ETC Toolkit

This provides an alphabetical list of all ETC Toolkit How to Guides and Case Studies.

These are listed as :

Search through the lists to find ideas and inspiration!

Enterprise How To Guides

A Compendium of Pedagogies: THE USE OF AN ELEVATOR PITCH (QAA 7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Individual Task

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Presentation Space

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

The main benefits of this approach are to enable students to pick up the skills to summarise something in a focused and precise way. The outcome is often that they are aware how important lucky opportunities can be in entrepreneurship and to prepare for such opportunities should they occur.

Overview:

An Elevator Pitch (or Elevator Speech) is a brief overview of an idea for a product, service, or project. The pitch is so called because it can be delivered in the time span of an elevator ride (say, thirty seconds or 100-150 words). The term is typically used in the context of an entrepreneur pitching an idea to a venture capitalist to receive funding. Venture capitalists often judge the quality of an idea and team on the basis of the quality of its elevator pitch, and will ask entrepreneurs for the elevator pitch to quickly weed out bad ideas. 

Activity:

In the entrepreneurship educators programme the elevator pitch is used to force participants to think carefully about their personal strengths and to be confident about these by making an explicit pitch. Within the entrepreneurship educators programme it is used to give participants experience of an elevator pitch. The basic approach is to invite individuals to develop their pitch beforehand with a strict time limit (usually 1 to 3 minutes). Participants are asked to compete in front of a panel of judges equipped with agreed judging criteria. Participants are lined up to encourage swift movement from one participant to another and they are timed – a whistle is blown at the end of the time and they must then depart.

Skill Development:

Elevator Pitches are commonly used in US Enterprise Education and are often used in business plan competitions. The purpose is to force students to prepare a short and focused explanation of their business should they have the opportunity to pitch it to somebody in an informal situation. It is an encouragement to think out the core of the business and find attractive ways of putting it over.

Resources:

  • A Compendium of Pedagogies for Teaching Entrepreneurship. Professor Alan Gibb and Professor Alison Price - Download (PDF)

References:

About the Author
This guide was produced by Professor Allan Gibb and Professor Alison Price.

A Compendium of Pedagogies: THE USE OF DEBATE (QAA 7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Large Group

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Lecture Theatre, Presentation Space

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

7Communication and Strategy

Objective: 

Debate is used to provide a forum for delivery of argument for and against an issue. It provides a platform for exploring all relevant issues It also is a vehicle for practicing delivery skills and 'thinking on one's feet'. It also has to have audience appeal as the aim is to win their vote but also involve them.

Overview: 

A debate can be formal or informal. It is relatively easy to construct an issue for argument with a class, get them to consider arguments for or against and then speak to it from the 'floor'. A more formal version is described below (however it is possible just to work at an informal level, having established 2 sides for the debate and defined roles 1-3 below). 

Traditionally, a debate will have a 'Motion' (statement) which the 'House' (those attending) must address. For example, 'This House believes that entrepreneurs are 'born not made' or 'This House believes that entrepreneurial management can only be fully pursued in the independent business organisation'.

Activity:

The debate will need: (indicative timings included for an hour session)

1. A Chairperson:

  • Who will introduce the Motion and the Proposers, Opposers and 'Summers up'.
  • The Chair also sets out the rules of the game, the time limits and how he/she will enforce these and how the audience should contribute.
  • A chair will explain the vote and how this will be for the best arguments best delivered not the audience's personal preference (as more reflective of the learning gained, rather than opinion at the time).

2. A Proposer

  • To put up all the major positive arguments for the Motion {7 minutes}

3. An Oppose

  • To put all the main arguments against the Motion {7 minutes}

4. A Seconded for the Motion

  • To counter the arguments of the Oppose as they have been anticipated and as they occur in reality. Also to back up and add arguments to those of the Proposer {5 minutes}

5. A Seconded against the Motion

  • To counter all the arguments of the Proposer and Seconded for the Motion as they have been anticipated and as they occur in practice and to back up the opposition arguments {5 minutes}

6. Speakers from the floor (the audience)

  • Think of their own views and articulate them.
  • Speakers do not ask questions but make points and arguments. They may of course take up what has been said by the speakers.
  • In a small audience it should be emphasised that every member has to contribute

7. A Summariser for the Motion

  • To summarise up the debate after the audience has contributed, using the key audience contributions, and emphatically inviting the audience to support the Motion {5 minutes}

8. A Summariser against the Motion

  • To summarise up the debate after the audience has contributed, using the audience contributions that support their argument, and emphatically inviting the audience to oppose the Motion {5 minutes}

All speakers should not read from notes but should address the audience warmly and convincingly and should use humour sufficiently to entertain.

The sequence is as follows:

  • Chairpersons Introduction of Motion, Speakers and Rules
  • First Speaker for the Motion
  • First Speaker against the Motion
  • Seconded for the Motion
  • Seconded against the Motion
  • Floor opened to the audience
  • Final Summary for the motion
  • Final Summary against
  • Vote by the audience
  • Concluding remarks by the Chair

To engage all the participants in the debate it can be organised as follows: 

Divide the class into 6 groups

  • Group 1 has to agree the main points for the Motion make suggestions as to innovative/entertaining arguments and choose a speaker.
  • Group 2 has to agree the major points against the Motion, make suggestions for Innovative/entertaining arguments and choose a speaker.
  • Group 3 has to brainstorm on the arguments that might be put by the opposition, think of counterpoints and ways of refuting them entertainingly and subsidiary points to reinforce the Motion. They then choose a speaker to second the Motion.
  • Group 4 has to brainstorm on the arguments that might be presented by the proposers of the Motion and also how the points against might be attacked and choose a speaker to second the opposition to the Motion.
  • Group 5 has to brainstorm on what they think will be the main points for and against (including any possible points from the floor). They then prepare an outline summary of the argument for supporting the motion and refuting the opposition. They then choose a speaker who has however to be prepared to build flexibly upon what goes on in the debate
  • Group 6 goes through the same procedure as Group 5 except that they prepare an outline summary of the arguments for opposing the Motion and refuting proposition arguments. They then choose a speaker who has however to be prepared to build flexibly upon what goes on in the debate.

Skill Development:

The ability to think and speak on one's feet is tested and in particular the ability to have empathy with the alternative point of view. This also tests the capacity to argue and present a case in a flexible and innovative manner. Critically, it is a vehicle for exploring key issues in entrepreneurship development which creates group cohesion, bonding and fun.

Outcomes

Major outcomes to be targeted are the airing of key issues in entrepreneurship development via an innovative format. Participants can also apply their more formal learning in a flexible and demanding context and building a team spirit is also a key component, within a cohort.

Resources:

A Compendium of Pedagogies for Teaching Entrepreneurship. Professor Alan Gibb and Professor Alison Price - Download (PDF)

References:

N/A

About the Author
This guide was produced by Professor Allan Gibb and Professor Alison Price.

A Compendium of Pedagogies: THE USE OF DRAMA (QAA 6,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Any

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

6Interpersonal Skills 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

Entrepreneurs need to be able to act out different roles in different situations. A good entrepreneur is a good actor. In building relationships with different stakeholders the entrepreneur will need to act out different roles –with a banker, venture capitalist, government official, employee, regulator, customer and so on. It is a key essence of entrepreneurship to see oneself through the eyes of major stakeholders. As well as building personal confidence there is a strong emphasis upon being creative under pressure making collective decisions rapidly and working together as a team.

Overview:

The use of drama is the creation and performance by an individual or group of an incident, scenario or sequence of events designed to portray the emotional and relationship as well as cognitive aspects of the scene. Its use can serve a number of purposes:

  • It is a reminder that no information received from interviews and research approaches (no matter how good the checklist) is truly objective. The results always reflect the values and beliefs of the person interviewed and often their recent experiences and emotions. For example, a person who has recently been convicted by police of a speeding traffic offence will have a different response to questions about the role and value of the police force in general than someone who has just been saved by the police from an assault. A dramatic presentation of interviews will demand interpretation of the emotions behind the message.
  • It demands of the creators of the drama that they must put themselves 'in the shoes' of the provider of information and see the results from their point of view. The conventional academic process of data collection often makes little or no demand upon understanding the data from the providers' point of view.
  • Drama demands that individual characters in the drama are understood through the eyes of the other characters. The dramatist makes the character believable by portraying him/her through the eyes of other characters in the drama.
  • Messages and information delivered in innovative ways will make a bigger impact and can create wider understanding. Entrepreneurs often need to use creative ways of delivering messages. TV advertising is, for example, drama. A presentation can be dramatic to make an impact.
  • Drama provides training in acting skills, which build confidence and ability to personally project.
  • Developing a drama demands the use of creative ability often the need is to develop a metaphor to enhance the impact of a message or indeed generalise it.
  • Developing drama in groups also creates a powerful bonding process.

Activity:

Use of drama can take a number of forms including Role Play and Hot Seating (see further How To Guides).

Participants can be asked, in small groups, to create a scene portraying a single message, often through metaphor. For example, in the entrepreneurship context they can be asked to prepare a short scene portraying one of a number of entrepreneurial behaviours or attributes e.g. entrepreneurial risk taking; opportunity identification; initiative taking; strong sense of autonomy; networking; learning by doing, and so on. The 'audience' of other participants is then invited to guess the message, to score the creativity of the metaphor and the degree of entertainment delivered.

The drama can also be constructed around a piece of research - for example, in the context of dramatising a series of interviews as a method of enhancinginsight into the results of formal data collection. In this case the key issues arising from the research are discussed in a group and the messages to be delivered are set out. A metaphor is then created and dramatised under guidance and later performed. The audience is then asked to record the key messages of the drama and to score the presentation for creativity and entertainment.

Skill Development:

Participants gain understanding of the emotional aspects of knowledge and how difficult it is to be truly objective. They understand the importance of gaining empathy and insight into the passions, emotions and contexts of situations. They learn about the process of consolidation of ideas and of the importance of presenting these creatively but in a form that will be easily understood.

Resources:

  • A Compendium of Pedagogies for Teaching Entrepreneurship. Professor Alan Gibb and Professor Alison Price - Download (PDF) 
  • For further guidance on related activities referenced in this guide, see How To Guides 'Compendium of Pedagogies: THE USE OF ROLE PLAY' and 'Compendium of Pedagogies: THE USE OF HOT SEATS

References:

N/A

About the Author
This guide was produced by Professor Allan Gibb and Professor Alison Price.

A Compendium of Pedagogies: THE USE OF EMPATHY IN COMMUNICATION EXERCISES (WITH ENTREPRENEURS) (QAA 7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Any

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

The objective is to sensitise participants to the need for different forms of communication with different audiences or interest groups, and to develop capacity to use this skill. In particular, emphasis is placed upon the 'ways of communicating' of entrepreneurs, informally, within constraints and on a need-to-know and know-how basis.

