thiagi.com Freebies Training Games SERIAL JOLTS
One of the strategies that we explored in the NASAGA e-workshop was the idea of serial jolts. A serial jolt is the repetition of the same type of jolt repeated several times with slight variations. There is a playful spirit of "gotcha" in this strategy as the facilitator tries to entrap the participants repeatedly--even though they know that's what is happening.
The serial jolt that we conducted was called SIX TILES, THREE WORDS. Readers of my free online newsletter, Play for Performance will probably be familiar with elements of this activity. However, this is the first time I have presented them as a serial jolt.
The training objective for this serial jolt is to increase participants' awareness of the assumptions they are making.
I told participants that they would see some slides that would have six tiles, each with three letters. Then I projected the instruction: Rearrange the six tiles to spell three words.
Here are the six tiles during the first jolt:
MAN LES OBJ AGE SON ECT
This was a fairly easy one, just to help participants understand the requirements for solving the puzzle.
After a brief pause, I showed them the correct answer:
MANAGE LESSON OBJECT
I now projected the second set of six tiles:
ATT END RET ION RIT IRE
I paused while participants struggled to make three words out of these six tiles. After about a minute, I projected the correct answer:
ATTRITION RETIRE END
During a quick debrief, I pointed out that they are making an assumption that the three words should all be six-letters long.
I projected a new set of six tiles:
ACT FAT HER NIH NOI WIT
Most people felt frustrated as I paused for them to solve the puzzle and create three words from the six tiles.
After a suitable pause, I projected the solution:
ACTION FATHER WITHIN
After the virtual howl of protest, I showed them how two of the three-letter tiles can be turned "upside down" to change the sequence of letters:
NIH -> HIN
NOI -> ION
After the visual demonstration, participants caught on to the strategy. During the debriefing I pointed out that they had made another assumption (the tiles cannot be turned upside down).
I repeated the instruction with a minor variation at the beginning of this round: Rearrange the six tiles to spell three familiar words.
Then I projected these six tiles:
AMI EEF LIA RDS RWO THR
After the usual pause, I projected this solution:
The assumption that most people made during this round was that the words should end after a tile (or that there should be a space between the words).
I projected these tiles:
ONE WAY HOW ANY THI ACP
After a pause, I projected this solution:
ANYONE ANYHOW ANYWAY
The assumption discussed during the debrief was that all tiles have to be used and no tile may be used more than once.
Here are the six tiles for the sixth round:
ARL TAI TCG EKH NET DTS
The instructions were the same as before (Rearrange these six tiles to spell three words). Participants struggled with the challenge for some time.
I projected the solution:
You probably don't see the three words immediately because you are making an assumption that the words are to be read from left to right. Try reading words vertically, from top to bottom, and you will see attend, racket, and lights.
Before projecting the next set of six tiles, I projected this set of instructions: Rearrange the letters in the six tiles to spell three words.
Here are the six tiles:
CUR SEE POT ARY REU OND
Most people fell into the trap of using the same procedure as before. However, the instructions state that you should suggest rearrange the letters (not the tiles).
Here's the solution:
RESCUE POETRY AROUND
I could have continued with two other variations on the theme, but I did not want participants to get hostile. So I stopped after Round 7.
If you come up with more diabolical variations on this theme, please let me know. I will publish your torture in Play for Performance--complete with your name and my thanks.
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by Thiagi, Inc. All rights reserved
Revised: June 24, 2002