with it. So does the freedom
that the simple structure allows - freedom to explore and express
different views.

What are the benefits?
# It's fun! (and a good way to explore serious topics.)
# It works with all ages.
# Participants join in on different sides of a debate and (at
least temporarily) unfreeze from their fixed positions on an
issue.
# Better mutual understanding
# A more 'all-round' perspective of the experience
# Participants learn (something about) what it is like to be in
other people's shoes

What is it?
Revolver is a way of organising a discussion that enable learners
to explore an issue from 2 (or more) sides.

How does it work?
# The two sides (chosen arbitrarily) sit opposite each other in
chairs arranged in semi-circles.
# Each semi-circle of chairs represents an opposing view about
the chosen issue.
# Every 30 - 60 seconds, everyone stands and moves round one
place.
# No-one has to speak, but when you do speak you must express a
view that fits the 'side' of the debate you are sitting on.

Confused?
There is a page at http://www.reviewing.co.uk/discuss/discuss2.htmthat
goes through some of the finer points of 'Revolver' (e.g. on the
role of the judge, and variations). If you prefer learning by
doing then enquire about reviewing skills training workshops
from mailto:[email protected]

A dynamic combination
The downside of 'Revolver' is that people may not know what each
other's true position is at the end of a 'Revolver' discussion.
Participants are often interested to see if (and how) each
other's views have changed. This can be quickly achieved by using
'Positions' before and after 'Revolver'. Everyone is invited to
stand on a spectrum that joins the two opposing views. Positions
was described in Active Reviewing Tips 1.3 which is now archived
at: http://www.reviewing.co.uk/archives/art/1_3.htm
'Positions' is also in Playback, which you can now buy online
from Roger's Bookshop (see next).

~~~ Site News: Roger's Bookshop ~~~

If you have been wondering how you can say THANK YOU for this
free newsletter and you never quite get round to sending in tips,
links, feedback, comments, articles etc. there's now another way
you can help - by being a *helper* or *customer* at Roger's
Bookshop (in association with Amazon.co.uk).

To be a HELPER, please recommend books to include on the virtual
bookshelves. If you can write a few lines about why you are
recommending them, so much the better. I am looking for books
that you think would be of interest to readers of this ezine -
'classics' or recent titles.

So far I only have some of my own books and a few best-sellers
for sale directly from my site. But the plan is to gradually
build up a collection of titles that are recommended and reviewed
by me and by you.

To be a CUSTOMER, just visit www.reviewing.co.uk/bookshop and
browse. Why visit a bookshop with only a handful of books in it?
As well as the benefits mentioned above you get access to
the WHOLE of the amazon.co.uk catalogue and ANY books you buy
from amazon.co.uk via any amazon link at www.reviewing.co.uk
brings a little income to your friendly editor :-)

~~~~ Future Issues: INTERVIEWS ~~~~

Here is a real opportunity to share some personal insights about
reviewing and to learn from each other.
This is the interview structure I will be using.
Answer one or more of these questions as briefly or as fully as
you like.

# One of my favourite examples of reviewing is ...

# One of my concerns about reviewing is that ...

# I like to improve my reviewing skills by ...

# The miracle reviewing technique would ....

Please copy and paste your responses into a new message and send
it to: mailto:[email protected]
State clearly whether you want to be anonymous or if you would
like your name and address included.

~~~~ 2 FOR THE PRICE OF ONE! ~~~~

SITEFINDER newsletter ISSN 1465-8224 is another FREE monthly
ezine edited by Roger Greenaway. SiteFinder helps you find
websites about adventure and experiential
education. To subscribe, send a blank email to:
mailto:[email protected]
Or view back issues at http://www.reviewing.co.uk/archives

~~~~ Other Websites and Ezines ~~~~

Short of space and ideas this month - recommendations welcome
(from me and the 241 other list members!)
Write to mailto:[email protected]

~~~~ NEXT ISSUE: 'ARTips 2.3 Therapy for All' ~~~~
What do music, art, play, exercise, adventure, drama, brief,
group, narrative, recreational, psycho- and solution-focused have
in common? All are therapies brimming over with ideas for active
reviewing. More next month! Contributions welcome.

~~~~ ABOUT ACTIVE REVIEWING TIPS ~ ~ ~ ISSN 1465-8046

EDITOR: Roger Greenaway, Reviewing Skills Training
9 Drummond Place Lane STIRLING Scotland UK FK8 2JF
Editor: Other:
The Guide to Active Reviewing

ARCHIVES: http://www.reviewing.co.uk/archives

COPYRIGHT: Roger Greenaway 1999 Reviewing Skills Training
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