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Classroom summary techniques

A technique I use a lot when teaching/coaching is to get the participants to periodically do a summary. I have two main techniques:

The first technique (which I tend to use for smaller groups) is to ask the group to just shout out anything they can remember. Whatever they call out I write on a whiteboard and we briefly recap that topic. When the calling out slows down we stop. Then we vote; each person places three ticks on the whiteboard. I count up the ticks and we see what the top three are.

For a larger group I ask for just one thing from each person. I make it completely clear that you can choose anything you like for whatever reason you like. When someone calls something out I briefly summarize that topic but I don't write anything down.

In both cases I've found it's important not to simply ask each person, round-robin fashion, based on where they're sitting. It's much much better if you simply wait for the first person to speak, and then wait for the second person to speak, etc. That way the more confident ones naturally speak first and the less confident ones gain confidence by seeing the more confident ones go first.

Deming's knowledge of variation

Mary Poppendeick's excellent InfoQ video is online at http://www.infoq.com/presentations/poppendieck-agile-leadership Her summary of Deming's Knowledge of Variation at around 28 minutes is great and well worth watching.