101 Ways to Make Training Active
By Mel Silberman
WOW! Silberman strikes again! This updated edition of the 1995 original is a must-have for the training practitioner. I've had my copy less than a month and it's already looking dog-eared and abused. Mel Silberman provides interesting, easily applicable ways of getting active participation from the start, of nudging learners to begin thinking about the subject matter very early on, of making lectures engaging and interactive, and of deepening learning and retention by making training unforgettable.
101 Ways to Make Training Active offers reproducible materials (many also included on a new feature, the book's accompanying CD), a great "nuts and bolts" section filled with "top ten" lists (such as ways of learning names, configuring small groups, and options for role playing). Each experiential activity is offered with an initial overview, followed by instructions, suggestions for variations, and—this is an unbelievably helpful touch—an example of using the activity in the context of a given topic (like diversity, or leadership, or sales).
The tips can be painlessly incorporated into learning experiences. Most are quick, and none require lots of props or are too elaborate. Though the activities are grouped under headings like "emotional intelligence" and "team learning," most can be adapted to any subject matter. For those working in e-learning, Silberman includes a segment on activities for online learning. The imaginative trainer will find many other activities easily adaptable to the online environment.
The book is a wonderful tool for trainers both novice and experienced. This is great to just pull off the shelf when developing a new program, or for punching up an older course. I've been in the biz a long time and found it an exciting, welcome whack on the side of the head. Silberman gives us real help that's meaningful, workable, useful, and right on target. AND the book is fun to read. To quote a blurb from the jacket: "Sparkling!"
Worth three times the cover price, 101 Ways to Make Training Active is an absolute must for any practitioner of training arts. This one gets a special rating all its own: BUY NOW. —J.B.