The more immersed the individual is in the learning process, the greater their ability to retain the skills and lessons learned. While participants only retain about 10% of what they read, their retention jumps to 50% if they are engaged in the discussion and demonstrations. This retention increases even further, to more than 70% if the participant has the opportunity to participate and practice what they learn, and to 90% if they are given the opportunity to experience, reflect, internalize and then share what they have learned.
Challenge activities not only involve the participants at a higher level of learning technique, they also address an additional concern frequently encountered in education – that different individuals learn best in different ways.
You may be beginning to see how you can use these challenge activities for your own group. We do want to mention however, that there are two levels to these activities that are quite different:
Typically defined by the challenge listed for each activity – lower the bar to the ground, become un-handcuffed, etc.
Level 2 is not interested in whether the bar goes up or ever goes down. Level 2 is interested in the process that takes place within the group. For example, if planning is a challenge for the group in the activity that is recognized by the group:
- How did the group plan?
- Did it plan?
- How were the opinions of each member in the group valued?
- Who made the final decision to start?
Level 2 is not necessarily a higher level than Level 1, it is simply a different place to be.
The lessons learned in Level 1 reinforce the ability to set a goal and achieve it.
In Level 2, the process of achieving the goal is considered. Both levels have value. Both levels are part of the challenge experience.
The real goal then, is to not only to successfully complete the challenge, but also to complete the challenge using skills and techniques that bring the group together.
Of all the elements in any challenge program, the facilitator has the greatest impact upon the ultimate success or failure of the program.