4 Simple ways to debrief an activity
Here is how you can help training participants derive maximum learning from a game, a group task or a role play!
What is debriefing
Debriefing is a critical skill in delivering effective training. It usually takes the form of a question and answer session or a conversation between trainer and participants. Debriefing is usually done after the participants have had an experience (like a Game, a Role Play or a Case Study). It helps participants connect lessons and activities to the outside world.
Here are four popular Debriefing Methods
- What, So What, Now what
This is one of the most popular forms of debrief as it mimics the Kolb’s learning cycle. Following the activity or the experience, participants are asked in order:
- What happened?
- What does it mean?
- What am I going to do now?
If you want, you can also follow this process using Pair-Share and cards.
- Stop, Start, Continue
This is a way of thinking about positive and negative behaviors and can be used when appropriate. You can also use the traffic lights as examples for this debrief methodology
- What should we stop doing to be more successful (Red) ?
- What should we start doing to be more successful (Green) ?
- WWhat should we continue doing to be more successful (Orange)?
- Sometimes Orange can also be used for “Being Careful”
- Metaphor Thinking
Using objects as a symbolic representation of an experience leaves the door wide open to imagination and creates room for interpretation and drawing connections. Facilitator can have a deck of cards with different objects printed on them. After the exercise, participants pick a card that represents their experience or a feeling they had during the activity. You can do this at the end of the day or after an activity. Ask participants to share why they picked the card that they did.
Body parts can also be used as a metaphor for learning. Ask groups or individuals to pick Body parts and share their learnings from the perspective of the body part.
"Eye" * Could represent something new that you saw in yourself or someone else. * What vision do you have for yourself/the group?
"Stomach" * Could represent something that took guts for you to do. * What pushed you outside your comfort zone?
"Brain" * Could represent something new that you learned about yourself, a teammate, or the group. * What did you learn through your experience?
"Heart" * Could represent a feeling that you experienced. * What things come from the heart?
"Hand" * In what way did the group support you? * Could represent someone you would like to give a hand to for a job well done.
"Ear" * Could represent something you listened to or a good idea you heard. * Could represent something that was hard to hear—did you receive constructive feedback
- Artistic Presentations
Ask participants to create art around the learnings from the activity. It could be a painting, a poem, a collage, a song or a drama (skit).