Training From the Back of the Room

December 14, 20101 min

Earlier this year, Bob Hartman mentioned this really interesting book on his Twitter feed (@agileforall) – Training From the Back of the Room.  One of the most interesting parts of this book to me is that the author, Sharon Bowman, talks about a completely different teaching paradigm – in this paradigm the instructor’s job is to facilitate the learners’s education rather than just deliver content.  Most of the classroom experience of the the learners is spent interacting with one another, completing activities which reinforce the lessons provided by the instructor and putting into practice the tools and skills they just learned.

This idea of training from the back of the room is very intriguing to me.  In the past, I had a very traditional classroom which focused on me giving lecture to the students.  Unfortunately, I was not entirely satisfied with the results and was looking for something more interesting and more powerful.  Earlier this year I had a chance to participate and host a Welfare CSM course with Tobias Mayer and saw that one can create real change with the students through a completely interactive and immersive classroom experience WITHOUT one Powerpoint slide.  Since June, I have been trying out a number of activities from this book to help improve my Scrum trainings.  From my initial experiments so far, I noticed that I spend a lot less time talking and the learners seem more engaged in the learning experience.