Experiential Learning 1: Beginning

is an excellent book by Jerry Weinberg. There's no isbn - you can buy it from Leanpub. As usual I'm going to quote from a few pages:
This is a very simple exercise, but it will get people talking about process improvement.
If there is no provocation, there is no learning. ... We must first put our students into a provocative environment. We must encourage them to experiment - to play with the materials in that environment.
In many traditional courses, the only significant observation made is pass/fail on the test.
By the mathematical properties of averaging, almost all teams will perform "better" than almost all individuals - simply because they are more average. … All we are measuring is how much closer an average answer is likely to be to another average answer which is essentially a tautology.
People are more ready to accept your facts than your opinions, so be very careful to separate observation (news) from interpretation and significance.
Be patient with silence. Usually a long silence comes just before a breakthrough idea.
Different people on each team learned different things from the same trial of the same exercise. This is characteristic of well designed and well led experiential exercises.
Leaders are not in complete control of what participants are going to learn. Are you going to be able to live with that?
The strongest way to achieve safety in experiential exercises is by making clear that every exercise is optional. If someone doesn't want to participate, they are always free to step aside without explaining their reasons, and without any attempts to persuade or cajole. If someone wishes to opt out, then the learning leader should invite them to take an observer role, but they may opt out of that, too.
You can't just pop experiential exercises at people regardless of the context, so pay special attention to the very first exercise you do with a group.
There must be a bazillion ways to form teams, but we've tried only half of them.

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