Part II. Experiential Learning Activities

Experiential learning activities (ELAs) are exercises in which people learn by doing something, as opposed to just listening to a lecture or watching a demonstration. Since no substitute has yet been found for practicing the skill you're trying to learn or for witnessing directly the truth of a lesson someone is trying to impart, experiential activities have special power as a training method.[3]

The activities in this section were chosen from thirty years of the Pfeiffer Annuals as the best experiential exercises pertaining to communication skills. They are designed as complete packages. Each activity includes full instructions for the facilitator and participants, as well as all necessary handouts. Each also includes suggested variations the facilitator might find useful for fine-tuning the activity for a particular group or situation (you are welcome to create your own variations as well). Each recommends specific questions to be asked and discussed in order to ensure that learning takes place.

The recommended group size and time required for every activity are listed, as are the learning goals each one was designed to meet. (Note: You are better positioned than any exercise's creator to determine whether it will suit the needs of your group.)

The activities adopt several different formats and processes. Some are structured practice exercises, some are role plays, and some draw their material from the participants' real-life experiences ...

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