101 Interactive Training Techniques
with Crystal Schimpf, Kieran Hixon, & Nancy Trimm
List of Techniques
1. Action Plan: Ask participants to write down specific ways in which they will apply the skills
or knowledge from the training in their job, school, or personal lives.
2. Analogies: Use an analogy to relate the topic to something they already know.
3. BINGO: Create a bingo card based on information covered in the training and give out prizes
to anyone who gets a “bingo” or “blackout” by being attentive.
4. Brainstorming: Generate ideas amongst participants by eliciting quick contributions without
trainer comment or opinion. Record the ideas as they are shared.
5. Candy: Give candy as a reward for participation, or just for fun, to motivate participants.
6. Caption Comprehension: Find a funny picture to share with the class, and have them create
a caption that relates to the subject being taught. Then have the class vote on the best
caption and reward the winner with chocolate.
7. Case Study: Have participants discuss a real case study. Give them discussion questions as
applicable to the topic.
8. Catch Phrase: Relate the material to a catch phrase, song lyric, or slogan from pop culture,
to help people remember key concepts.
9. Celebrate: Celebrate the accomplishments of workshop participants. Give praise, and
reward throughout the training.
10. Color Mark-up: Provide color markers, crayons, or pencils. Have participants take time to
mark up their handouts. Have them draw squares or circles around important words, or
underline key concepts.
11. Compare Notes: Have participants work in pairs and compare their notes, sharing what they
thought was most important
12. Computer Games: Find free games on the Internet that reinforce skills, such as mouse
13. Connecting: Have participants introduce themselves to 3 new people. Have them share one
thing they know about the topic and one thing they would like to learn.
14. Create a Metaphor: First, brainstorm the objects (from household, grocery store, etc.).
Then, have participants relate the topic to common objects.
15. Create a Quiz: Have participants create a quiz question that they know the answer to,
based on the topic. Have them write the question on one side of an index card, and the
answer on the other. Then have them work in pairs or small groups to share questions.
16. Create an Analogy: Have participants relate the topic to other things in life that they are
familiar with. Have them create an analogy and share it with others.
17. Debate: Engage the class in an open debate on a controversial topic. Set ground rules, and
be sure to not impose your own thoughts on the group.
18. Demonstration: Show participants how to perform a technology skill or task.
19. Doodle & Draw: Have participants draw a picture or diagram that illustrates the subject
20. Exploration Activity: Have participants explore a website or program. Use an activity sheet
to guide them through the exploration process, with questions like “Name three features of
this program/website” and “How could you utilize this program in your job?”
21. Five Finger Understanding: Ask participants to give a show of fingers, on a scale of 1 to 5,
how well they understand the topic. Show 5 fingers if they understand it very well, 3 if they
only understand it somewhat, or 1 if they do not understand at all.
22. Flip Chart Questions: During a break, have participants respond to questions on flip charts
using post-its or markers. Discuss the responses after the break.
23. Game: Use games to review training material.
24. Graffiti Wall: Use flip charts or a white board to create a space for participants to write
“graffiti” about the topic, including their opinions and feelings. Encourage creative
expression, as well as thoughtful discussion.
25. Group Review: Ask participants to share what they learned. Use a flip chart to record their
26. Group Shout Out: Ask everyone to think of one word (individually) that summarizes a topic,
and have them shout it out simultaneously on the count of three.
27. Group Swap: Have participants discuss in small groups, and then have half of the group
members move to a different group and share what was discussed.
28. Guided Teaching: Use leading questions to guide participants through the material, using
their own knowledge.
29. High Five: Give high fives to participants at the end of the workshop or at key points, to
reward and motivate.
30. Identify a Problem: Work in groups to determine problems that would be solved by the
information being covered.
31. Information Scavenger Hunt: Have participants search for information on the Internet
related to the topic.
32. Internet Scavenger Hunt: Have participants search for information about the topic by
following a scavenger hunt on the Internet.
33. Introduction Icebreaker: Have participants walk around the room and introduce themselves
to 3 new people. Have them share their name, what they do, and one thing they know about
the training topic.
