The Art of Reviewing Dr. Roger Greenaway Dr. Roger Greenaway trains facilitators, educators, trainers and consultants to bring out the full benefits of active and experiential learning. He works with training organisations, training departments and educational institutions - worldwide. His Train-the-Trainer workshop was widely successful in Shenzhen in 2011 and he will be presenting another TTT in Shanghai in May of 2013.
Copyright © Sino Associates & Roger Greenaway 2013-2023. All Rights Reserved.
Learning is a creative process. Facilitating learning is at
least as creative. It is an art. When reviewing experience
it sometimes pays to follow clearly sequenced models,
but the best reviews often flow from intuitive judgements
about what will work best. This paper aims to help you
develop the quality of your intuitive judgement without
abandoning your favourite model for reviewing.
What is reviewing?
Purpose or effect is to enhance the value of a recent
experience. This includes reflection, communication,
analysis, feedback and any looking ahead that arises
from such processes. Alternative terms for ‘reviewing’
are ‘processing’, ‘debriefing’ and ‘reflection’. A little
confusingly, the term ‘reviewing’ applies both to what the
learner does (e.g. when interpreting experience) as well
as to what the facilitator does (e.g. when facilitating the interpretation of learners’ experiences).
In a group setting there are many extra opportunities for
reviewing. This paper is about reviewing in groups, but
much of what follows is also relevant to reviewing one-toone. I will first describe some key turning points in my own development as a facilitator of learning.
Knowing what not to do When I changed career from a teacher to a trainer, I was introduced to the world of ‘non-directive facilitation’. My initial understanding of this principle was that I should never give away any answers, any opinions, any advice, any anything... until one day, one particular group of learners
“This paper aims to help you develop the quality of your intuitive judgement without abandoning your favourite model for reviewing 本文旨在帮助您进一步提高直觉判断 的质量，并且不必丢掉您原来习惯的 回顾反思办法。” 知道不该做什么 当我放弃教师的职业成为培训师时，我了解到
dragged me out from my ‘non-directive’ shell and insisted
on getting to know more about this mysterious facilitator
who gave so little away. So I had succeeded in learning how
to be ‘non-directive’, but I now needed to learn how to be
so in a more friendly, open and facilitative way.
Through non-directive facilitation I had learned to step
back and vacate the space traditionally reserved for teaching. But I was forgetting about other important
principles. One was about setting an example (serving as a
role model of an effective learner).Retreating into my own
shell did not necessarily make others want to come out of
their own shells. I now felt that I needed to come out of
my own shell to demonstrate that it was safe, enjoyable
and beneficial to do so. If I expected participants to take
risks and learn from their risks, perhaps it would be helpful
if I could show the way, or at least join in as a learner. So I
would say something like this: ‘’I am here to learn as well.
Some of my learning goals are similar to yours, some are
different. I would like us to work in a way that allows us all
to learn from each other. The more we each learn (including
me), the more we all learn.’’
I was much more comfortable with the idea that I was a
learner rather than being a ‘non-’something. I now found
it more helpful knowing what to do, rather than knowing
what not to do.
Making learning difficult
I settled for some time with the idea that I was a ‘facilitator
of learning’ - someone who makes it easy for others to
learn. But I was then awoken from this very comfortable
idea by a colleague who insisted that his job was to make
learning difficult for others! His argument went something
like this: ‘’It is questions and curiosity that drive learning.
Once learners think they have the answers, they stop
asking questions and soon stop learning. As facilitators of
learning we shouldn’t let certainty or complacency stifle
curiosity. We shouldn’t provide ready-meals of learning
in easily digestible chunks. Our job is to ensure that
participants are fully engaged in the process of learning.
The more that participants work at their learning, the more
they will learn ... the more they put in, the more they get out ... no pain, no gain. Our job is to maximise learning, not to make learning easy.’’
以下不是教您如何让回顾变得简单。它更像是 一组指示牌，告诉你哪个方向值得试试（或经常去 试试），值得去探寻灵感或问题。
What follows is not a step by step guide to make reviewing easy. It is more of a collection of signposts indicating ideas and issues worth visiting (or re-visiting).
