10 Assignments to Give Learning Partners

One of the most effective and efficient ways to promote active training is to divide a class into pairs and compose learning partnerships. It is hard to get left out in a pair. It is also hard to hide in one. Learning partnerships can be short term or long-term. Learning partners can undertake a wide variety of quick tasks or more time-consuming assignments, such as those in the list below.

1. Share your reactions to an assigned reading, an exercise, or a video (for example, “What were your reactions to the ways in which customers were entertained in the Fish video?”).

2. Discuss a short written document with each other (for example, “Please discuss the strategic plan you read before class and identify anything you thought was unclear”).

3. Practice a skill with each other (for example, “Please take a few minutes with your partner and practice giving constructive performance feedback to someone you supervise”).

4. Recap a lecture or demonstration together (for example, “With your partner, review the key points of the presentation we just heard from our guest speaker”).

5. Develop questions together to ask the facilitator (for example, “I would like each pair to create a question together about the software we just tried out”).

6. Analyze a case problem or exercise together (for example, “Take the next ten minutes and work together on the business ethics problem concerning conflicts of interest”).

7. Test each other (for example, “I would like each of you to take turns testing your partner’s product knowledge of each of the four new loan programs we are introducing next month”).

8. Respond to a question posed by the facilitator (for example, “Get together with your partner and come up with a joint answer to the first question in our discussion guide”).

9. Compare how you completed a task, such as a survey (for example, “Show your partner your scores on the EQ scale we just completed. See where you differ”).

10. Read each other’s written work (for example, “Show your partner the functional resume you prepared for this session and ask for feedback”).

Source : 101 Ways to Make Training Active, 2nd Ed. Mel Silberman.2005

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