The 'knowledge tree' sounded like a great idea in my head. A great visual prop with brightly coloured gift tags for the delegates to right down their learning after each of the 6 sections we were running through during a workshop.
I had planned to use the leaf tags as part of a reflective exercise at the end of the session, but made a call to knock-it-on-the-head and changed the final exercise to a facilitated discussion, as it became clear that things were going to get overcrowded very quickly and getting up to place the tags was becoming rather monotonous.
Did I fail?
Yes, and no! As a Trainer, it's comfortable to find an activity that works well and repeat it with different audience’s time and again, making tiny adjustments as needs be. But 'repeat and succeed' can only support your own, and your learner’s development for so long. Facilitating creative learning pushes you to think more about your design process.
But with more creativity comes more opportunity to fail.
So, why bother?
Put simply, if a Trainer isn’t willing to try out new ways of engaging their learners, they’ll soon have no learners left to try anything with at all! In a world of instant gratification, our attention levels need more stimulation to learn. Building in creative activities into training sessions is just one way to help this.
Failure is an option, but…
No one plans to fail, but with failure comes insight, (and also a healthy dose of resilience!) So, the trick is to fail with a back-up plan that won't affect your learners experience or leave you in a flap!
I will use the tree again, but next time it will be more succinct, allowing my learner’s ‘leaves of knowledge’ to flourish and for my own creative design to continue.
Learning doesn't just happen in a training session. It happens all around us! Follow my ramblings and continue to see the world in a different light!