Think of a time when you attended a conference or church service when you heard something you thought could make a major difference in your life, but only a few hours later you couldn’t even remember the discussion topic.
How did you feel in that moment? What was the consequence of that lost opportunity?
Your group members can have that same unfortunate experience.
Growth Through Learning
Your small group members are taking time out of their schedule to gather with you and the other group members to improve their lives. One way they find it worthwhile is by discovering things through the Bible study and discussions that can result in self-improvement and spiritual growth. But by the time they get home, they often can’t remember those key takeaways they developed in their mind during the session.
If we are truly learning…
- We need to discover new things (or see things in a new way)
- We need to know how to put those things into practice
- We need to recall what we learned when the time comes to apply it
Break Out the Quiz
There are many techniques that can be used to accelerate and retain what we learn. There are also some techniques, like re-reading text, that seem like great ways to improve learning but don’t really have a significant impact in the long-run.
A method that does work well for learning includes the use of quizzes.
“Immediate recall in the form of a test is an effective method of aiding the retention of learning and should, therefore, be employed more frequently.”
Herbert F. Spitzer as cited in How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens by Benedict Carey
Why not use quizzes as part of your small group gatherings?
Small Group Quizmaster Tips
Consider using the following tips to maximize the benefits of using quizzes without scaring off your members:
- Warn your small group members in advance that you will spring quizzes on them. Be sure to tell them why you are doing it. They will benefit from it.
- Don’t require your members to share their answers with others. Required sharing of answers could cause an unnecessarily embarrassing situation. Allow each person to “grade” their own quiz and learn from what they could and couldn’t recall.
- Include one or more difficult questions. Why? The harder they work to get the answer, the better the learning retention.
- After you do a few quizzes, ask your members for a reaction. If they want to stop the quizzes, that is OK. Just use other learning methods in its place.
- Consider handing this leadership area to another group member—the small group Quizmaster!
Who in your small group will be the Quizmaster?
Question: There are many ways you can increase the learning retention of your group members. What are some effective ones that you have used?
This article originally appeared here.