The Standing, Walking, Crawling workshop I ran at yesterday’s Active Learning Conference worked remarkably well! Here’s the proof. This is what we made when responding to the challenge to design a novel active learning pedagogy unconstrained by furniture. Three groups, three foci… some ideas more developed than others but all inspiring. Thank you to all who participated in the ideation challenge.
- Sit in a circle and roll a ball for the next participant to respond
- Blindfold games
- Escape room (floor edition)
- Large scale mind mapping or diagramming
- Obstacle course or problem-solving
- Floor as scattergraph – stand where you are on the graph to capture opinions, answers, and personality, for example
- Mind mapping – everyone creates an item related to the subject matter. Each person becomes their theme. Work as teams to build additional elements based on each theme.
- Moving objects or pictures around.
- Linking ideas on post-it notes on the floor (mind maps)
- Different ideas in different areas – moving to sit with/in a position you want to support.
- Sorting activity – ideas on floor, cruel to sort into a meeting. Chair and watch the structure take shape.
- Moving and sorting items into different spaces.
- Train layout
- Cartography (maps)
- Create a module map/assessment plan across the floor together. Where are the pinch points?
- Sensory, feeling, touching smelling tasting (think of using with social care/nurses/working with individuals with disabilities.
Snakes and ladders concept mapping
Pedagogic rationale: memorable, building community, peer-assisted and collaborative, multidisciplinary.
How does the activity work: Two dice, snakes and ladders board mapped out on the floor. One dice has numbers and the second has concepts/thoughts/ideologies. Students work in teams to agree on answers in response to challenges on the board.
Challenges: space, preparation, accessibility, money, maintaining engagement.
- Short team discussion studying distance guesses (theoretical).
- Icebreaker activity – throw a ball to another and ask how much do you agree with the statement a place yourself physically
- Gallery walk – small groups looking at and discussing different objects/posters/pictures.
- Questions about specific topics – observations on a paper or graph under discussion
- Whiteboard peer group – whiteboarding writing/drawing/working out problems together
- Collaborative writing on a whiteboard
- Using stations around the room for multiple choice questions
- Dramatisation of an idea
- Debating groups
- Order yourselves e.g. according to the motion you are given. For example, put yourself in order according to birth dates is a good induction activity. Or, people can be labeled to represent parts of a process or critical path and they have to negotiate their positions and dependencies.
- Students stand back to back and ask each other questions about what they want to know about a topic
- Take students on a bus ride, standing, talking and reflecting. Get off and on again.
Physical ranking, ordering or positioning
Can be used in various contexts – as an icebreaker or to explore conceptual debates.
Outcome statement: By taking part in this activity you will have developed your understanding of theoretical positions and how to communicate conceptual thinking in small and large groups.
Pedagogic rationale: visual and kinetic movement and ownership of learning, or conceptual positioning, through comparison of preferences. Quick assessment of learning (or not).
How does the activity work: To track, review and summarise key concepts students physically position themselves along an axis
Negotiate positioning through a series of back-to-back debates or go back to ranking again.
Follow up in a later session by reversing positions.
Challenges: space, reluctance to debate, size of group, disability.
- Learning walks – to find authentic examples of a concept
- Maths – symmetry in nature for PGCE students
- Our learning questions – real learning, right or wrong or method of interest
- Learners make own walking groups and then report back
- Identify objects/buildings/people/other from a walk that relate to study theme or topic
- Pedagogy for walking – portrait of business for society: impact pictures students will show the applications of moral theories based on pictures
- Given artefacts is not equal to ideas of a norm– the student will build a story
- Walking to the botanic garden – listing different types of flowers, different types of plants, sharing ideas, explaining something
- Groups start at different places en route with different questions to discuss
- Treasure hunt using QR codes (e.g. Plickers) to collect ideas/concepts/facts
- Active reading – QR codes with a part of the text on the wall (gallery). Students have to summarise, put in order, answer questions.
- Flow schemes – show how different concepts link (whiteboard)
- Poster creation – create a poster that explains a concept (e.g. a film poster representing the film of your idea!)
- Journal – students identify examples that demonstrate theory
- Walking scrabble – have large letters to play scrabble or crosswords recycling key vocabulary. Can be played by individuals or in pairs.
Outcomes: To link theory to practice
Pedagogic rationale: Interpersonal active learning – connecting the world to the curriculum.
Description: Walk around collecting ‘evidence’ of a theme or idea relating practice/examples to concepts.
Challenges: risk assessment, clear briefing.
Other notes: Capture ‘items’ in photos, cost, access – a ‘virtual’ walk.