Learning System Development and Implementation

Subarctic Survival Situation


Author: Patrick Eady  
Description: You and several others have just survived a plane crash in a lake in the northeastern Canadian Subarctic in which the two pilots were killed. You've managed to salvage 15 items from the plane before it sank. The temperature is falling you are many miles from the nearest help.
Task: As a group, decide what to do with what you have salvaged in order to save all of your lives.  
Team problem solving:

Rational skills:
Analyze the situation and identify assumptions
Clarify, agree on the objective(s)
Identify and agree on strategy

Interpersonal skills:
Active listening
Active support
Effective disagreement

Audience: Anyone ages 10 and up; any group or organization that relies on and needs better teamwork.


Leader requirements: As one person said after leading a group, "If you
can lead silent prayer, you can lead an ELM exercise." Simply follow the Leader's Guide.

Group size: The group is arranged into teams of five. Six teams, 30 participants, is usually the maximum because the more teams there are the longer it takes to score and debrief. (If it needs to be used with a larger group, contact the author for ideas on how to handle it effectively.)

Facilities, seating arrangements: Ideally, tables of five seated on three sides with the tables arranged in a fan shape pointed at a central point where easels/board is situated.

Audio/Visual equipment requirements: Overhead and two easels and a place to pin up the easel sheets.

Time requirements:
Minimum: 1.5 hours
Maximum: 3 or more hours
Variables that impact the time:
Extent of Learning Objectives
Size of group
Extent of debriefing, i.e. the number of subjects and depth of coverage

Leader's Guide Content: I. Uses - (Performance Objectives)
II. Background
III. Preparing for a Session
IV. Leading a Session
V. Suggested Readings

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