Overview:

Activity:

This can be approached in a number of ways, including by an exercise in writing for different kinds of audiences. To commence this exercise, participants, organised in small groups, can be given a copy of an article from a 'broadsheet' newspaper (in the UK, this would be the Times or Guardian) and then an article on the same subject from a 'tabloid' (in the UK these would be The Sun or The Mirror).

They are asked to analyse the differences. They can then be asked to write a short piece reporting an incident or covering an issue of relevance to the group in the language of the broadsheet (the Times) and then the tabloid (the Sun newspaper). The end discussion might focus upon the importance of considering the different 'word counts' and processes of communication for different audiences and discussion of the relevance of this for the participants.

An example focused upon reaching independent business owners might be that of designing a brochure to promote a programme on financial management for small firms. Participants might be asked to speculate on the different needs of different groups of firms at different stages and invited to consider ways of segmentation of the 'market. Particular attention will be paid to the educational/qualification background and the kinds of newspapers they might read. They might then brainstorm on the particular 'needs to know' (key knowledge and facts) and 'know how' needs of this group. What problems are they likely to have in the field of financial management and what opportunities for development might they face where financial skills mightbe needed? What barriers might there be to owners of the 'type' identified have to attending the programme and how does that affect the communication? Bearing the above in mind the brochure will be written and may be appraised by different groups.

Another example is organising and selling a briefing workshop to local entrepreneurs for the above programme, in particular, covering forms of verbal and written communication relating to processes of; attracting entrepreneurs to the workshop; creating the right environment for communication when they arrive; forms and content of presentations/discussions designed to excite and create interest; and methods of 'sealing the deal'.

Skill Development:

The focus is upon the art of communication and engagement with different audiences, a key component in the process of creating affectivity and co nativity in entrepreneurial learning processes.

This activity will result in an enhanced capacity to build promotional and learning relationships with different groups of participants and also an associated ability to communicate on a Know-How and Need-to-Know basis with small firms.

Resources:

The full text 'A Compendium of Pedagogies for Teaching Entrepreneurship. Professor Alan Gibb and Professor Alison Price, can be found via the following link > http://ncee.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Compendium-of-Pedagogies.pdf

About the Author
This guide was produced by Professor Allan Gibb and Professor Alison Price.

A Compendium of Pedagogies: THE USE OF HOT SEATS (QAA 5,6,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Any

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

5Reflection and Action 6Interpersonal Skills 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

Participants gain confidence in responding to questioning under pressure. They may importantly also learn that they need to ‘act’ differently with different stakeholders. They learn quickly to adapt to others’ point of view.

Overview:

This is a group exercise. Members of the group in turn are put in the ‘Hot Seat’ to respond to intensive questioning from other group members. Traditionally, this ‘Hot Seating’ technique is used by actors to help them identify with the character they are playing. It is used in entrepreneurship education to enable participants to get inside the culture and values of stakeholders with whom they might have to deal. But it can also be used for intensive questioning of an individual’s own personal aims, objectives and plans including business plans. Other participant’s (the group) act as interrogators in this exercise; note: it can be useful to agree ground rules as what is appropriate in terms of questioning and approach within this task.

Activity:

The hot seat itself is in the middle of a semi-circle of chairs. The person in the ‘Hot Seat’ can be himself/herself or represent a client or stakeholder. Dependent upon the role, questions fired rapidly may relate to personal issues; business/organisational problems or community activities (part of ground rules).

Example Hot Seat: Business/plan/idea

The individual is surrounded by those role playing different stakeholders which the plan might need to convince. The aim is to create recognition that the plan will be seen very differently by very different stakeholders. Interrogators may, for example, play the roles of bankers, venture capitalists, family, local government officials offering grants; a potential large customer who will be judging whether to include the client on a buying list or a major potential supplier who may be asked for credit.

Other participants can then be similarly hot seated. At the end of the hot seating there can be a review of what has been learned about the business plan as a relationship management instrument and how it might be best developed to meet different needs.

Example Hot Seat: different stakeholders
Using the same focus of the business plan; hot seater’s, in turn, can be asked to play the roles of different stakeholders, as above, and are quizzed about what they are looking for and why?

Example Hot Seating: on a problem
The technique can be used to role-play individuals from a case study with the aim of creating lively personalised discussion of major points for learningfrom the case. It can also be used to focus discussion on how to deal with a particular problem set out in a simple brief.

Skill Development:

This is an exercise in thinking and responding under pressure. It also is designed to stimulate understanding of relationship management and the value ofthinking empathetically. It can be used to throw light on the ‘organisational cultures’ of different stakeholders that make them see the same things in different ways.

Resources

A Compendium of Pedagogies for Teaching Entrepreneurship. Professor Alan Gibb and Professor Alison Price - Download (PDF) 

About the Author
This guide was produced by Professor Allan Gibb and Professor Alison Price .

A Compendium of Pedagogies: THE USE OF PANELS (QAA 2,6)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Any

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

2Opportunity recognition‚ creation and evaluation 6Interpersonal Skills

Objective:

Ideas are stimulated by exposure to experience. The animation arising from this approach creates stimulation to the affective and co native aspects of learning. Contacts are made and barriers to external relationship development are broken down.

Overview:

A Panel is a means of fronting a debate or forming the basis for a process of questioning or collecting opinion/experience on certain issues, problems or opportunities. The Panel may be composed of 'externals' or may be used as an internal 'review' group for a particular issue. It is often also used as an alternative to inviting presentations from external speakers. 

Activity: 

Panels are often misused in that they become a vehicle for a series of speeches by panel members in response to a number of questions asked by the chair or harvested from the audience; however panels can be used in different ways.

The 'Expert Panel' is used to provide comment on a particular issue about which the panel have relevant experience. Here, the optimum format is where the panel very briefly addresses questions from the audience collected either beforehand or spontaneously. Engagement of the audience in the debate is important. The chairperson's role in stimulating audience participation, provoking cross-panel debate, keeping comments short, summarising and ensuring that the debate is to the point is critical. The panel should be carefully chosen to bring different perspectives to the theme. For example in debating issues concerning the 'entrepreneurial university', a panel might have a Vice Chancellor, an articulate student perhaps representing a student body, an entrepreneur with some experience of interacting with a university, a representative of a regional development authority or local government and someone from the Department of Education.

An Expert Panel can also be used with small groups to evaluate or comment upon the ideas, proposals and plans of participants.

Participant Panels can be formed to role-play stakeholders or simply to comment upon the work of other participants, individual or groups; for example, to advice on marketing plans.

A Representative Panel, for example, a small group of entrepreneurs from a particular sector, or a group sharing a common environment or experience (for example all having taken up external equity) can be used to explore the experience via a process of questioning by participants (often after briefing from programme input).

Skill Development:

The emphasis is upon exposure to tacit learning, enabling assessment of 'how things are seen and done' in the world of practice. If chaired properly it can also provide a strong measure of learning by interaction. It can also provide a vehicle for testing out concepts in practice.

Resources:

  • A Compendium of Pedagogies for Teaching Entrepreneurship. Professor Alan Gibb and Professor Alison Price - Download (PDF) 

About the Author
This guide was produced by Professor Allan Gibb and Professor Alison Price.

A Compendium of Pedagogies: THE USE OF REVOLVING TABLES (QAA 6)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Large Group

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Carousel Tables (small working group)

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

6Interpersonal Skills

Objective:

The outcomes achieved will somewhat depend on the use of the technique – it can be used to help students develop their informal conversation skills and help them learn how to network. In such networking situations, it can help people mix more than they would normally and is effective at encouraging informal conversations, which can lead to business opportunities.

Overview:

The networking technique of Revolving Tables involves asking people during a dinner (or indeed any teaching course where the tables are in cabaret style)to change tables between courses or between sessions in a teaching and learning programme. It is designed to maximise the number of people that a person may meet at a networking or learning event.

Activity:

A formal networking technique of revolving tables can be used between courses to enable participants to meet other participants and to enable them to informally talk and interview the invited guests and contributors. Participants are given a focused question or challenge – such as, to find out how start-up is supported and promoted by the invited guests' institutions and organisations and to explore any challenges that they encounter. The technique is principally an informal one that is designed to develop informal discourse between participants.

Skill Development:

Revolving Tables might be used in a range of contexts – it is very effective in situations where networking needs to be facilitated, such as breakfast clubs or other events. It can be used in entrepreneurial learning within the University as an ice-breaker or as a method to encourage inter-group engagement inan experiential project where groups need to work together.

Resources:

The full text 'A Compendium of Pedagogies for Teaching Entrepreneurship. Professor Alan Gibb and Professor Alison Price, can be found via the following link > http://ncee.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Compendium-of-Pedagogies.pdf

About the Author
This guide was produced by Professor Allan Gibb and Professor Alison Price.

A Compendium of Pedagogies: THE USE OF ROLE PLAY (QAA 6)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Any

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

6Interpersonal Skills

Objective:

Participants will have a strong frame of reference for use in analysis of entrepreneurial behaviour. They will also have greater confidence and ability in articulating the views of others.

Overview:

The central aim is to put participants in the role of predetermined persons with whom they seek to gain empathy. The role player is challenged to match all the known characteristics and knowledge base of the chosen person. The player is confronted by one or more persons either playing other roles or by other participants questioning the chosen role-played character.

Activity:

It can be constructed in a wide variety of ways. Within a business context, for example;

  • Exploring the way in which different organisations view a business proposal, individuals can role play venture capital personnel, angels, bankers, public authority grant givers or large firms offering financial support to small?
  • Playing the role of a large company buyer interviewing a small business seeking to get onto the company's central procurement list
  • Conducting a selling exercise with a potential buyer of a product or service
  • Conducting an interview for a job (see below) 

Example of Role Play – Job Interview 

During this exercise participants are given the opportunity to put into practice what they have up learned about the behaviour of an entrepreneurial person. The aim is to enhance the capacity of participants to internalise and apply concepts of the entrepreneurial person.

For the purpose of this exercise participants are organised in groups of three. One member of the group acts as the interviewer, one as the interviewee and one as an observer. Separate instructions are given to each person. 
Two rounds are played – with separate instructions for each. Different individuals play different roles during the two rounds. 

Round 1

Instruction for Observer

  • You have to observe and read the behaviour of the interviewer and interviewee.
  • After the interview you will report back on the entrepreneurial potential observed.
  • Use the checklist of entrepreneurial behaviour and attitudes as the guideline for observation and reporting.

Instruction for Interviewer

  • You are to interview a candidate for a position as Marketing Manager in your organisation which is a franchise organisation for "quick print". You are the original entrepreneur behind the franchise concept with, at least in your view, a great deal of success behind you.
  • In your own perception you are highly motivated towards success in the long term. You compete with your own standards of excellence and not so much with other people.
  • The person you are looking for should be somebody with a great deal of entrepreneurial ability harnessed into a striving also to get co-operation from franchisees and other staff. 

