Learning by playing a game
As children, it is so natural for us to play games. During these game-times we learn a lot of things, that affects our thinking, feeling and actions. Usually, these learning-by-doing moments happen unnoticed, thus naturally. However, as we grow up we forget about the importance of this special kind of learning setting. And to be honest, not every type of game is applicable to adult life right? I mean would you really kneel down and dug a tunnel in a sandbox? Fortunately, there are many other ways to bring back some playing into our lives! One of them is to start using more games in your workshops…and Thiagi’s game collection might just be a great resource for that!
Thiagi (Sivasailam Thiagarajan, Ph. D.) a.k.a the “Game guru” realized quite early on that games provide a natural setting and framework even for adults to learn from. He started his consulting business in 1976 and now 40 years later he is still working on the same mission with his team of experts. That is to help people achieve more through performance-based training which is motivating and effective by supporting them to improve their performance in an enjoyable way.
Over the years Thiagi and his team created and collected more than 100 games and methods that can be used for different purposes from energisers and icebreakers to improv games. Among the most popular ones, you will find “jolts” and “textra” games. The first one refers to such games that are experimental and lull participants into a comfortable behaviour pattern then suddenly deliver a powerful wake-up call. For instance “Excited” is a 3-minute jolt that explores the facts that make an activity highly motivating.
Excited #energiser #ice breaker #thiagi
This ia a 3-minute jolt activity that enables the participants to explore what makes a task highly motivating.
Textra games refer to those activities where participants begin by completing a reading assignment before participating in the activity that uses peer support. Just like “Open Book” which helps participants get familiar with a manual before making a quiz out of it.
Open Book #review #questions and answers #explore and understand #thiagi
Open Book is a quiz game that helps participants become familiar with the structure and organization of a reference manual. During the first phase of the game, individual participants review the manual and prepare 10 questions. During the second phase, participants form into teams and select their five best questions. During the third phase, you conduct a quiz program using these questions and some others that you have prepared earlier.
Another strong pillar of these games is that there is always a debriefing after the experience. Because games can be fun, comfortable and effective but only if we are able to reflect on what has just happened and what we have learned from it. Most of the times the content itself is not that important, but if you skip the 5-10 minute debriefing section you are robbing people from actively think through and identify the learning points.
Although most of the activities are formed as games, it does not mean you will find only icebreakers and energisers among the methods. You can dive into various topics, for instance, communication, change management, leadership, or problem-solving with the help of these games. A handy bonus is that all of the methods are following a nice, clear and easily understandable structure so everyone has a chance to become a “game guru”.
So are you considering to use some games for your next workshops or training sessions? We have great news: Now you can find the best Thiagi games easily searchable and tagged by theme in the SessionLab public library of facilitation methods.
Go ahead, check them out, and mark your favourite ones so you have them at hand for your next session!
If you want to know more about the Thiagi Group, its activities, the expert team, their community and upcoming events, you may visit their official website for further information.