“It is questions and curiosity that drive learning. Once learners think they have the answers, they stop asking questions and soon stop learning 是疑问和好奇心驱使着我们去学习， 当人们以为自己无所不知，他们就不 会再去问问题，接着很快就不会再学 习了 ” 定序
There could be as many good reviewing sequences as there
are ways of having good conversations. Unfortunately, many
people stick to one or two favourite methods or models.
However good these favourites are, the art of good
conversation and the art of good reviewing are unlikely
to be discovered or developed if they are based around
only one or two patterns or ‘proven formulae’. Sometimes
it pays to start a review and see where it goes. At other
times participants will benefit from a carefully sequenced
review. Both strategies have their place. Both strategies
can also work well in combination - for example by having
a sequenced conclusion to a free-flowing discussion. But
without any sequencing at all, even the most able groups and individuals will readily fall into traps that get in the way of learning.
以下是当回顾过程没有被合理定序后会出现的 一些常见陷阱 :
Here are some of the common traps that appear when reviews are poorly sequenced:
• 草率决定—和错误的假设 • 徒劳无功——无意义地打转
◆ jumping to conclusions - and making false assumptions
◆ not getting anywhere – unproductive meandering
◆ clichéd conversations - superficial, repetitive
◆ post mortems - spiralling down into negativity and
◆ paralysis by analysis - and perhaps also not seeing the
wood for the trees ◆ jumping ahead - moving into the future before learning from the past
跟从有影响力的几个学员的想法 • 分散注意——不同的人处于不同的回顾阶 段，从而产生不必要的矛盾和纷争
◆ limited focus - typically on the last thing that happened, or following the interest of the most dominant participants ◆ scattered focus - with different people at different stages of reviewing - causing needless confusion and conflict 为回顾定序并不是解决以上问题的唯一办法， Sequencing is not the only answer to all of the above
problems, but having an understanding of sequencing can
certainly help you identify the problem and find a solution
Sequencing requires two kinds of decision. One decision
is about what to include in the sequence. The other
decision is about the order in which these items are
considered. There is also a third kind of decision which is about whether the items in the sequence are simply ‘for discussion’ or could be tackled more productively using other reviewing methods (see the website reference at the end of this paper).
What to include It may not be realistic to include all of the features listed below on every occasion (especially when there is not much time for a review) but over a series of reviews it would usually be important to include all of these aspects:
“Sequencing is not the only answer to all of the above problems, but hav ing an understanding of sequencing can certainly help you identify the problem and find a solution worth trying. 为回顾定序并不是解决以上问题的唯 一办法，但对定序有所了解至少一定 能帮您发现并找到解决这些问题的值 得尝试的方法 ”
◆ past and future - and also the experience of the review
◆ positive, negative and interesting aspects - suitably balanced
◆ individual and group perspectives - both ‘I’ and ‘we’
statements ◆ feedback to everyone or to selected individuals - ‘you’
◆ something for all learning styles - however these are
保持适当的平衡 • 从个人和团体视角进行回顾——需要既有
defined ◆ some negotiation about the process and purpose of the
• 对每个人或是部份人的反馈——“你” “你们”
◆ a sense of importance and a sense of humour
◆ support and challenge in a spirit of inquiry and a review
式是如何定义的 • 协商回顾过程的和指出进行回顾的目的
of the review!
• 既让大家感觉到事情的重要性和又不失幽默 No list can be complete and comprehensive. Other writers on the subject of reviewing (or ‘processing’ or ‘debriefing’ or ‘reflection’) emphasise different aspects.
感 • 通过不断提问甚至对回顾本身的回顾来支持 和挑战回顾过程
For example, Thiagi (http://www.thiagi.com) recommends
drawing up seven lists as a starting point for reviews.
Such thoroughness seems to require a particularly high
commitment to reviewing.
www.thiagi.com) 建议列出七个列表作为回顾的起点。 这般透彻的回顾对大家的精力投入有很高的要求。
The collection and displaying of such information clearly makes it easier to recall key moments or key aspects during
subsequent discussion. Such lists can also be particularly
useful, according to Thiagi, in helping learners to make
connections to the workplace.
If I use lists, it is usually when I ask participants to create
a list of all the topics or questions they are interested in
exploring after an event or exercise. This is the first part
of an agenda setting exercise. But what next? In what
order should these topics or questions be tackled and how
should they be tackled?
Order! Order!! Here are five general principles about sequencing in reviewing, whatever particular sequence you happen to be following.