Instructions for Interviewee

  • You are to be interviewed for a position as Marketing Manager in a 'quick print' franchise.
  • You are not particularly interested in the position. Your previous experience has been in the financial function.
  • In applying for this position you are really taking a chance as the salary is a great deal higher than your present income.
  • You are also interested in the perks and the possibility to travel extensively and use an expense account, something you have never had before.
  • Your qualifications are good but all on the accounting and finance field. You are basically looking for a position where you can quickly make a great deal of money. 

Round 2

The group exchange roles with slightly different instructions 

Instructions for Observer

  • You have to observe and read the behaviour of the interviewer and interviewee.
  • After the interview you will report back on the behaviour observed in term of entrepreneurial characteristics.
  • Use the checklist of entrepreneurial behaviour and attitudes as the guideline for observation and reporting.

Instruction for Interviewer

  • You are to interview a candidate for a position as Marketing Manager in your organisation which is a franchise organisation for 'quick print'.
  • You are the original entrepreneur behind the franchise concept with, at least in your view, a great deal of success behind you.
  • In your own perception you are highly motivated towards success in the long term.
  • You compete with your own standards of excellence and not so much with other people.
  • The person you are looking for should be somebody with a great deal of entrepreneurial ability harnessed into a striving also to get co-operation from franchisees and other staff.

Instructions for Interviewee

  • You are to display as much entrepreneurial orientation and behaviour as possible during the interview.
  • You are anxious to get the job because it is a logical step in your career and presents a great personal challenge.
  • You are a marketing specialist.
  • The job you are applying for is with a franchise organisation in the field of printing.
  • The job is described as that of a 'marketing manager'.
  • You are not sure what the job entails although it is clear that, as far as salary is concerned, the job means a step forward in your career.

In this exercise the role play allows practice at using a framework for assessment of entrepreneurial potential in a conventional job context. The juxtaposition of two different types of interviewee provides the basis for strengthening the analysis post-exercise.

Skill Development:

This is learning by doing involving the practice in use of concepts learned. Creativity and flair in acting out roles is encouraged. The whole exercise is dependent upon the use of empathy. The role played demands imagination as to the characters portrayed.

Resources:

  • A Compendium of Pedagogies for Teaching Entrepreneurship'. Professor Alan Gibb and Professor Alison Price - Download (PDF) 

About the Author
This guide was produced by Professor Allan Gibb and Professor Alison Price.

A Compendium of Pedagogies: THE USE OF SPEED NETWORKING (QAA 6)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Large Group

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Special

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

6Interpersonal Skills

Objective:

The exercise is designed to facilitate networking and enable people to get a basic knowledge of each other in a short period of time. It is usually a fun exercise so it works well in ice-breaking and it ensures that participants talk to a large number of other people.

Overview:

Speed-Networking is an informal exercise designed to create interaction between participants, warm them up (as the name implies) and learn about each other.

Speed-Networking can be used to encourage networking at an event or it can be used in teaching and learning as an ice-breaker. It is most often used during the early stages of a programme to replace the process of participants introducing each other more formally.

Activity:

In speed networking, participants are lined up in two lines facing each other; they are invited to spend 30 seconds to 1 minute each introducing themselves to each other. Usually a whistle or some other loud device is used to indicate that the time is up (as this exercise is quite noisy!).

When the time is complete one line moves along so that they are facing a new person and the introductions start again. Typically the speed-networking exercise may be conducted for 20-30 minutes.

A longer period of time is not recommended as it can be tiring for participants. The exercise can be constructed to fit any programme or event. For example in student entrepreneurship programmes it can be used to get students to introduce each other before group work or before choosing groups for an experiential exercise (e.g. business planning). The exercise is commonly undertaken under time pressure. The exchange of experience allowed between any two participants is deliberately limited to encourage a focused summary of the person introducing themselves.

Skill Development:

Participants get to know each other more, they break down barriers and it enables the beginning of trust to emerge between participants. Usually they meet somebody who they may not have otherwise met and sometimes these individuals assist their learning on the programme more as a consequence of social barriers being removed. 

Resources:

  • A whistle or similar, to alert students as when they need to move.
  • A Compendium of Pedagogies for Teaching Entrepreneurship. Professor Alan Gibb and Professor Alison Price - Download (PDF)

References:

N/A

About the Author
This guide was produced by Professor Allan Gibb and Professor Alison Price .

Action Plan Template

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Any

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

5Reflection and Action

Objective:

 

  • Following this template, the learner will be able to organise priorities, identify goals (actions to achieve them, and constraints to achieving them), identify the help and support available to them, and set deadlines.

 

Overview:

 

This simple template allows learners to organise and prioritise the actions required to achieve a given goal; to identify all requirements to achieve each action; all constraints to achieving each action; to organise the help and support which relates to each action, and to set deadlines and monitor progress.

This is applicable to learners starting up their own businesses, and equally can support learners with all other projects and endeavours.

 

Activity:

 

Learners can complete and use the following basic template;

 

Goals Actions to Achieve these Goals Requirements Constraints Who or What Can Help Me Target Date for Action
EXAMPLE EXAMPLE EXAMPLE EXAMPLE EXAMPLE EXAMPLE
Branding Logo Time None Focus Groups 1st March
  Website Money      
  Business Cards        
           
Staff Employment Process Clear Information No idea where to start Matthew Draycott 1st June
  Understand Law     Local Authority Support  
  Payment Scheme        

 

Resources:

 

  • Print out of template
  • A pen

 

References:

 

 

                                                    

About the Author
This guide was produced by Matthew Draycott.

Active Reflection on Diversity (Icebreaker) (QAA 5, 7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Large Group

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Presentation Space

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

5Reflection and Action 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

For learners

To develop understanding of the situation of others, drawing upon skills of empathy and emotional intelligence

To illustrate the impact of individual circumstances on daily activities (future customer groups; clients; service users)

Overview:

This short task is very powerful in encouraging students to consider the position of others and develop their empathy and understanding. Using pre-prepared (attached) profiles within a familiar scenario (access to education/class) this appreciation of diversity can be a powerful part of any group work, which considers the needs of others (including customers, clients).

Activity

This activity requires a wide space, where all the students are invited to stand in a line (shoulder to shoulder) facing an open space that they will be asked to step into/across, depending on their responses.

Once the students are lined up facing the open space, provide each student with an individual scenario (attached below) and ask them to consider the profile of the person/student they have been given. Invite them to take a moment to consider the daily life of the individual they have been given, and what that might mean for them.

Explain to the full group that you are going to read out a set of statements, and for every statement that they can agree with (as their new identity/scenario) then they need to take a step forward. If they don't feel that that they can undertake or agree with the statement within their new scenario, then they 'skip' a turn and stay where they are.

The statements are provided below:

  1. You have no problems attending class every day
  2. When you enter college, you can be rather sure that most of the professors or teachers share your ethnic, economic and social culture.
  3. You can buy or access all the materials and books needed for your classes
  4. You have no problems interacting with other students
  5. It is most likely that your input is respected and listened to when you speak within class
  6. You have good support from your family when you are struggling with some tasks or assignments
  7. You never experience discrimination because of your looks, ethnic origin, dis (abilities) or lifestyle.
  8. The teaching material and texts are likely to reflect your former and present "every day" culture
  9. It's easy for you to understand the teacher when he/she speaks (high) academic language
  10. It's likely that other students appreciate your rich experience and knowledge
  11. You are probably always invited to all of our your classmates parties or social events
  12. You have no problems listening to and understanding the teacher when he/she speaks, even over extended class times
  13. You have never even thought of quitting your studies
  14. The tutor is likely to have great expectations for your academic achievement
  15. It's easy for you to read one chapter in the textbook at home and answering questions about it
  16. It's easy for you to sit still and listen/ concentrate in a lecture (taking notes)
  17. Most of the time you feel good when you go to class
  18. Its most likely that you will finish your studies and graduate

At the end of this task, the group will typically take the form of a very "wobbly" line as some profiles/identities will allow the learner to step forward for every question, whilst some will have not moved at all, or very little.

Invite the group to comment – or ask questions of those in particular positions (the furthest away from the start line; those on the start-line etc) as a tutor-led group discussion, or encourage them to turn to each other (if nearby) and explore their responses, then move to a wider class discussion to explore the issues of diversity.

This task can be amended to reflect particular customer groups or demographics to allow the groups to understand the impact of their personal situation on their decision making, purchasing habits or daily lives.

Review with the group what they have learnt from this task and how it has made them feel.

Skill Development:

By exploring the impact of this task, issues of diversity can be communicated and explored, either in 1-2-1s or as a whole cohort. Interpersonal skills may be drawn upon to challenge and explore the scenarios with each other and to share their own experiences (as appropriate). The group should be invited to reflect upon this exercise and what they have learnt from it, as well as any emotions, frustrations, perceptions or stereotypes that they wish to share.

References:

Mortiboys, A. (2012) Teaching with Emotional Intelligence 2nd edition London: Routledge. Paperback www.alanmortiboys.co.uk

About the Author
This guide was produced by Christine Calder (Professional Learning Course Leader @VoColTriangles Dundee and Angus College, Kingsway Campus, Old Glamis Road, Dundee, DD3 8LE).

Big Ideas Wales: How do we create brand awareness?

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Any

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Presentation Space, Carousel Tables (small working group)

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

1Creativity and Innovation 5Reflection and Action 6Interpersonal Skills 7Communication and Strategy

www.bigideaswales.com

Download 'Big Ideas Wales: Enterprise - Skills and Behaviours' here.

 

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About the Author
This guide was produced by Syniadau Mawr Cymru / Big Ideas Wales.

Big Ideas Wales: How Do We Generate Ideas?

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6), Large Group

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Lecture Theatre, Presentation Space, Carousel Tables (small working group)

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

1Creativity and Innovation 3Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement 7Communication and Strategy

www.bigideaswales.com

Download 'Big Ideas Wales: Enterprise - Skills and Behaviours' here.

 

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About the Author
This guide was produced by Syniadau Mawr Cymru / Big Ideas Wales.

Big Ideas Wales: How do we get our message heard?

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Any

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Presentation Space, Carousel Tables (small working group)

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

6Interpersonal Skills 7Communication and Strategy

www.bigideaswales.com

Download 'Big Ideas Wales: Enterprise - Skills and Behaviours' here.

 

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About the Author
This guide was produced by Syniadau Mawr Cymru / Big Ideas Wales.

Big Ideas Wales: How Do We Make Informed Decisions?

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Any

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

3Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement 6Interpersonal Skills

www.bigideaswales.com

Download 'Big Ideas Wales: Enterprise - Skills and Behaviours' here.

 

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3

About the Author
This guide was produced by Syniadau Mawr Cymru / Big Ideas Wales.

Big Ideas Wales: How Do We Organise Our Enterprise?

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Any

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

2Opportunity recognition‚ creation and evaluation 5Reflection and Action

www.bigideaswales.com

Download 'Big Ideas Wales: Enterprise - Skills and Behaviours' here.

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About the Author
This guide was produced by Syniadau Mawr Cymru / Bid Ideas Wales.

