Post-ups are a fun and effective way to get people to articulate their expectations for a course and share them with the rest of the group. Learning objectives can then be prioritised according to the number of similar stickies, and unique expectations can be used to direct one-to-one discussions.
You will need
Stickies, pens, a big (ideally vertical) space to stick them on.
Benefits and limitations
- It's quick and cheap
- It requires little advance preparation by either the trainers or the trainees
- It gets course participants up and moving, stimulating energy flow in the group and encouraging interactions between them
- It's also a kind way to deal with trainees who don't like standing up and talking about themselves
- Because it's quick, it's also dirty - and it doesn't scale very well
What do I actually do as an instructor/facilitator?
Preparation / before class
No preparation time - can be used spontaneously.
Implementation / during class
Select a topic that you want the group to provide input on; for example, it might be 'what are the most important things you need to know about a drug target to help you decide whether it's a valid target? Or 'what are the most important things to understand about a macromolecular structure to determine its quality?'. Provide everyone with three sticky notes. Ask them to write down their top three priorities within a defined time (3-5 minutes generally works fine). Invite participants to post up their stickies on a wall, window or other large space. Let them arrange them randomly at first, then discuss with the group how to categorise them. Get the group (or a subset of it - a few volunteers usually step up) to rearrange the stickies. Don't throw away duplicates as they'll help you to prioritise. Use the reorganised sticky notes to agree on overall priorities. This exercise typically takes 30–45 minutes.
Gamestorming A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers
By Dave Gray, Sunni Brown, James Macanufo
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: July 2010; Pages: 290
; ISBN: 978-0-596-80417-6
The reference describes the general use of post-ups; other examples and ideas are provided at Gogamestorm.com.
It might be possible to use trello.com as an online post-up board for virtual classrooms
Paired discussion is a teaching methodology where learners in groups of two discuss a topic or open ended question posed by the instructor. It is also called “think-pair-share”, which indicate that before a paired discussion the learners are given time to think on their own before discussing with their partners. The results of the discussion are then shared with either the whole group or another subgroup. As a variation instead the “share” part can be skipped or learners write their answers on note cards or sticky notes which are then collected (and displayed if desired). Paired discussions are a simple method to stimulate learners to explore and discover a subject as well as giving the instructor feedback on class performance.89.5% Details
Classroom response system
A classroom response system (CRS) is a device or software that enables the instructor to obtain real-time feedback from the audience. Typically the instructor poses a multiple-choice question or a selection of statements to the participants. Using the CRS each participant submits an answer anonymously. The answers are collected by the CRS and displayed as a histogram of the choices made by the participants. The CRS can be applied to different learning objectives:
- to assess participants' understanding
- to help participants to consolidate their pre-exisiting knowledge by starting discussion in pairs or small groups, who work together to identify the correct answer
- to collect data to illustrate statistical methods
- to evaluate the influence of information or arguments on participants' opinions
- to facilitate discussions
- to support participants in exploring, expanding, applying and integrating their knowledge
- to adapt training sessions according to the participants' understanding and needs
- polling questions
Breakout sessions in a learning context refer to a technique where subgroups are formed during a lecture-type event. Students are assigned to one breakout group (typically 2-4 groups are formed) and given instructions on what they need to do. Topics are assigned to each group (either the same or different topics). Examples of topics can include
- discussing a case which is based on the topic of the lecture
- students analysing their learning so far and defining additional learning needs or interest or
- diversifying the topic of the lecture (e.g. a main lecture on clinical trials followed by break-out groups working on clinical trials in cancer, infectious diseases, rare disease or for vaccines.
The break-out group can be student or teacher/facilitator lead, depending on the design of the break-out group. A break out group typically ends with reporting the results etc back to the entire class.81.0% Details