Why Exercise?



Tell me and I’ll forget;

show me and I may remember;

involve me and I’ll understand.

                           (Chinese proverb)

Why do I include so many exercises in my Scrum classes? Because mastering Scrum takes practice and a lot of it. Whether you’re a ScrumMaster, Product Owner, or Team Member, you develop mastery through practice. Repeated studies show that adults learn best by doing. Exercises bring the doing into the classroom.

Tell me... A lecture can be entertaining, riveting, and ultimately forgettable. How often have you thoroughly enjoyed a speaker only to forget the gist of the speech within days? If you have difficulty remembering the gist, what chance do the details have?

Show me... Visuals can help long-term recovery of information. Think back on an important event in your life. Chances are that the first thing that pops into your mind is a picture ― a snapshot your brain took of the event at the time. These pictures are like an index of the stuff we keep in our memory. Additional details will follow ― sounds, smells, emotions ― but the first thing is often the picture. The picture is the key to unlocking the rest of the information.

Involve me... Athletes refer to muscle memory as a result of repeated, disciplined practice focusing on a particular activity. Anyone who has successfully learned to ride a bike or drive a manual transmission car has developed a “muscle memory” that enables them to perform this activity without conscious thought. With practice, the body knows or “understands” how to respond appropriately to achieve the desired result. Class exercises provide the physical experience on how to perform the specific practice.

Balance ― Since people learn in different ways, my workshops blend auditory (Tell me), using lecture and discussion; visual (Show me), using slides and wall space as information radiators; and kinesthetic (Involve me), physical activities and role play. Consistently, participants’ feedback rank the exercises as having the greatest impact on their understanding and retention of class material. Integration and balance of these different modes of teaching is essential to a successful learning experience.