Big Ideas Wales: What are the different types of enterprises?

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Any

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

2Opportunity recognition‚ creation and evaluation 5Reflection and Action

www.bigideaswales.com

Download 'Big Ideas Wales: Enterprise - Skills and Behaviours' here.

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About the Author
This guide was produced by Syniadau Mawr Cymru / Big Ideas Wales.

Big Ideas Wales: What Identity Shall We Have?

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6), Large Group

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Lecture Theatre, Presentation Space, Carousel Tables (small working group)

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

1Creativity and Innovation 7Communication and Strategy

www.bigideaswales.com

Download 'Big Ideas Wales: Enterprise - Skills and Behaviours' here.

 

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About the Author
This guide was produced by Syniadau Mawr Cymru / Big Ideas Wales.

Big Ideas Wales: What Shall We Sell?

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6), Large Group

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Lecture Theatre, Presentation Space, Carousel Tables (small working group)

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

1Creativity and Innovation 3Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement 6Interpersonal Skills

www.bigideaswales.com

Download 'Big Ideas Wales: Enterprise - Skills and Behaviours' here.

 

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About the Author
This guide was produced by Syniadau Mawr Cymru / Big Ideas Wales..

Bock’s Innovation Marketplace (QAA 1,2,3,6)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Large Group

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Presentation Space

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

1Creativity and Innovation 2Opportunity recognition‚ creation and evaluation 3Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement 6Interpersonal Skills

Objective:

  • To generate ideas to meet a brief
  • To explore opportunities by comparing and evaluating peer work
  • To evaluate innovations within a limited time frame
  • To develop judgement in order to make decisions to complete the task

Overview:

This surprisingly easy and fun classroom activity simulates an innovation marketplace. Students generate a topic-specific innovation and participate in amarketplace of ideas. The results demonstrate how and why the best innovations are not guaranteed market entry or success, emphasizing the human and social nature of entrepreneurial action. This fast paced marketplace activity works with large numbers of students, in open work spaces and can takes 10-20 minutes.

Activity

Starting the activity:

The instructor should ask students to generate an innovation within a short time frame (2-5 minutes maximum). It is recommended that all students generate an innovation related to a familiar topic to facilitate comparison. A useful question, which may also provide valuable feedback to the instructor or the institution generally, is: "How could your student experience [in this class / at this university] be improved?" Additional guidance is suggested:

  • Encourage students to be creative or provocative, but suggest that the innovation be within the realm of reality. For example, the student experience might be improved by receiving £1 million on completing the course, but such an outcome isn't realistic.
  • Ask students to write the innovation down in one short sentence. This helps commit the student to the idea, which plays a key role in the simulation.
  • Encourage students to come up with one idea, and reassure them it does not need to be "spectacular" if they are struggling.

Running the marketplace: The instructor should ask all students to stand up. The instructor should read the rules and, if possible, display them on a screen. Students should be told that the activity runs for a limited time. Recommended marketplace times are: 10-25 students should take 5 minutes; 25-100 students takes 10 minutes; 100+ students will take 10-15 minutes.

Market Place Rules:

  • Talk to anyone you want.
  • End conversation with that person whenever you want.
  • If someone's innovation is better than yours, for whatever reason, give your notecard/post-it to that person. You are now on that person’s team. 
  • An innovation must have at least one supporter, other than the inventor, to win

The instructor should explicitly initiate the activity, for example by saying "Go!" As the activity starts, the instructor may choose to prompt recalcitrant students to participate. In rare cases, students might attempt to share all their ideas by broadcasting them one at a time. It's best not to intervene, as these usually degrade to individual or small group conversations, but if it appears that true organization is emerging (e.g. sequential pitches and voting) the instructor might choose to break up organised activity by reminding them of the time limit or splitting the group in half.

Stopping the marketplace: The instructor should use good judgement to determine when to end the marketplace. Some small groups converge to a limited set of ideas quickly; large groups are unlikely to converge to only a few ideas within a reasonable time. The instructor should gain the attention of the students and ask them to stand where they are. Remind them that if student A has joined student B's team, then student A should give her notecard to student B. So some students should be holding numerous cards, some students should have their own card, and some students should not have a card.

The instructor should ask students without a card to sit down wherever is convenient.

It generally improves student engagement to list some or all of the "winning" ideas. The instructor may choose to whittle down the set of "winning" ideas depending on the size of the class. For example, in a class with 100 students, there may be 50 students holding cards. The instructor might ask students to sit down if they have less than 2 cards, less than 3 cards, etc. until few enough remain to read out and record. The instructor should ask the remaining "winning" ideas to read out their ideas, and may choose to record them on a board/flipchart. For larger groups, it may be interesting to note how many supporters the top ideas had accrued.

All students may then be asked to sit down as convenient.

The instructor may choose to comment on the winning ideas, especially if some are impossible, unusually inventive, or otherwise noteworthy. The instructor should then ask: "Are we guaranteed that the best idea won?" In many cases, students may note the lack of ideation time. The instructor may choose to address this or not as an unresolvable challenge, since it is not possible to know whether more time would lead to better ideas.

Below are some of the potentially useful lessons from the exercise. Sophisticated student groups may develop some or all of the lessons with limited prompting. Suggested prompts are provided. It may be useful to discuss one general concept, identify its "academic" label, and then move on to the next. The discussion should, obviously, be tailored to the type and number of students (undergrad vs. graduate, technical vs. business)

Concluding the activity: The instructor may remind students:

  • Great ideas and innovations are drivers of technological and economic change.
  • The best innovations are not guaranteed market success.
  • The role of the entrepreneur is critical to the commercialization process, often generating unexpected or entirely unpredictable outcomes (George and Bock 2012).
  • The entrepreneur does not have to be the same person as the inventor.
  • Some drivers of commercialization success may be partly or entirely out of the inventor or entrepreneur's control.

The instructor may choose to collect all of the notecards, especially if the initiating question presents the potential for useful feedback. Instructors are encouraged to make the full set of ideas available to students after the activity for their own edification.

Skill Development:

This fast-paced activity builds student confidence in their decision-making and ability to handle new data within a short time period. The nature of the market place requires interpersonal skills which must be balanced against the time constraints of the challenge itself.

It can be powerful to debrief the whole group on their experience of the task, including their emotional responses to the challenge and how they handled the interpersonal elements. Important reflections can be gained by asking the students to consider:

  • How they handled accessing the information they needed to make decisions?
  • How would they complete the task if they were to conduct it again?
  • How did they handle the speed and experience of the marketplace? And what would they do differently?

By reflecting upon their personal experience, as well as the challenge, the skill development is deepened and potential action points for future practice can be identified (relating to personal learning as to how to handle time pressures; ambiguous tasks; decision making etc).

Resources:

The activity may be conducted with no materials or setup; the use of post-its or notecards, a flipchart, chalkboard, or A/V setup are recommended. Post-its or notecards offer a record of the full set of innovations which may be of separate value.

Instructors should distribute one post-it note or notecard to each student and ensure that writing instruments are available. Similarly, instructors mayprefer a learning space that facilitates ease of student movement, though key lessons may be gained in a space that restricts movement by some or many students. (In addition background on drivers of innovation adoption may be provided at the instructors discretion and pedagogical preference).

Additional Resources

Bock’s Innovation Market Place: Resource Sheet

References:

https://sites.google.com/site/adamjbockentrep/http://launchideas.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/EEEJ-Issue-1.pdf

About the Author
This guide was produced by Adam Bock.

Building Contacts and Widening Circles (QAA 2,3,5,6,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Carousel Tables (small working group)

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

2Opportunity recognition‚ creation and evaluation 3Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement 5Reflection and Action 6Interpersonal Skills 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

  • To get students engaged in networking
  • To get students to understand what networking is
  • To get students to see the value of networking
  • To get students to acquire networking skills and techniques

Overview:

It goes without saying that networking is a really important activity. Yet students are often reluctant to engage in relationships beyond their immediatecircle. They have powerful aversions to networking partly based upon fears and misconceptions about what it is: selling (it's all about selling yourself and pitching), that it is about being an extrovert (sociable and bubbly), that they as students have nothing to offer (‘who would want to talk to me?'), that it seems pointless (students will have stories about going to events collecting business cards and nothing ever happening). They will have a multitude of good reasons why they can't and shouldn't do it. The challenge is to turn round these misconceptions and show students that networking is valuable, doable and indeed enjoyable.

Activity:

The first task is to get the misconception and fears about networking out into the open and to introduce different versions of what networking might be. This can't be done by asking students about their fears and why they don't currently engage in networking: this is sensitive and students may feel embarrassed talking about it.

The session begins with the value of networks and networking. This should be interactive, talking to students about their networks, how they found opportunities, but also using statistics about how many jobs are filled via networks rather than open advertising. This part of the session functions as a warm up and should get students feeling positive about networking.

The second activity is to get them into groups and ask them to draw a 'good' networker. This will bring out some of the negative misconceptions about it:students will draw someone who is extroverted, experienced, knowledgeable, valuable, confident, good at pitching – all the things they may not be good at. This is your opportunity to demonstrate that a good networker is someone who is good at listening, (not talking), it is someone who is genuine and open (rather than focussed on their own agenda) and that it is about building trust and rapport leading to a lasting relationship.It's an opportunity to discuss their value as students – which they are very anxious about as they have little work experience. Here a discussion about their value in terms of innovation, fresh thinking, new ways of doing things is important.

The third activity is a group brainstorm around how to create rapport with someone: suggestions will include, smiling, shaking hands, complementing people, being helpful, listening to what people have to say. This section could include a listening activity, for example where individuals have to listen to partners and paraphrase.

The final session involves practical activity. The students will network amongst themselves. It's important that they shake hands here: this is partly about creating the rapport, discussed earlier, but also about adopting a more professional outlook and attitude. The students will find this both fun and challenging and some students will become anxious about it so it is worth doing a bit of role play to try it out: i.e. demonstrations of how to shake hands and introduce yourself. The result is that students will feel more professional.

The assignment is:

Find a person, introduce yourself: impress upon them your integrity and openness.

Reflect on what you did and report:

One positive technique; One negative technique

The feedback will draw out feelings about handshaking, observations about body language, about personalising conversations by using the other person's name.

Skill Development:

This activity has been delivered with 3rd year Design and Visual Arts student, 2nd year Photography students and MA Contemporary Art students at Coventry University.

Through a clear group debrief, students' misconceptions about networking are reversed.

Students understand the networking is a skill that they can practice and develop. They learn the importance of networks and collaboration. They learn that networking and professionalism is a 'performance' which they can adopt when necessary – in this context it can be useful to talk about wearing different hats as they often think of themselves as 'students' which can carry a lot of negative connotations.

They feel more comfortable with the idea of networking – they thought it was all about sales and the pitch but find it is actually something they could do. Some students struggle with the handshake, they find it very unusual but with a bit of practice and shift in attitude, do get it.

