Buddies: Start and Followup After Seminar
To set up a seminar so that participants will contact at least one other person from the seminar afterwards as a means of following up on the course content, and how the application of learning has happened.
Icebreaker, small group discussion.
Ideal Group Size
Time For Exercise
Introductions, followups, transfer of learning
Detailed Instructions If Needed
This is an exceedingly flexible and powerful set of activities, so use the instructions below as a starting off point. There are countless variations you can try.
1). Ask each participant to write his or her contact information (name, email, phone, etc) on a piece of paper, and crumple them up placing them in a container. Each person then picks out one name. That person becomes his or her "buddy" for the seminar, and later in followup.
Explain that each person will be asked to contact their buddy about four weeks after the seminar to see how the other is doing at applying what has been learned in the seminar.
2) Now divide the group into groups of 4-6 people, and have each group generate a list of questions to ask one's buddy when contact is made. Have them include questions about the content application but also to discuss how "buddies" can help each other after the fact.
Distill these questions down to about 10-15 questions. Create a master list by consensus.
At the conclusion of the seminar, remind participants of their "commitment" to help each other apply the content. Explain that this seminar component is one of the most important.
Additional Information if Available
As indicated there are a lot of possible variations. People can buddy up by choice rather than via random assignment. Instead of using small groups to develop the questions, you can have each pair design their own questions to be used in the followup contact.
Ultimately this is a volunteer process, since you can't force anyone to participate in the followup, so you need to think hard how to balance encouraging people to do this followup, vs giving a sense that you are forcing them. If you can get a commitment from each pair verbally, but again, consider whether that might be considered heavy handed.