顺序！顺序！！ 以下是五个回顾过程中定序的基本原则，无论 您是用哪种方法定序都需要注意。
VARIATIONS Don’t spoil a stimulating training event with a predictable and one-dimensional approach to reviewing. There is no
single ‘best’ or ‘correct’ sequence for reviewing. There are
an infinite number of sequences that will work well.There
are also common traps awaiting poorly sequenced reviews (see above). It is therefore useful to use a sequence that
avoids common traps, while being open to variations and
Be careful not to assume that a review begins at the start
of the ‘official’ reviewing session.
Some important informal or independent reviewing may
have already taken place. For example, if participants have
already spent time independently on stage 1 and stage 2
(of your particular sequence), they may be ready to dive
into stage 3 at the start of your review session. Also, the
more that participants get into the habit of reviewing,
the greater the chances that they will be doing reviewing
(formally or informally) during the training exercises. So
even if you start your review immediately after a training
exercise, you may still find that plenty of reviewing has already taken place. The best starting point is not always stage 1.
TRANSPARENCY There may be occasions where you want to take full responsibility for the sequencing of a review (and keep your cards close to your chest). But it is usually helpful if participants are aware of the general principles that you are using for sequencing reviews, as well as knowing the
“But it is usually helpful if participants are aware of the general principles that you are using for sequencing reviews, as well as knowing the particular sequence for the current review - if you have one in mind. 但是通常来讲，让学员了解到您 对这个回顾设定的基本顺序以及 当下的所处阶段会更好。”
particular sequence for the current review - if you have one in mind. This is partly to avoid chaotic situations such
as when: 有时候您可能希望自己一个人控制回顾的顺序 ◆ one person is talking about the future ◆ another is still preoccupied with what happened ◆ two others are engaged in giving and receiving feedback ◆ someone else is really excited about a personal insight that has popped up
（并且守口如瓶）。但是通常来讲，让学员了解到 您对这个回顾设定的基本顺序以及当下的所处阶段 会更好。这可以在某种程度上避免以下几种混乱的 状况：
◆ another is trying to steer things back to the original
purpose of the review.
• 另一个人还在思考当下发生的事 • 另外两人还在相互给反馈 • 有个人在为自己的灵光一闪感到兴奋 • 还有一个人在试图将话题拉回到回顾本身上
TRANSFER 学习转移性 There is another important reason why you should generally try to be transparent about the sequence, and
this applies especially if you are asking participants to
take responsibility for their own learning. The point is
this: whatever the overall purpose of the training, the
transferability of what people learn will be enhanced if
they are also learning about how they are learning. 如果您能让学习过程更加透明，那么学员在培 Participants will be more effective learners during and
after the course if you can make the learning processes
transparent. Transparency about learning processes assists
transfer - especially if further learning from experience will be necessary when participants are trying to implement changes back in the workplace.
注意节奏 回顾顺序有时候会以列表的形式呈现 – 就如 作为一个设定好的议程时 , 有时又会以循环的形式
Sequences are sometimes presented in the form of a list
呈现。所以您应当想好 , 是把回顾反思过程构架成
- as for an agenda. Sequences can also be represented in
the form of a cycle. So one decision you need to make is
whether the whole review is to be structured as one giant
cycle (or list), or whether the goal(s) of the review would
be better achieved by making several journeys round a
cycle. This raises the issue of whether a learning cycle is the
equivalent of a ‘lesson plan’ for the facilitator, or whether each participant is travelling around their own unique learning cycle - and if so, do they do so each at their own
pace or in unison with others? Whatever your plan, you certainly need to pay attention to the stage at which each
• 有没有人太沉溺于活动中的感受因而难以退 一步去客观地看待事实？
individual actually is in the learning process. For example:
• 有没有人太急于将学习点联系到工作上而难 以注重此时此刻的经历？
◆ Is anyone so immersed in feelings that they are not ready to stand back and take a more objective view? ◆ Is anyone so anxious about relevance to work that they are not paying attention to the here and now?
• 有没有人太在意理性思维而忽视了情绪感 受？ • 有没有人因为心不在焉而根本没注意到本应 该体会到的经历？
◆ Is anyone so committed to thinking that they overlook feeling?
◆ Was anyone so inattentive or so unmoved that the ‘experience’ has passed them by?