A group of students who know one another is not as good as a mixed group where they might be introducing themselves to strangers. However, the practical element can be modified by asking students to find out something new about their colleagues, or to find out a shared interest they didn't know they had with a colleague which will help build rapport.

About the Author
This guide was produced by Peter McLuskie. If you would like to contact the author, please use this email address:- Peter.McLuskie@coventry.ac.uk.

Champion Icebreaker (QAA 5,6,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Carousel Tables (small working group)

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

5Reflection and Action 6Interpersonal Skills 7Communication and Strategy

Objective: 

To let the participants champion themselves and each other, as well as getting to know each other better. 

It is used to introduce participants to each other in a positive, upbeat way that emphasises each participant's value to the group.

Overview: 

Champions will help a team to acknowledge and recognise the strengths of themselves and those around them. It is great for the start of a sessions as induces positivity to a meeting or discussion. 

Activity:

  1. Have participants pair up.
  2. Allow 5 minutes for participants to interview each other and learn more about each other.
  3. Each participant then introduces his or her partner to the group.
  4. The introduction should "sell" the person on how great he or she is and on how he or she will significantly contribute to the meeting or the task at hand.

For example... "This is Lucy. She's been a student for only a short time. She brings a different perspective, yes. But more importantly, she's very good at helping people work together. She helps find bridges and commonalities among differing opinions, and she can do this without making anyone feel as if he or she 'won' or 'lost.'"

It is important to make sure participants understand that the goal is not just to introduce their partner. The goal is to champion their partner, to show the rest of the group what a great asset their partner is to the meeting, team, or work group.

  • You could also add some variation to this icebreaker.  Have participants work in teams of three. Two people introduce and champion the third one.
  • If time is limited, or if you want to reinforce self-confidence, don't have participants pair up. Rather, each participant introduces himself or herself. During their introduction, participants champion themselves, explaining what value they bring to the group. 
  • This activity can work for much larger groups by first dividing them into smaller teams.

Skill Development: 

The focus is to show the group that they have now broken the ice and that they know each other a little better than they did before, and they have figured out where there strengths lie. It's important for the facilitator to engage and make sure that there is time in the activity for reflection on what they have 'championed'.  

Key skills of public speaking and presentation are clearly apparent here and it can be useful to reflect with the group why it might be easier to showcase someone else, rather than themselves.  It is also possible to explore the styles of presentation used to "sell" or champion someone else to explore what forms an effective method to hook the audience.  Presentation styles can be scored across the group (or voted on by the group) to reinforce what was most appropriate and what appealed to the audience most, and from that key learning can be drawn out.

About the Author
This guide was produced by Alison Price.

Communication & Emotional Intelligence (QAA 7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

7Communication and Strategy

Objectives:

To understand the importance of developing active listening skills as part of effective communication 

To appreciate the impact of emotions (frustration; anticipation) within communication

To understand the importance of recognising the importance of active listening, using effective listening techniques (which can affect ability to build rapport and gather information in both management situations or when mentoring, counselling etc).

Overview:

This quick icebreaker session is run as a group activity in an informal environment with all participants sitting in a relaxed state, but working to deliver a result within a time frame. Primarily this "parlour game" seeks to actively explore:

  • Understand the importance of how to listen effectively 
  • How our feeling and emotions can impact on our ability to listen effectively 
  • What methods to use and when would you use them? 
  • How our listening can affect our overall communication 

Activity:

This activity takes no more than five minutes to deliver and needs few resources and is therefore an ideal ice-breaker or pre or post lunch "recharge" activity to embed within a formal input.

To change the course dynamic, and shift thinking, take the lead as the "narrator" and explain that you are having a picnic to which they all are invited but to attend they must bring a contribution to the picnic with them. However not all of them will be able to attend (your fictitious picnic) if the item they chose to bring renders them ineligible to attend.

The premise upon which this works as a "parlour game" is that 

THE ITEM MUST BEGIN WITH THE FIRST LETTER OF THEIR NAME - THEREFORE JANE CAN BRING SOME JAM BUT BRENDA CAN'T. 

However, you can alter this premise to be subject related, and therefore draw out subject based learning as well communication skills (by, for example, asking chemistry students to bring liquids, and making a (silent) premise that are soluble in each other or items that would be connected within an experiment or situation or even industry situation).

Remember to invite each member individually to the picnic and respond to each person individually e.g.: "Jane what can you bring to my picnic" response Jane wants to bring some bread, reply "I am sorry Jane you cannot bring bread to my picnic" etc. as the exercise proceeds some people will be able to attend by just being lucky in what they are bringing others thought might cotton on to the rules other's will not and may get frustrated so make sure you don't go on for too long. When everyone can "come to the picnic" or attend the "industry expo" or whichever scenario you selected, you can need to lead the debriefing session.

It is vital that emotions throughout the game, and across the team, are recognised and the group then explores how when we become emotional, frustrated or angry our ability listen effectively is impaired.

Skill Development:

This can take the form of a relatively short discussion, but will need to explore the learning across the group, and by encouraging everyone to share their story/emotions/feelings.

In larger groups, you can encourage them to share their feelings throughout the experience in small teams before presenting the range of emotions to the wider group. This reduces the perceived risk of sharing emotions across a big group but retains the breadth of emotions and highlights this to the wider group.

It is important to end this group discussion with an exploration of their feelings and frustrations, and what techniques they could use in the future, or in work or study situations to work professionally.

This debrief should explore the importance of active listening as well as how our listening is effected by our feeling and emotions, which can lead to an exploration of wider communication issues such as ability to build rapport, think effectively and manage or support the person we are communicating with.

Resources:

No physical resources, but planned scenario needs to be predetermined if subject based.

About the Author
This guide was produced by Alison Price.

Communication and Creativity Icebreaker (QAA 1,5,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Any

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

1Creativity and Innovation 5Reflection and Action 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

  • The participants will interact and have to use thinking and describing skills
  • To generate enthusiasm and motivation in Idea generation
  • Build confidence in communication 

Overview:

This icebreaker/ energiser can be done at any time, it is ideal to be done the beginning of the training session to get everyone communicating and thinking in a fun/ positive way. This can be done with groups of any age, any level and can be used as an entirely generic activity which builds skills, or the task can be tailored by the tutor to build confidence in topic/programme area.

Activity:

This activity is fun and excellent exercise to get to know one another or to energise a team.It doesn’t take up a lot of time and requires a few simple materials (a pen and piece of paper for each participant).
Steps:

  1. The group facilitator will ask each individual to write down on a piece of paper a positive word for every letter in their (First Name) to describe themselves in a positive way.
  2. Once complete, the trainer should ask participants to swap answers with the person sitting next to them and ask them to read out each other’s positive words that they used from each letter in their first name to describe themselves.

AMENDS  This generic task can be focused upon subject or sector/industry activities rather than individuals.  Each person could take (at random or prescribed) the name of a competitor in the market, or a product that they are exploring – or even create a new product name for a specific target market/to address a specific need and indicate its qualities through its name.

Such an activity creates positive word for every letter in their first name in relation to the organisation they work for/ wish to work for / or a new product or idea - in order to describe the company culture/ mission or values, in order to reinforce these values and positives and help with retention.

This exercise will encourage communication, creativity, motivation and enthusiasm among the participants, whilst also improving retention of ideas.  It will also encourage teamwork as interacting with the other team members is necessary and can be deepened in more complex game play that might require more knowledge or research.

Skill Development:

This fun exercise is built upon ground rules of positivity and develops effective individual and team work as well as create a positive experience of communication.  The engagement in this task can be deepened through reflective feedback which explores the emotions inherent in undertaking a creative, time pressured task which involves presentation skills.  Exploring this with the group and seeking “lessons learnt” for future presentation and creative thinking tasks.  Explore blockages and tensions with the groups and how they were overcome in order to deliver.  It can also be useful to draw out the emotions of presenting, recognising that most people have an emotional response to presenting which they need to overcome to be effective.

Resources:

A sheet of paper and pen for every person.

Communication Clarification Group Task (QAA 7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Any

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

This simple activity helps participants understand that even the simplest task is open to interpretation, illustrating the importance of good communication.  

The Paper Tear exercise teaches people to think for themselves and to ask clarifying questions.

Overview:

An Icebreaker exercise that can be used to illustrate a simple point of the importance of clear communication.  This Icebreaker uses a piece of paper and the participants interpretation to show how people see things very differently.

Activity:

Give each seated participant a half piece of A4 ask them to close their eyes.
Ask them to fold the piece of paper in half. Ask them to tear off the upper right corner.
Have them fold the piece of paper in half again. Ask them to tear off the upper right corner again.
And one more time, ask them to fold the paper in half And tear off the upper right corner one last time.
Ask the group to open their eyes and show everyone their original work of art.

[Note:  Each paper will be different because the individuals chose to:
–  fold the paper in different ways –  tear off different corners (his or her interpretation of “upper right corner”) –  different size tears]

Skill Development:

When exploring and debriefing this activity, communication can be explored and the role of questioning discussed.  The potential to have an open dialogue can be explored and consideration of how decisions can be impacted from an incorrect “original” decision.  It is therefore important to explore the root of activity going awry, and how blame/lack of information needs to be handled in order to deliver on a task.

This activity is great to illustrate how different everyone is, how everyone responds differently to instructions, and how it is important to have an open dialogue and illustrate the point that it is always better to ask questions and have an open dialogue. 

As facilitator, you can pretend to be surprised and say something like; ‘I gave everyone the same directions, yet look at how different the papers are! Did you listen?’ 

Resources:  

A4 Pieces of Paper for each person

Communication Ice Breaker (Listening)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Lecture Theatre

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

7Communication and Strategy

Objectives

  • An ice breaker (traditional parlour game, with the option of a subject/specialism focus)
  • Highlight the importance of communication skills, especially listening

Overview

The activity can is best used as an ice breaker as it is a fun method to start participants communicating. The activity is really simple and can be adjusted depending upon group size, age - for example forming two groups and running in competition.  It has immediate impact and engagement with groups as many remember playing the “parlour” game of “Chinese Whispers” upon which this is based, however it is flexible enough to become subject/discipline based and competitive within a time constraint or against other teams.

Activity

Using prepared statements or drawing upon module/programme facts to create short statements,

  1. Ask participants to form a circle
  2. Give a sheet with a statement written on it to a member and ask them to whisper what is wrote on the paper to the person next them.
  3. The second person is then to whisper what they heard to the person next to them
  4. The process is to be repeated until the last person, who then has to write what they heard on a piece of paper
  5. Compare the difference in the two pieces

Whilst this game might be familiar to the students are being the “childhood parlour” game of “Chinese Whispers”, this format can also be used at the start of a course or programme to determine the knowledge base line for facts (equations; Universal Laws; features or traits of characters or entrepreneurs etc) and by running this several times with competing groups you can add a degree of competition and time pressure. 