34. Introduction Round Robin: Have participants stand up and share their name, what they do,
and one thing they would like to learn or gain from the training workshop.
35. Journal: Have participants journal about their experience during the training. Encourage
them to continue to journal after the training is over.
36. Learning Plan: Ask participants to write down specific additional things they want to learn
because of what they have learned in the course.
37. Manifesto: Have participants work together in groups to create a manifesto statement about
how they will apply the topic at hand. Have each group share their manifesto statements
and then compile them for the class to have after the workshop is over.
38. Map it: Instead of a traditional outline, create a road map that visits the topics being
covered. Allow participants to choose what “direction” they will go in by selecting the topics
they are most interested in.
39. Mark-up: Have participants take time to mark up their handouts. Have them draw squares or
circles around important words, or underline key concepts.
40. Matching Mark-up: Have participants match key concepts to real life scenarios. Give
examples on a worksheet.
41. Matching Walkabout: Have participants match key concepts to real life scenarios using
index cards or post its. Create “scenario areas” around the room on tables or using flip
charts, and have participants tag the areas with key concepts using post its, taping index
cards, or writing directly on the flip charts.
42. Meet & Greet - Introduce yourself to your neighbor. Ask them what they hope to learn in
this session, and one thing they already know about the topic.
43. Movement poll: Poll the class and have them do something physical in response, such as
standing up, shaking a leg, or spinning around.
44. Musical chairs: Have participants change seats by playing musical chairs. Give them time to
gather their things before beginning, then play music and have them walk around the room.
When the music stops, they must take the closest available seat.
45. Next Steps: have participants write down how they will use what they’ve learned and what
they want to learn next. Have students share before leaving class.
46. Noisemakers: Give everyone a noisemaker, and ask them to make noise to applaud the
contributions of fellow classmates.
47. Observation: Give participants the opportunity to observe their newly learned skills being
used in real life by experienced workers, either individually or as a group.
48. Pair Explore: Have participants work in pairs to explore websites or print materials about
the topic. Pair Share: Have participants talk in pairs and share two things they have learned
49. Peer Problem Solving: Have participants work in pairs to solve a real-life scenario together.
Have each pair share their solution with the group.
50. Peer Quiz: Have participants create three pop quiz questions to which they know the
answer. Have them write each question on one side of and index card, with the answer on
the back. Then have them share their questions with others in the workshop.
51. Peer Teaching: Have participants work in pairs or small groups to teach each other material
that has been covered. This allows for practice and review at the same time.
52. Post-its Walkabout: Have participants write responses to a question on post-its, and have
them share by sticking them around the room. Use flipcharts or whiteboards to organize
responses by category.
53. Post-its Questions: Have participants write their questions on post-its and stick them on the
board during the break. When you come back from break, answer the questions and take
down the sticky notes as they are answered.
54. Picture Partners: Gather print images related to the topic, write discussion topics on the
back, and then cut them in half. Distribute the halves to participants and have them find
their matching image to determine their partner and discussion topic.
55. Pre-Workshop Assignment: Email out an assignment prior to the training. At the beginning
of the training, ask people to share their work.
56. Question & Answer: Ask participants to come up with questions about the topic. Have
other students try and answer the questions.
57. Question Basket: Have participants write questions on index cards and drop them in a
basket. Answer the questions as you have time throughout the workshop.
58. Question Time Sponge: Write 3 things down you would like to learn today (on handout,
index cards, post its and share in some way.
59. Question Walkabout: Have participants walk around the room and look at questions on flip
charts. Have them write their answers on the charts before sitting down.
60. Read & React: Have participants read a brief article about the subject and then discuss
their reaction in small groups.
61. Review Time Sponge: During the break, have participants write down the most important
thing you have learned so far.
62. Role Play: Have participants work in pairs act out scenarios. Give them time to discuss what
it feels like to be in a different position.
63. Rotating Role Play: Have three of four participants act out scenarios as a group, so there
are one or two observers. Have the observers give feedback and discuss the activity.
64. Round Robin: At the beginning, go around the room and have everyone share one thing they
would like to learn from the workshop.
65. Scenario: Give participants a scenario similar to what they would encounter in real life. Let
students work through the scenario together.
