After having opened and successfully completed your training sessions, it is time to close them! The closing phase is synonymous with conclusion and should culminate in a vote, comparison and prioritization. It also provides an opportunity to generate engagement and a shared understanding in order to move on to the next stage. The training session will be properly concluded if you, the trainer, define its goal and outline. Don’t forget that the quality of your closing phase depends on the quality of the opening and exploring phases. If you encounter problems at the end of the session, work back through your course and take a look at previous stages.
Prioritizing actions — ‘€100 test’
The €100 test is well-known and always effective, enabling participants to concretely prioritize ideas and solutions generated during the session or sessions.
- Duration: variable depending on the player, but can last up to 1.5 hours
- Number of players: as many as you wish, divided into groups of 3 to 5 people
- Materials: pens, whiteboard, paper
- Divide your whiteboard into three columns: ‘Element’, ‘price’ and ‘explanations’. Note the elements, ideas and solutions worked on or resulting from the exploring sessions in the left-hand column;
- Present the game to the trainees: each group has €100. Together, the participants must divide the sum between all the elements. When they allocate an amount, they must state their reasons in the right-hand column. The value does not reside in the actual costs of the element but in how important they think it is;
- Compare the teams’ results and let the participants explain their reasoning. You can either complete the table on the board with averages or create a separate table per group.
By imposing a budget, you give concrete form to the participants’ engagement and prioritization. You therefore know what they can really work on in the future.
Quantifying consequences — ‘Impact & Effort Matrix’
By evaluating actions and their consequences, your trainees know better where to devote their energy in their future assignments.
- Duration: 30 minutes to 1 hour
- Number of players: not important, but the game is more suitable for small groups
- Material: Post-its and pens
- List a series of actions to be taken or feasible after the training course: ‘conduct a negotiation’, ‘draft a press release’, ‘present a new service’, etc. Note them somewhere where everyone can see them;
- Present the first action by its goal. Ask, ‘What do we need to do?’ or ‘What do we need?’ Focus next on the effort required: ‘What things do we need to achieve this goal?’;
- Invite the participants to note their individual responses on a Post-it;
- Stick the responses opposite each action. Put the impacts in the first column and the efforts in the second. Once the papers are on the wall, the trainees are invited to share their point of view and discuss. The Post-its can be repositioned during the discussion;
- Once you have studied all the initiatives, you will have a clearer idea of the most and least profitable actions.
This matrix enables learners to define the initiatives to be implemented, the goals to be achieved and the efforts required to achieve them. They are able to prioritize work and know what to get started on in the weeks to come.
Reviewing the current situation — ‘Start, Stop, Continue’
Thanks to your training, the participants have a clearer view of their situation and of what they can now accomplish. They can take a step back and assess the good and bad practices of their department or company. They are also able to challenge their own ideas and practices. Use this fresh vision of things to help them change their habits.
- Duration: 10 to 60 minutes
- Number of players: between 1 and 10 people
- Materials: whiteboard or paperboard, pens, paper
- Draw a grid on the board. This grid should have three columns: ‘start’ on the left, ‘stop’ in the middle and ‘continue’ on the right;
- Present the game to the participants: each person must list situations or goals they encounter in their work in connection with the training course. The information must be current and reflect their actual experience. A trainee may, for example, write ‘drafting meeting minutes’, ‘running seminars’, or ‘creating newsletters’;
- Ask the trainees to divide the situations or goals between the three columns. Give them time to think about it and position the different situations and goals correctly, in a realistic fashion;
- Invite each player to share their results. The discussion will be even more relevant if the participants work together, but the game also works in inter-company groups.
‘Start, stop, continue’ is a real closing game and makes it possible to review a situation from a new angle, to define the next actions to take and set aside what is not useful.
Developing constructive feedback — ‘Plus/Delta’
More than a simple positive/negative list, this game makes it possible to review actions in a constructive way and to think about areas for improvement. It fixes goals and efforts. The session is specific to intra-company groups.
- Duration: 10 to 45 minutes
- Number of players: unlimited
- Materials: whiteboard or paperboard, pens, paper
- Divide your board into two columns. Write ‘+’ at the top of the first and ‘Delta Δ’ at the top of the second;
- Ask the participants to consider the positive aspects of an activity and to note their answers in the left-hand column;
- Next ask them to list on their pieces of paper the repetitive, negative or restrictive aspects of the same activity. Rather than stopping at this stage, the trainees must consider different ways of improving the activity, how it is conducted or the conditions in which it takes place. These last responses are noted in the right-hand column;
- Repeat the exercise for each activity evoked.
You obtain real constructive feedback and avenues for improvement from those who design the activities. The participants leave with new ideas that they can spread within their company.
All of these games facilitate closing the session and enable you to capitalize on what the participants have learned. They reinforce the knowledge and skills learned and compare them with your learners’ real-life work. They also enable you to gauge their level of understanding and their willingness to use what they have learned.
Thanks to these articles, you now have everything you need to use games to create interactive training courses. We recommend that you always test these approaches out and work on them and modify them where necessary to adapt them to your needs. Tweak them and play around with them depending on different contexts and audiences; you will be even more at ease with them and effective!