A further development of this is to add in “deliberate mistakes” and see if the groups will adjust or amend to provide you with correct information at the end.  By running several statements through the group, it is possible to test core knowledge by awarding marks (success) to correct communication and also any amends or corrections to the statement/equation.  This can either be done by awarding the “final” player in the chain, the power to overrule what they heard, or that the submit their list of facts and then confirm as a team whether they agree with them or not, for additional points.  


Skill Development 

Whilst this primarily tests listening and communication skills in a light hearted way, the lessons of team work and haste/accuracy etc can all be explored as a group to explore the results of this “parlour game”.  It is important to review how information was exchanged and how could information be better communicated (visual as well as audio for example) and explore how to limit mistakes.

With the additional subject based knowledge test as an extension, you can also explore how the group make the decision as to who was their “final” player or how they would agree amend the facts and what was the basis for this group agreement.   Exploration of this consensus building can also form an important part of their reflection and discussion as to how to identify team roles or come to consensus in future situations (did they ‘trust’ one player as more knowledgeable than the others; or did it come to a vote? How were differences handled?)

Resources 

2 pieces of paper  
2 pens 
Prepared statements / course materials that can form 1 sentence and be shared.

About the Author
This guide was produced by EntEv.

Communication Icebreaker (Physical) (QAA 4,5,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Any

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Presentation Space

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

4Implementation of ideas through leadership and management 5Reflection and Action 7Communication and Strategy

Objectives: 

  • Ice breaker (which builds a connection between pairs)
  • Participants will have to interact and adapt their communication skills to help their team member 
  • Participants will reflect and evaluate their performance as a pair
  • Improve communication and listening skills and to highlight the importance of trust when working in a team or pair

Overview: 

This physical task engages the whole person in supporting a colleague and ensuring their safety through good communication.  The activity can be used at any time during the session, however it is highly effective as and ice breaker.  It is a fun method to start participants communicating and is simple to deliver in an appropriate environment and can be adjusted depending upon group size, age etc. However health and safety is paramount and you must consider the appropriateness of the group and room for this challenge.

Activity:

You should initiative this activity by stressing the nature of the challenge and stressing that the safety of those involved is paramount.  You can also agree across the group that “stop” can be initiated by any member of the team by raising a hand if they don’t feel that it is safe to proceed.  This can be actioned by anyone and will not result in any penalties.

To run the task, gather the group outside the room and:

  1. Scatter furniture that can be used as obstacles but ensuring that safety is not compromised. 
  2. Put team members into pairs and should decide amongst them who is to be blindfolded first. 
  3. The sighted and blindfolded member should stand at one end of the room. 
  4. Aim of the task is for the sighted individual to guide their partner across the room and giving concise information to avoid the obstacles. 
  5. Once each team reaches the other side, the pairs are to swap roles 

It could also be possible to create a preferred route or course (as seen in horse show jumping) which they need to accomplish (if you didn’t wish to use obstacles for safety or mobility reasons) which would lead the pair to particular numbers/letters indicated on the wall.

Subject specialisms could also be tested by placing knowledge based answers on the walls and asking the pairs to walk to their answer through the course (see QAARunaround for details of how to do a multiple choice but don’t mix the games in play for safety reasons).

Skill Development: 

This task requires listening and communication skills and also helps builds trust and connections across the pairings.  However the skill development and improved future practice comes from evaluating performance across the group and understanding how and when particular techniques were effective and what lessons that provides for the future.  It is important to acknowledge fears and concerns, or frustrations between the pairings but keep the discussion to the general learning, rather than focusing upon particular experiences of individual pairings as the depth of learning will come from the lessons that can be applied in future group work or communication challenges.  These lessons include clear communication; agreeing ground rules for working together; recognising the need of feedback or support; understanding the importance of clear short messages within these circumstances etc.

Resources:

  • Blindfolds
  • Large room  - large, safe, open space
  • Items that can be used as obstacles which will act as safe barriers (not fall over; not hurt if walked into – no sharp edges)

About the Author
This guide was produced by EntEv.

Communication Icebreaker (QAA 7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

To ‘Break the Ice’ and bond a group by learning facts about others within the group.

Overview:

This exercise is an excellent get-to-know-you activity that doesn’t take up too much of your team’s time. All you need is a toilet paper roll (or two depending on the size of the group) (or you can use pennies as another option). Recommended group size is 10-30 people.

Activity: 

Ask everyone to sit around in a circle.

Pass around the roll of toilet paper (or pennies) and tell them to take as much as they think they’ll need from the finite amount/resource presented, without disclosing what the items will be used for.

If your employees ask further questions, simply answer them with, “take as much as you think you’ll need.”

Once that’s done, ask them to count the number of squares they each have.

Going around the circle, each person has to share a fact about themselves (or a revision fact from the course or programme) for every square of toilet paper or penny they took. So, if someone takes 10 squares, they need to share 10 facts about themselves.

Skill Development:

Tip: In order to avoid someone taking 30 pennies or squares of toilet paper, you could set a limit for each item. The facts don’t have to be long or time consuming.
 
This activity is particularly beneficial when new teams or groups meet for the first time as it encourages communication, bonding, and helps the participants learn more about their colleagues.  

It can also be used to undertake revision with a group, by asking them to recount facts, knowledge at the end of a programme or to confirm new learning of any type (including reflections on the task; personal observations about themselves or the team).  

Using this arbitrary method of allocating “comments” means that you encourage all members of the group to speak and engage, and provide and deepen their reflections.

Where learners might struggle, you can introduce trading between members to pass their “resource” to another if they run out of things to say.  This extension requires a reward for those with the most paper or pennies at the end, as they have attracted most resources through their confidence, knowledge or communication skills.

Debriefing this exercise requires the team to explore the emotions of the task (lack of clarity; confidence required; concern as details were released) and be open about how they addressed this personally and overcame these concerns to deliver on the challenge (especially if they were able to trade or work in partnership).  

Resources:  

Pennies/Tissue Paper

About the Author
This guide was produced by Alison Price.

Communication Icebreaker Decision Making (QAA 3,6,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Any

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Lecture Theatre, Presentation Space, Carousel Tables (small working group), Outside

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

3Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement 6Interpersonal Skills 7Communication and Strategy

Objectives:

  • Energiser
  • Generate enthusiasm
  • Non-verbal communication

Overview:

This energiser can be done at any time when working with a group; however it is ideal to be at the start of a programme or straight after lunch to get everyone moving, communicating and thinking in a fun way. The larger the group the better. If outside space is available it's good to be in a different environment before sessions start again. This can be done with groups of any age, any level.

Activity : This activity will take no more than 5 minutes depending on the size of the group

Participants have to line up in order of their birthdates from 1st Jan to 31st December, without speaking or mouthing the words. They have to communicate by physical gestures with each person to understand each other's birthday and find their correct place in line. Once they are all in line, starting from the beginning each then shouts out their birthday in order to see if they got it right.

Skill Development:

This energetic task obviously focuses upon non-verbal communication but requires team work and the ability to work under time pressure. It often displays a degree of rule breaking or inventive behaviour to ensure that the decision making is effective, based on the understanding they have. The skill development of this task can be enhanced through reflection (See QAArelfectivelearningdiaryFINAL) when it forms part of a course or programme.

About the Author
This guide was produced by ARP CPed.

Communication Icebreaker Introduction (QAA 3,6,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Large Group

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Carousel Tables (small working group)

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

3Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement 6Interpersonal Skills 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

  • To engage learners in wider concepts of communication
  • To explore/appreciate their own judgement and decision making skills
  • To encourage learner to appreciate non-verbal communication and tools to engage with and understand each other
  • To act as an ice-breaker

Overview:

This short task is designed to build the foundations of effective initial communication within a group, by exploring the concept of instant judgement (against knowing more about an individual or situation). It uses non-verbal communication to draw out stereotypes and explore how communication extends beyond verbal to all aspects of presentation (of person, of situation etc).

Activity:

At the start of a session, explain that you would like to them join you in an icebreaker activity and invite them to work with people that they haven't met before and that there is one key instruction: that no one talks to each other (or uses other communication such as texting).

Split the large group onto smaller groups ( 2-4 people in each group) and request each participant to select 3 items that they are happy to show to others, from their bags, pockets, clothes or the room or wider area (leaf; research article; equipment etc). Invite them to place these items selected in the table in front of him/her in a small pile.

Now, within each group, each person writes on post-it what assumptions they have made about the person, and places them around the items (so they made public). These opinions should be formed based on the displayed items by the person. This attempt at "personality analysis" should be gathered from their ownership/possessions of items/belongings.

Once they have completed this task, the group should be invited to talk together and work through each pile of items and comments together. They should be left for a reasonable length of time to talk/explore their assumptions and get to know each other. This stage is important to allow enough time to work through their points and learn more about each other.

Finally conduct a whole group debrief regarding assumptions and non-verbal clues. Ask the group about how they felt undertaking the task, and to recognise their emotions (arriving to a new programme to meet new people) as part of the process.

Skill Development:

The skills developed within this ice-breaker related to confidence, non-verbal communication and assumptions. However they are also exploring their skills of analysis and ability to reach conclusions, together with inter-personal skills as they began their feedback. This required listening to others, acceptance and openness and emotions will have played a part throughout the process.

Resources:

Papers, pens, items owned by individuals

About the Author
This guide was produced by Enterprise Evolution.

Communication Icebreaker Presentation Challenge (QAA 1,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Lecture Theatre

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

1Creativity and Innovation 7Communication and Strategy

Objectives:

1.The group will be able to become comfortable with one another through humour and through the use of an Ice Breaker

2.Skills such as confidence talking in front of people will be used

3.Marketing and Selling skills will be used

Overview:

The aim of this Icebreaker is for everyone in the group to talk for one minute on a given subject. This is a great Icebreaker if your group will be using communication and talking as their main source of developing ideas throughout the rest of the session.

Subjects can range from something ridiculous like 'Why Chocolate Is A Vegetable' or 'Ten Uses For A Paperclip' to topics that are relevant to what you are working on in the session; 'Important Things To Consider When Planning An Event' (event management) or '10 components of manufacturing process' or 'safety lessons in lab work'.

You should choose the subjects based on what your needs and outcomes are. If you are using it to make participants more comfortable and relaxed, then go for a fun topic. If you are using it to get your participants brains active and ready, or in order to get a base line of their knowledge and understanding across the group, then choose a topic that is more challenging and stimulating and course/programme related.

Activity

How to play:

The facilitator announces the topic, and a member of the group is randomly selected to speak for one minute. Alternatively the topics could be in a hat, and members of the group draw their topic from there.

The person who is selected must take their topic and speak for one minute, or as long as they can last. Timing them on a stopwatch is a good idea, but this can make it more competitive. You could even offer prizes for those who last the full minute.

Continue to select people until everyone has had the chance to speak.

Skill Development:

The focus here is on getting the group to be comfortable talking and interacting with each other, especially if they don't know, or know very little about each other previous to the session.