66. Self-Assessment: Have participants reflect on what they have learned about a topic by
giving a written or verbal self-assessment. Do not require that they share their responses.
67. Share it Forward: Have participants think of three people they could share this information
with, once class is over.
68. Shout out: Have participants shout out responses to a brainstorm without having to raise
their hands or be acknowledged.
69. Show but not Tell: Demonstrate a skill without talking, have participants watch and then
tell you what you did.
70. Sing Along: Use a common tune (like “Take me out to the ballgame”) but rewrite the lyrics
so they match your topic. Type up the lyrics and give them out to participants, and then
have everyone sing along.
71. Skills Practice: Allow students time to practice new skills being learned, with adequate time
for independent practice.
72. Small group review: Have participants work in groups to review the material, and then
report back on three points that they thought were most important.
73. Step by step: Have participants write down the steps of any new process begin taught, one
step at a time. Then have them trade instructions with a partner and test to see if any steps
were left out or are unclear.
74. Sticker Reminder: Provide small stickers and have participants use them to mark up their
handouts, specifically things they would like to remember or come back to later.
75. Stories: Tell a personal story to help students relate to the topic students understand
concepts or overcome fears.
76. Storytelling: Have participants develop a fictional story to illustrate the topic.
77. Stretch Break: If participants are getting restless or sleepy, take a quick guided stretch
break to get the blood flowing and their brains working.
78. Summarize & Share: Work in small groups to create a one sentence summary of what has
been covered, and then share it with the entire class.
79. T- Chart Wrap-Up: Draw a t-chart on a flip chart or white board, labeled +/Δ (plus/delta).
Have participants share what they thought worked in the training (plus), and what they think
could be improved (delta), and record these things on the chart.
80. T-Chart Assessment: Draw a t-chart on a flip chart or white board, labeled +/Δ (plus/delta).
Have participants write on post-its things they know (plus) and things they would like to
learn (delta) about the training topic. Have participants put the post-its on the t-chart in the
81. T-Chart Brainstorm: Draw a t-chart on a flip chart or white board, labeled pros/cons (or
other opposites related to the topic). Have participants brainstorm ideas about the two
columns, and have them identify which column their idea should be recorded in.
82. Tagging: Have people use website tagging tools like Delicious.com to save websites used
during the workshop.
83. Take a Stand: Give participants an opportunity to openly comment on the topic, voicing
their personal opinions, experiences, and ideas. Be sure to give everyone clear instructions
on how much time they have to speak.
84. Teach Back: Ask students to provide instruction for one another on a skill they’ve just
85. Technology: Bring in technology like iPads, laptops, or ereaders to teach skills and engage
86. Tell a Joke: Bring humor into the workshop by telling a joke on a related topic, which will
stimulate brain activity and promote learning
87. There's an App for That!: Preload iPods or iPads with apps related to your topic to use
during the workshop.
88. Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down: Ask yes/no questions and have participants respond by giving a
thumbs up (yes) or thumbs down (no) sign.
89. Time Sponge: Give an activity or discussion topic before class, or during breaks to prevent
90. Top Ten: Have participants shout out the top ten (or top five) things they have learned so
91. True/False: Have participants work in groups. Give a list of true/false statements and have
people discuss what they think is true and what is false, then give the correct answers.
92. Walkabout the room: Have participants walkabout the room to examine information on the
topic at different stations.
93. Word Cloud: Have participants create a Wordle or Tagxedo using vocabulary from the
94. Word of the Day: Have participants yell out every time you say a particular key word.
95. Word Puzzle: Create a word puzzle using vocabulary related to the topic and give it to
participants as a homework assignment. Create free word puzzles at the Discovery Education
96. Word Shout: Have participants shout out specific words as you write them on the board, or
display them on a screen. After each word shouted, give a brief explanation or definition.
97. Write It, Apply It: Have participants write down four ways they will apply this information to
their job or life.
98. Write & Review: Have participants jot down three things they learned from an activity, then
share them with others in their group.
Only 3 techniques to go! Do you have any ideas for Interactive Training Techniques that are not
included in this list? Please add a comment.