Seminars are used by organizations and individuals as development and training opportunities. The focus of a seminar typically centers around a lecturer's presentation, but a number of learning through discussion activities can be used to enhance the learning experience. This includes business games, fact-finding exercises and paper- and computer-based tests.

Handouts and Quizzes

Seminar handouts and quizzes generally cover the critical points of the lecturer. They are designed to help participants better understand the material and test knowledge. A mini-quiz can be given that examines what participants have retained from the lecture, bringing out any misunderstandings among participants. Handouts may include important articles, book excerpts or diagrams that can be highlighted and brought into the seminar discussion. For example, in a business-related seminar, a diagram may be used to explain a complex real estate transaction.

Breakout Groups

Small breakout groups can be used in seminars for leaderless group discussions and activities. For example, seminar participants can work within smaller groups to discuss the facts, issues, policies and rules of a business case study. With short, clear instructions from the seminar presenter, the participants can complete an activity within the small group and report back to the seminar group.

Applying Work Processes

A seminar that seeks to transfer specific skills to the participants will benefit from a work process activity. Here, participants practice critical skills necessary for managing work processes by working individually or in a team to apply knowledge. Model workshop activities can be used to practice skills, such as navigating through computer software platforms or working through a learning process along with the seminar presenter.


A feedback activity is designed to help participants bring their own experience into the learning experience. For example, participants can be called upon to discuss their own jobs or work environments in relation to the seminar topic. Participants may also write a brief response to critical seminar materials, which can be shared with the seminar group.