I participated in the following activity at a conference sponsored by the Department of Education. I highly recommend it as an active learning tool that can be used with large (hundreds of participants) or small (as few as eight) groups.
In preparation for the activity, create a handout that asks several questions. Put all of the questions on one side of your handout. Select one of the questions to put on the opposite side (Side B) of the handout. Each question should be equally represented. For example, if Side A has four questions, each question would appear on Side B on ¼ of the handouts. Sample question: if you wanted to use this exercise for a mid-term review of On Course, you could ask questions such as this one which I have taken and modified from page 21 of the Facilitator's Manual: "Many people who commit crimes believe that they have been wronged by society and that having been wronged justifies their crimes. What would you say to a group of prison inmates about the differences between a Creator and a Victim. Procedure: there are three steps to this activity.
1. A. Seat students in two rows facing each other. One row will
be named the Movers and the other row will be the Shakers. The students receive a copy of the handout along with instructions to interview the
person who is sitting across from them by asking the single question found on Side B of their handout. Both students interview each other. (5
to 10 minutes)
2. All of the students who were asking the same question now form into their own group or groups (depending on the number of participants) That is, all interviewers who were asking Question 1, form a group, and all interviewers who were asking Question 2 form a group, etc.). These groups can sit in a circle or around a table. Each group selects a facilitator to keep the group on task and a recorder. One by one each of the group members shares with the group the responses received during the interviews. The group then chunks all of these responses into three general categories.
3. The recorders meet at the front of the room where they share with the entire group the general responses that were received from the original interviews.
There is much collateral learning to be accomplished with this exercise, and students enjoy it.
Elizabeth Wynia, Communications, Sisseton Wahpeton Community College, SD <email@example.com>
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Elizabeth explains how she used the Movers and Shakers exercise in a speech class: I used this exercise in a speech class of 12 students early in the semester. My students really enjoyed it; exercise is very user-friendly. (If you have an odd-number of students, the odd student can become a facilitator.) I had several objectives when I decided to use this exercise. I wanted students to become better acquainted with one another through a fun-filled venue, and I wanted them to begin analyzing their audiences and facing any speaker apprehension that they might be having. (The questions that you ask can be specific to your own outcomes.) I, also, wanted to give students the experience of organizing data into a three point informative speech, so I set the exercise up to accommodate that outcome. I gave the students the following directions: Using the questions on the back of this sheet, interview the person across from you. Record the responses in the space under the question and on the back of the page. You will have four minutes to conduct the interview. Since you will interview several people, record each individual's response, even if it is the same as someone else's. Record the respondent's words not your interpretation. Reread the question to the respondent as needed.
Sample questions that the students were given:
Questions can be customized according to your group. I would suggest more
questions with larger groups. Last summer when I was a participant in this exercise, there were hundreds of us involved. We had six questions. We were
all recipients of a grant. Sample questions were:
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