是时候看下我的底牌了。我经常使用一个四阶 段循环的回顾，它与上述所列的原则基本吻合。我 的灵感来自于很多地方——最初是来自我在 Brathay
Four suits and a joker
It is time I showed my cards. I often follow a four stage
在我的网站上 (http://reviewing.co.uk) 找到，以教程
reviewing sequence that is compatible with most of the
principles outlined above. It has evolved from many
sources - originally from my own informal research while
working at Brathay as a development trainer, and more recently as a training aid when training facilitators. The
fullest account of this cycle is published on my website
(http://reviewing.co.uk) in the form of a tutorial about the
‘reviewing cycle’. I will give a brief account of it here - in a
way that emphasises the differences between the red and
the black zones. These two zones can be overlaid on any
model of experiential learning.
The first two stages of this four stage reviewing sequence
are represented by the red suits: diamonds and hearts.
Stages 3 and 4 are represented by the black suits: spades
and clubs. The Joker is the wild card that allows exceptions
and variations at any point on the cycle. The colours red and black have a special significance. Red represents what happened (DIAMONDS - a precious stone with many faces/ perspectives) and what was experienced (HEARTS). The red side represents the experiences from which the learning may be drawn. The red side emphasises communication of the experience. The black side represents what is learned or gained from the experience. The SPADE is a tool for digging - for analysis, investigation, interpretation, etc. The CLUB represents future growth - in many possible directions that may involve predictions, choices, plans, rehearsals or ‘keeping dreams alive’. Red represents experience; black represents learning.
Playing red cards
Some facilitators are most at home in the red zone. There
could be many reasons why they prefer red to black.
An important benefit arising from spending ‘quality time’
in the red zone is that participants become more aware
of self and others and of the nature of the event. They
become much better acquainted with personal and shared
experiences from which their learning will be drawn.
Spending ‘quality time’ in the red zone increases the
chances that any subsequent learning will be well grounded
in a rich appreciation of the original experience. ‘Quality
time’ in the red zone helps to ensure that subsequent
learning is substantially based on what was actually
experienced. Time in the red zone also tends to develop
attentive listening, empathy and mutual understanding. These are valuable achievements in themselves. They also generate rich data and enhanced levels of communication to feed into the rest of the cycle.
Playing black cards
Some facilitators are most at home in the black zones. This
is what facilitators are (generally) paid to produce: the
learning outcomes and the changed behaviour back in the
workplace. 但是黑色区域受到重视还有其他原因。黑色区 But there can be many other reasons why black gets most
attention. The benefits of the black zone tend to be more
self evident. This is where the more tangible results are
generally found. The consequences of moving into the
black zone too soon can readily be worked out by referring
back to the benefits of spending ‘quality time’ in the red
zone. Learning that is poorly grounded in experience tends
to be less dependable, less valued and less memorable.
Rushing through the black zone would mean learning very little of substance. The experience might have been highly memorable, but any learning would be easily forgettable.
The joker The joker is the wild card that you can play at any time.
The joker does not take this (or any other) model too seriously.
The joker gives the system a human face.
The joker keeps you alert to contradictions.
The joker challenges procedures.
The joker is sharp, quick and perceptive.
The joker brings fresh perspectives.
The joker is alive and dynamic.
Above all, the joker lets you trust your judgement and play
your own game.
Every game needs a joker.
Every model has exceptions.
Playing the joker
Some facilitators are most at home playing the joker. Again,
there may be a whole host of reasons why this is so. In the context of this paper, let us see the joker as a reminder that
reviewing is an art. Whatever model or theory you use to
guide your facilitation of reviewing, remember to balance
RED and BLACK, and remember the JOKER - for any or all
of the reasons listed above. Learning is a creative process.
Facilitating learning is also a creative process - an intuitive
balancing act between models and jokers
Roger Greenaway provides trainer-training in reviewing
Roger Greenaw 博士在英国及其他许多国家提供
skills in the UK and in many countries around the world.
These events draw on Roger’s extensive background in
Roger Greenaway 博士大量的体验式培训的经验，培
experience-based training, trainer-training and research
- which includes his doctorate in management learning.
Roger is the author of several articles and books about
reviewing. He also publishes the email newsletter ‘Active
Reviewing Tips’ - part of a comprehensive website which is
becoming an encyclopaedia of reviewing methods.
Find out more about reviewing 点击了解更多回顾反思技巧
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