LEAVE A MESSAGE! – ICEBREAKER OR A METHOD OF EVALUATION

Brief summary of activity

Each participant leaves a message on a portable recorder which is located in the middle of an empty training room. Each participant enters the empty room on their own. The messages are short,
maximum two sentences long, and their statements reflect on the topics or questions that were presented to them by the trainer (in the form of written cards to every trainees). When everyone has gone into the room and left a message on the recorder, they listen to the recording together.

Aim of the activity

It is an icebreaker type of exercise but besides creating good atmosphere it is a good opportunity to practice recording. If the trainer would like to use this exercise as a part of evaluation or measuring the expectations of the participants then this short game can be a method for training evaluation or needs analysis.

Expected Outcomes

As an icebreaker it helps to improve good training atmosphere, but also a simple method to practice the usage of a portable recorder.

As a part of evaluation or need analysis/expectation measurement the trainer gets an orientation for improving the training.

experience and skills required

No special experience required except for a basic knowledge about making a recording with the portable device.

infrastructure, setting, resources

No special infrastructure is needed, only a comfortable training room and a portable recorder.

Length

15 minutes.

Materials

Paper cards with short instruction (like: “Say something about the weather!” / “What did you eat for lunch?” / “How was your morning today?” / "what did you learn today?" /"How can the training be improved?" etc.)

How the activity should take place

The trainer gives a card to everyone. On each cards there is a question or request – something similar you can read above – and a number which is the order of the participants.

Everyone leaves the training room, only a portable recorder is left on a table in the middle of the room. The trainees go inside the room one by one, following the order indicated on their cards.

When all the participants left a message on the recorder everyone goes back to the room and listen to the recording. It can be a humorous recording since the participants did not know what the others had said before them but the final recording is a continuous audio file.

Recommended max. number of participants and trainees to trainers ratio

1 trainer for 8 or 10 trainees.

Risk and possible adaptation

It can a possible risk if the participants delete the recording that has been recorded before.

Variations

This exercise can be used as a part of evaluation or measuring the expectations or needs. The method is the same but the cards that are given by the trainer contain different instructions, like – “What was your favorite moment today?” / “What have you learnt today?” / What did expect before the training and did you get what you wanted?”

Scheduling

If it is an icebreaker it can be used anytime during the training, if it is part of the evaluation then at the end of the training.
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