Rituals are actions that we take regularly, actions that bring us a sense of purpose and reflection. While they take place in the here and now, they often link us to a past experience, firing up memories and connections.
The first backyard fire of the summer signifies, for me, a change in season and tempo. It reminds me of family evenings, laughter and marshmallows. While watching the flames, my brain is lighting up with old memories, and yet ready to make new ones.
Rituals can also be used at the beginning of a seminar or class. They can prime your participants with ideas and connections so that they are ready for the business of making new learning stick. They can also be a comfortable routine for you as the presenter – a standard way of setting up your space for maximum learning to occur.
One of my favorite rituals is to run a teaser slide show for the thirty minutes prior to the start of class. As participants come in and get settled, they see a self-advancing slide show on my screen, alternating every 12 seconds between a title/welcome slide and trivia slides. Trivia questions are based on the content I will be sharing and include question stems such as:
If participants arrive late, they haven’t missed anything critical. But the participants who are there early will be primed for learning your content. (Be sure to return to the questions at some point during your class and provide the answers!)
Do you work with SME's or others that need some ideas for teaching and facilitating? Caffeinated Learning offers webinars, in-person training and publications.
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Anne Beninghof is passionate about teaching and learning.
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