After the Icebreaker the group could reflect on what they enjoyed and what they found difficult about the task, identifying areas of themselves that they can improve and work on in the future.

You can focus the knowledge/learning by drawing our key understanding of the topic as well as explore what was made memorable through effective presentation skills.

Resources:

  • Pre prepared topics on pieces of paper
  • A hat or receptacle to put the topics into
  • Buzzer or timer

References:

One Minute Please – Mental Health Icebreaker - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CxPZ65UeMg

About the Author
This guide was produced by ARP ABi.

Communication Icebreaker Truth & Lies (QAA 1,2,5,6,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Any

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

1Creativity and Innovation 2Opportunity recognition‚ creation and evaluation 5Reflection and Action 6Interpersonal Skills 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

Idea generation
Understanding processes and procedure
With opportunities to:

  1. Review the session, understand the concept or steps covered in an interactive way.
  2. Evidence the power of group work as more ideas are created through team work
  3. Understand team dynamics and how teams come together to achieve a goal
  4. Understand the power and necessity for review and reflection of a task or situation.

Overview:

There are times when people’s energy is low during workshops, particular after a long lecture or after a break. After lunch time workshop participants tend to be tired while they are still digesting. It’s fast and fun ways to get participants refocused on the workshop (and topic).  This task can help the group bond or develop their subject knowledge through a “truth and lies” approach to multiple choice statements (right or wrong).

Activity:

  1. Participants write on cards / note pads two truths about themselves and one lie.
  2. The participants then walk around sharing with one another their three statements – during this participants should reveal which of the statement is a lie. During this sharing it is the goal of the participants to:
            a)    Convince others that your lie is true
            b)    Guess the correct lie of the other participants
  3. The participants gather back together in a circle and the first person read aloud their statement to remind everyone.
  4. The group then tries to guess which of the three statements is not true – at the end of each statement ask for a vote through a show of hands. ‘Who thinks this statement is true?’ Raise your hands.
  5. The participant then reveals says which of the statements is untrue.

    Notes:

    •    For large groups (30+), it is best to split into smaller group sizes.
    •    Give example of statements and remind people that they should use short statements.

    This task can be undertaken as a lively energiser, or as a subject based/ discipline focused activity.  By providing a slightly longer time for the students to prepare, the statements can be about a revision topic, or a new topic that is being studied.  It is also possible to pre-prepare a set of two piles of statements and invite the students to take them, research them (this can be for the following week if more complex subject related topics) and convince others of their position.  This could be delivered as a panel in front of the group, who are acting as audience. Inspiration for this type of extension can come from the BBC TV format “Would I lie to you?” but requires subject knowledge to make the truths and lies work and therefore the individual panellists can benefit from working in advance as a team to prepare their statements and answers.  By creating teams, with a panel spokespeople, audience engagement is high.

Skill Development:

It is important to ensure that the student groups recognise that the potential of subtle communication skills deployed in this task (such as empathy; humour; rapport).  Discussing the challenge, and what elements were memorable and effective, can highlight how individuals create effective communication.  Whilst they are opportunities to develop a range of communication skills through practice, it is important to look for “future lessons” from this task to build an understanding of the transferable skills that are being developed.  This might include discussion of Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation; Interpersonal Skills; Communication; Reflection and Action; Team Building and creative thinking skills.  It could be helpful to write up these titles and invite comments on post-its under each title to draw out experiences and feelings. Explore these comments collectively to draw together themes and learning from the whole group.

Resources:

Each participant needs a note pad/card and pen/pencil
If you wish to use this approach to introduce a new topic, or topic extension, then you may wish to pre-prepare the statements for the students in advance for the session – or to issue in the session in advance for learners to research and prepare for the next week panel task.

References:

About the Author
This guide was produced by EntEv.

Communication Re-evaluation (QAA 5, 6,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

5Reflection and Action 6Interpersonal Skills 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

To understand the importance of developing our feedback techniques as part of a communication and working with others.

Overview:

This session is run as a stand-alone group activity in an informal environment with all participants sitting in a relaxed state in order to create lots of opportunity for group discussions and sharing experiences in order to refine their use of language and consider messages from different perspectives.

Activity

This activity takes about 30 minutes to deliver the airline pilot communication, set the scene: and explore the results with the group together the importance of giving effective constructive feedback when communicating.

Before beginning it is useful to indicate that you are doing a hypothetical task relating to air travel to ensure that you are not working too close to an individual’s phobia or concerns relating to airline travel. You may wish to exempt someone who feels that they may be uncomfortable with the task, but recognise this element is part of the task when giving feedback.

Turning a negative into a positive: The airline pilot scenario

As facilitator, read this announcement to your group, after explaining that they have been sat in an aeroplane for about 15 minutes, when the pilot speaks to you over the intercom:

"Good morning, this is your pilot speaking. We are going to have to delay our departure for about 40 minutes. There have been problems with the cargo onto the airplane and this will take some time to sort out. The plane is also at the present time being refuelled.

When we take off, we shall be flying due east and going at a height of 30.000 feet. The weather forecast in the area is not good and it looks as if we could have quite a bit of turbulences route, so please keep in your seats and I understand the weather at our destination is also bad for this time of year which is causing delays to departures and arrivals.I will let know as we have any further information"

Ask the group informally to share what they heard from this announcement. Explore the feelings of the group as well as the message.

Then provide the text, either as a handout, or on screen and set the task: Can you communicate this information in a more positive way?

All the above information is factually correct, however even before take-off the captain has put you in a poor mood for the journey.

Give the group 10 minutes to read through and come up with a more positive statement. Then go around the group for them to talk through their statements and then talk though the groups as to how and why they presented this information differently and how they might communicate the need to use different language to the pilot. Discuss how to give feedback to colleagues/team members and explore their previous experience of poor feedback.

Discuss how feedback statements are heard and how language can shape what is heard.

Use the following Feedback key points (below) to guide your discussions and agree how best to handle feedback which improves service and quality, and particularly when colleagues are unaware of any performance issues or potential increase in quality that can be achieved.

Feedback should be

  • In a form that is appropriate and acceptable to the receiver
  • descriptive not evaluative
  • about behaviour not personality
  • based on examples

When you give feedback make sure you:

  • communicate how you felt
  • get others to support your observations
  • confirm good as well as bad
  • allow the recipient to question
  • are timely
  • identify sources

When receiving feedback

  • accept it is for your own good
  • be positive
  • listen carefully
  • check and clarify understanding
  • check with others
  • expand on feedback given
  • decide how to use feedback
  • thank the giver

When giving feedback to individuals

  • use supporting evidence
  • be positive
  • gain commitment
  • clarify implications of feedback
  • build up self confidence
  • gain agreement of the way forward
  • develop action plans
  • communicate decisions to appropriate personnel

Skill Development:

The discussion of this task should focus on reflection; review; feedback (see points above) in order to explore the learning through group discussion. It is important that you establish the need to understand the importance of how to give feedback in a safe constructive way which continues to motivate individuals to deliver.

This communication task explores the more subtle, and powerful elements of an individual's communication skills and it can be useful to draw on experiences from part-time/previous jobs or courses to truly understand the emotional impact of feedback and establish the need to consider timing; task; emotional state; message etc when giving feedback. Individual experiences from the group, should they wish to share, can be particularly powerful in exploring group work, team work and motivating for improvement.

Review these lessons and then explore with the group what they can 'take-away' for the future, both as a giver of good and supportive feedback, and a possible receiver of well-intended, but badly executed feedback. What ground rules for feedback can they use in their group work? Can they add this to their meeting agendas? What language is appropriate? What happens when feedback is not accepted within their group?

Resources:

Pilot statement Handouts (or power point slide of text) to produce mid task.

About the Author
This guide was produced by Enterprise Evolution.

Communication Scenario Through Questions (QAA 7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

7Communication and Strategy

Objectives:

  • To explore communication and how to listen effectively
  • To understand the importance of recognising the different methods of questioning that can affect our ability to build rapport and gather information in both management situations or when Mentoring, counselling or in our everyday life of building relationships

Overview:

This session is a short interactive group activity which can be delivered in an informal environment with all participants sitting in a relaxed state, but exploring a challenge with a time pressure. It will give the participants the opportunity to develop their questioning techniques in a fun and safe environment.

Activity:

This activity takes no more than ten minutes to deliver and requires that you, as the tutor, hold back and allow the questioning to deepen and allow for “pauses” and quiet.

Firstly, you need to set the scene, by explaining to group that they are looking at questioning skills and the group need to identify what it is you are doing, which you will only do by providing 1 statement that guides them and then only by answering the questions they ask.

You might start with:

“I am outside a hotel....i am pushing a car and I have no money”. (I am actually playing monopoly the group need to establish this through their questioning)

Leave it open for people ask questions you must be truthful with your replies but keep your answers short, tight and only in answer to the specific question asked.

The majority of the time people will ask closed questions will which only glean a "yes" or "no" response and not a lot of information ie Are you? Did you? Is the? Clearly these type of questions (which only elicit yes/no answers) will not serve them well and they will need to develop more opening questions relating to: Why, Where, What, Who, When ... Open questioning will produce a more honest reply and therefore resolve the puzzle sooner.

ie: "Why are you pushing the car?" reply "It has no engine"

"Why does it have no engine?" "Because it is a toy car." This would then open up their questioning and thinking.

It is key at this point that you don't lead them if they find themselves at a "dead end" or taking the wrong approach, as the process is the key experience. This can take a bit of time to resolve but it is fun though powerful and results in people being aware of how to develop their questioning skills these skills can help in management, development , communication including mentoring or volunteering.

If you are working with larger groups, you may wish to place them in teams and appoint a spokesperson who can ask the question which the team collectively agree upon. This can deepen this task as it requires good communication within the team as well. This also allows you to be particularly harsh, if their spokesperson asks "can I ask a question....?" to reply that they just have and move onto the next team without providing further information.

In addition, you can consider a range of "oblique" situations within their field, subject or industry sector which will also test their knowledge and understanding as well build their listening skills. This could relate to an experiment or practical aspect of their subject and they need to identify when and where it is taking place (scenario; situation; addressing need).

Skill Development:

The key to deepening the learning is within the review and group discussion at the end.

Collectively you can discuss the process and their experience of this – exploring emotions of frustration, confusion etc and acknowledging this as part of the process. Within a group discussion you can explore how/if the questioning changed in order to get the right information, by discussing the following topics:

  • Understand the importance of how to question
  • How and when to use open questions
  • How and when to use closed questions
  • What questions to use and when would you use them?
  • What questions to avoid (leading, multiple etc)

Using flip chart or board you can work through the process by asking how they identified these components, finally focusing upon how to deepen their understanding of what makes effective questioning and listening.

  • Who?
  • Where?
  • When?
  • What?
  • Why?
  • Also How?

Resources:

Flip chart /board for capturing review/discussion points - optional

About the Author
This guide was produced by ARP.

