Learning Squared Experiential Activity Materials Zoom

Learning Squared Experiential Learning Activity

Learning Squared

Learning Squared contains two separate activities within the one package – Hollow Square and Broken Square.

Broken Square's success is dependent upon building relationships between team members, and an awareness of what others need and a willingness to offer resources without any verbal communication.

Hollow Square is a rapid introduction to the skills of planning and then carrying out an 'instructional' process, collaboration between teams, and time management.

View a short video of Learning Squared via the thumbnails to the left. 


Availability: In stock


Key Features

    Learning Focus
  • Collaboration
  • Effective Communication
  • Feedback
  • Instruction & Delegation
  • Negotiation & Building Trust
  • Problem Solving
  • Group Size
  • Ideal: 6 - 16
  • Possible: 6 - 16
  • Duration
  • 20-40 Minutes plus review

Activity Overview

The Broken Squares activity from RSVP Design Ltd is an introduction to working collaboratively with others to achieve team tasks, and understanding certain needs of individuals for the team performance. Participants need to use problem solving skills together without any verbal or written communication. 

The Hollow Square activity from RSVP Design Ltd is a rapid introduction to the skills of planning and then carrying out a team briefing or other ‘instructional’ process. A communication and time and resource management activity using collaboration between teams. 

Learning Squared is part of our Education Sector Package for those who wish to use the activities with students or young people in an educational setting. 

Learning Objectives

Broken Squares

  • • To establish a clear and shared understanding of the objectives of the task at hand
  • • To recognise that participation & co-operation by all members of a team are essential to attain team & individual goals
  • • To understand the value of offering ‘input’ into a group without the expectation of reciprocal giving  (one of the basic principles of effective negotiation)
  • • To be aware of the difficulties created when normal channels of communication are restricted
  • • To be open to an exploration of different solutions in problem-solving

Hollow Squares

  • • To understand the importance of involving operational staff in planning their own tasks
  • • To explore the impact of a lack of communication on trust between groups
  • • To learn key skills of team briefing and giving instructions to ensure correct understanding
  • • To use clear, concise and unambiguous language when preparing instructions
  • • To choose the most appropriate methods for giving complex instructions, to avoid misunderstanding and error

Activity Description

Activity Contents:

4x Sets of Broken Square activity (1x Red, 1x Blue, 1x Orange, 1x Green)

4x Sets of Hollow Square activity (all Blue), Facilitator manual for each activity, Activity Briefs

Package Weight: 2.15kg

Broken Square

The task requires a group of 4 individuals to finish the exercise with a complete and identical square shape made from the available puzzle pieces. However, they are working with serious constraints: there is no verbal communication allowed and no-one is allowed to request a puzzle piece from anyone else. The success of the exercise is dependent upon an awareness of what others need and a willingness to offer individual puzzle components to others.

Hollow Square

In the activity, one team acts as a planning team and one as an operational team. The planning team prepares and delivers a briefing to the operational team, which should allow the operational team to be able to complete a task without further input from the planning team.

The task is a representation of the relationship between supervisors and their teams. It highlights the importance of involving operational staff in developing plans that they will be required to implement, clarifying instructions and checking understanding throughout the delegation process.


Very good insightsReview by Edyta Ponarad
Quality of Learning Design
Value for Money
I have a chance to use the squares - both of them - Broken Squares and Hollow Square - both worked very well with the teams and gave them very good insights :) (Posted on 16/01/2017)
EI & languageReview by Anon
Quality of Learning Design
Value for Money
I very much appreciated Broken Squares as it is a good exercise to introduce people to Emotional Intelligence. I have used it for an international training. Great for the language as well :-). (Posted on 20/11/2015)
ILM & RSVP Design Activity packageReview by Jed Langdon from The Eden Project
Quality of Learning Design
Value for Money
We have used some of your activities, both within a management development course on communication and with our apprentices to develop their communication, teamwork and problem solving skills. The activities we have used so far are Colourblind, Challenging Assumptions and Broken Squares. The activities all went down really well with both groups and helped us to make sessions more practical and engaging. We use quite a lot of hands-on team-based activities in our training so these activities fit in really well.

We are really looking forward to using the other activities we have purchased over the next few months.

Jed Langdon
The Eden Project (Posted on 05/05/2015)

Write Your Own Review

You're reviewing: Learning Squared

How do you rate this product? *

  1 star 2 stars 3 stars 4 stars 5 stars
Quality of Learning Design
Value for Money


Product Downloads

Click below for more information about Learning Squared. We also have 'Education & Teacher Specific' facilitation notes for those who wish to use this activity with students or young people in an educational setting.


Product prices shown do not include delivery costs (or VAT, where relevant).

We use international and local courier services to provide a fast, secure and traceable shipping service to our customers. Typically we will ship within one working day of receiving your order, and your goods should be with you, wherever you are in the world within one week!


We provide a 12 month unconditional guarantee. If you have any problems with our materials, we will replace any defective parts, or you can return the product for a refund.

You may also be interested in the following product(s)







Learning and Change (Module 1)

Learning and Change (Module 1)