In the books and movies, the instructors at Hogwarts use point systems throughout the year as both an incentive for good behavior/academics and a deterrent for bad behavior. At the end of the year, the house with the most points gets the cup.
We could take a lesson from Hogwarts. But how does this apply to training? Well, team points can be incredibly motivating in a training session. They can be used to:
- Reward "good" behavior (i.e. on-time attendance)
- Encourage participation
- Reinforce correct answers
- Engage trainees as individuals and teams
Game shows: Game shows are a great way for teams to earn points in a team competition. You can either add a single game to a training session, or have a game that runs throughout the day (previewing information, reviewing information, teaching information, etc). You can use the same format in different rounds (i.e. Multiple matches of a Jeopardy-style game) or you can use different game formats. Game shows can even be structured in tournament style to make them an event within the training.
Knowledge Bucks: A great way to keep individuals engaged and participating in a less structured session is "Monopoly money" or Knowledge Bucks. This funny-money can be given out when individuals respond to a question, arrive on time, etc. Team members can put them in a designated box, and they are added to the team's total score. These can be tallied during breaks.
Energizers: Have the teams organize a post-lunch cheer, with the most creative, on-point and well-executed cheer receiving the most points. Have a paper-toss where members write questions on paper, crumple them up and toss them around until a designated time period passes and one person from each team must answer the question in their hand--for a certain number of points a piece. Activities like this both contribute to the energy of the room and the team competition.
Leader Board: Have a leader board that shows the tally of team scores for all activities--game shows, knowledge bucks, team cheers, etc. Update it at breaks so teams can see where they stand and to stoke a little competition. This doesn't have to be anything fancy--a grid on a white board or a PowerPoint slide will do nicely.