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3 Review Techniques for learners

Most people don’t remember much of what is taught if they only hear it once. But there are literally hundreds of ways you can review content and not all are created equal. Some can be dry and boring while others can be more thoughtful and creative.
In order to move information from the short-term memory into the long-term, try one of these interactive review techniques at your next session.

  1. Break Time. On the first day of class, assign groups to be responsible for providing entertainment or enrichment activities during each break of the session. Each group’s break activity must be related to the specific learning point assigned. Some examples are a live group performance, a walk-around-the-block discussion, or video clips from movies that make a significant point.
  2. Flip Chart Learning Points. When it is time to review and energize, tape six blank flip chart sheets on various walls of your classroom. Using water based markers – we love Mr. Sketch® – so they don’t bleed through the paper, challenge each individual to visit all of the flip chart sheets three times to list a learning point about the day’s content. No point can be repeated on the chart and only one point can be listed at a time. Participants are encouraged to race around the room to write or draw samples of their points. By the time they finish, all of the participants have listed 18 significant ideas and concepts from the day. Next divide the class into small groups of three to seven people and have them travel to each sheet, updating their individual action idea lists and circling any item on the flip chart sheets that they do not understand. At the end of the activity make sure the people who wrote them explain all of the circled items to the class.
  3. Balloon Billboards. Write a different subject or concept from your training on an inflated balloon. Give each small group a balloon. Using strips of paper, have each group list at least one learning point per person about the topic on the balloon at their table. To debrief as a whole class, have one group at a time attach its balloon to the wall. Each person from the group walks through his or her learning point and posts it on the balloon. The “billboard” remains up for the rest of the class as a peripheral reinforcement of the content.

Make sure you think about the points you want your learners to remember and find a way to review them multiple times. Our rule of thumb is to review early and review often. By the way, we recommend you don’t refer to it as “review” during your class. When our brains hear the word “review,” they tend to tune out. So next time try the term “revisit”!

By Rich Meiss