Creating a Website With Google

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Any

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Carousel Tables (small working group)

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

1Creativity and Innovation 5Reflection and Action

Download 'Learning and Teaching: Sharing Good Practice' here.

 

CAWIG - 1

About the Author
This guide was produced by Grwp Llandrillo Menai.

Creating an agenda for future sessions from learners’ contributions (using post-its) (QAA 1)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Large Group

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Lecture Theatre

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

1Creativity and Innovation

Objectives:

• Learners are given the opportunity to compose questions about a topic new to them; (links to intended learning outcomes)
• Learners are enabled to contribute things they already know about a new topic; (links to learning incomes)
• Learners are helped to learn from what each other already knows;
• Learners can gain confidence finding out that many others have similar questions.


Overview

This exercise greatly increases the ownership felt by learners about the curriculum content in a series of classes or lectures. This post-it exercise can usefully be a main part of the first lecture in a series on a topic or module. After a brief introduction to the ‘big picture’ of what is to be addressed in forthcoming sessions, learners are issued with a blue post-it and a pink post-it. They are given the opportunity to anonymously jot down (1) a question they believe could be important about the topic (pink post-it), and (2) something they already know about the topic (blue post-it).
They are then helped to look at each others’ post-its (both kinds).
The post-its are then collected by the teacher/lecturer, who uses them to plan the start of the next session in the series.

Activity
Session 1
1. Brief the learners very quickly (no more than two slides, or five minutes orally) about the main subject matter to be addressed in the forthcoming series about the topic or theme concerned. It can be useful at this stage to show on a slide (but not expand upon) the intended learning outcomes relating to the topic.
2. Issue blue and pink post-its, one to each learner (other colours if necessary of course).
3. Brief learners to write privately (and in clear handwriting) on the pink post-it one question about the topic, which they think may be important, but to which at this stage they do not know the correct (or best) answer to. Make the point that there’s no such thing as a silly question, and that it’s OK not to know the answers at this stage.
4. Then brief learners to use their blue post-its to write down one thing that they do already know about the topic. “Everyone knows something about anything” you might say. Encourage them to write down something interesting, or fascinating, or unusual if they can. Explain that at this stage it does not matter at all if what they know turns out to be wrong.
Steps 2-4 usually take no more than five minutes.
5. Ask learners to pass their post-its around, so they can look at each others’ questions, and the things their classmates already know about the topic. Learners’ confidence can often be seen to be increasing rapidly, when they see that several other learners have written similar questions to their own (“it wasn’t a silly question after all!”), and they are often quite fascinated by the things that others in the group have written on their blue post-its (“Well, I didn’t know that!”).
[optional] Suggest that learners spotting someone else’s question on a pink post-it could add a tick for ‘me too’ if they also want to find out the answer to the question.
Depending on the size of the group, and how interesting the learners find this task, this can usefully take 20 minutes or so.
6. When most learners have had the opportunity to look at most of the post-it entries, ask them to stick the post-its onto two charts, one for pink post-its (questions) and the other for blue post-its (things they already know).
7. This is probably most of the first session used up (if for example lecture slots are around 50 mins), and if so, only do general interest things until the end of the session, but take the charts with the respective post-its away with you.
8. Look through the pink post-its for recurring questions, addressing important topics in the curriculum, and linking well to one or more of the published intended learning outcomes. Look also for blue post-its which suggest that their owners already know the answers to these common questions. Prepare a slide as follows…
9. ‘37 of your pink post-its from the last session were similar to the following (very good) question: “…..” Hands-up if your question was similar to this one. Now hands up if you too want to find out the answer to this question’.


Session 2

10. Use the slide as above, then announce ‘Eleven of you probably know the answer to this question – I know this from what you wrote on your blue post-its! Hands up if you know the answer, and please keep your hand raised, until three or more people who don’t know the answer move to near you. Now, those who know the answer, talk your classmates through it.
11. You can then go on to another recurring question, with the same processes.

This kind of activity allows ownership of the important questions by members of the class, and the fact that other class members can share answers to these questions, rather than the teacher/lecturer providing the answers.

Skill Development:

This activity allows teachers/lectures to develop skills and confidence in allowing learners to contribute significantly to shaping the way that important questions are addressed in class.
It is also very comforting to learners entering a new topic to find out that many of their classmates have similar questions that they want or need answers to, and reassuring that lecturers/teachers take their questions seriously enough to base future class sessions on addressing them.

Resources:

A slide or two of very broad-brush briefing notes about the topic to be addressed in a series of sessions;
Pink and blue post-its, sufficient for one (or more) each for each learner:
Flipchart sheets for learners to stick the post-it onto, after the sharing activity;
Pens to give away for those who come without anything to write with!

References:


Race, P. (2014) ‘Making Learning Happen: 3rd edition’, London: Sage.
Race, P. (2015) ‘The Lecturer’s Toolkit; 4th edition’, Abingdon: Routledge.
http://phil-race.co.uk

About the Author
This guide was produced by Professor Phil Race.

Creating Student Teams (QAA 3,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

3Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

  • To be able to explore key skills, attributes and roles required to create an effective team for a particular task
  • To articulate and analyse the skills and experience of individuals in order to match key criteria
  • To assess opportunities and take decisions which meet priorities, within a specific time frame
  • To exercise judgement in assessing a wide variety of options
  • To communicate decisions effectively, using strong interpersonal skills 

Overview: 

This activity is effectively a way of creating new student teams for a particular task, but by focusing upon skills, experience and expertise to undertake specific roles within a group. This task is designed to encourage the students to understand the skills and roles needed within effective teams to undertake a particular task.  This technique can be used for any group work where the students will be undertaking a sustained activity which benefits from particular team roles or competences.

Students are asked to consider their own strengths and consider how best to articulate them (CV or advert) and then consider a task and how best they might support the activity (matching skills to the task/jobs).  Teams need to be created from the student group to address the challenge they have been set.

This works particularly well with new groups as it also creates opportunities for networking and new bonds, but can also be usefully deployed to stop students working within friendship groups.

Activity:

Students need to understand the activity that they will be undertaking (task; length; scope; numbers in a group; roles to undertake etc) so that they can consider their own skills/expertise within a context, however the first element of this task is to assess their own suitability for particular activities within this task.

Self Analysis

This activity can draw upon previous CV work or application process (or create LINKEDIN profiles) to create a formal assessment and showcase of their experience and expertise. 

This can be a formalised process which requires the creation of professional promotional materials (CV  or poster see QAA7CreatingaPoster ) or a review process which asks them to indicate 3 key things relevant to the task, or suggest the following 3 elements to be highlighted

  • 1 competence, technique or ‘knowledge set’ developed academically prior to this course
  • 1 attribute of their approach to group work (leadership; interpersonal skills)
  • Personal interest, capability, attribute from outside education (relevant experience as a customer or user; evidence of personal interest; indication of approach to the task).

Creating the Group – Identifying the Needs

Having then been issued the task, students need time to further consider their own weakness and identify what they need to ensure they create an effective team.  This reflection can be undertaken confidentially as students consider their own limitations currently and then isolate the support/network that they need to work effectively.

Creating the Group – Matching Up

Matching up the students to create their new team can be undertaken in two different styles.

  1. Networking showcase
    Students can be provided with time to network to create their own team by talking to new and unknown colleagues and asking about their “3 attributes” or CV and trying to create a match for the task.  As students meet others, they build up their team and then progress around the room as a group, seeking others which fit the remaining match for their new team.
  2. Interviewing
    You can identify a group of team leaders or CEOs or HR managers (either as individuals or as a small mini team) which will be interviewing and assessing others to join their team.  This can be a randomly allocated or those that have identified themselves as leaders can be given the opportunity to undertake this role.  This activity is best done by allocating the team leaders to different rooms and asking them to indicate their offer (or unique selling point USP) to encourage others to join them.  They will then attract the wider group to visit their room for a short dynamic interview where they match up job roles, as observed by others, who may be attracted to this team, or select to visit another room.

Skill Development: 

It is important that the self-analysis (CV writing; LinkedIn profiles) draws upon educational background but also prior knowledge, previous experiences, hobbies and interests so that all the students have elements to showcase.  This reflective process at the start is key to an effective match and for effective consideration of the roles.

Once the teams are matched it is important to encourage them to share a reflection about the process and create their ground rules for working together.  

This document can be revisited at the end of the process and the whole matching/team working experience be explored through reflection.  It is important that the groups debrief about their learning on team work, skill development and their emotions.  It can be important to acknowledge that they experienced concern, fear, nerves, or excitement in meeting new people/addressing a complex task or working with new team members.  Recognition of emotions is key in building confidence which allows the learners to repeat skills in new environments.

Resources: 

Primarily the preparation includes the task itself but also considering the skills needed to undertake the roles inherent within task.  It is important that you indicate soft skills, prior knowledge, suitable background etc that will allow all students to indicate their suitability.  You may wish to write short job descriptions, or indicate the roles and the skills that are required across the task, so that the students can match their team to the “whole task”, rather than find a perfect match to a job.  If you need help identifying these soft skills, then the QAA documentation for your programme can be a guide as can colleagues within Careers.

Your Careers Service can provide support (and may provide content or materials) to help the students articulate their skills as a CV. 

You may wish to create a showcase element to this task where students ‘advertise’ their skills or abilities in order to get recruited which may benefit from a range of materials/scissors/pens/posters being available for them to work with.

References:

AGCAS materials 
https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/as/employability/careers/documents/public/agcas-cvs-letters.pdf

Careers support examples (CV)
https://www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/specialistsupport/researchers/agcas_cvexamples

LINKEDIN provide support for students:
https://university.linkedin.com/linkedin-for-students 
https://university.linkedin.com/content/dam/university/global/en_US/site/pdf/TipSheet_BuildingaGreatProfile.pdf

About the Author
This guide was produced by Alison Price.

Creative Problem Solving (Post-its)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Carousel Tables (small working group)

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

1Creativity and Innovation 7Communication and Strategy

 

Objectives: 


This is a lively exercise which works well with 25 or 36 learners, respectively in groups of 5 or 5 at a carousel table.
• Learners will identify individually problems in a given context or scenario.
• Group prioritisation: groups will next prioritise problems in order of importance, or difficulty.
• Group editing and refining: groups will formulate the most pressing problem to briefly complete the starter: what can I do when’.
• Individual learners put ‘on the spot’ will creatively state a tactic to a ‘What can I do when …’ problem from another group.
• Individual thinking and oral communication: by the end of the round, everyone in the whole group has had a go at suggesting a solution for one or more problems – no passengers!
• Analysis and reflection: members of the group which thought of the problem will discuss pros and cons of the various solutions they have heard.

Feedback from participants who have engaged in this activity is very positive indeed, and they often comment that ‘the time flew by’, and ‘we wished to do another round of this straightaway’.

Overview
This creative problem solving exercise starts with learners in groups identifying specific aspects of a problem situation they may encounter, and phrasing the problem in the format of ‘What can I do when…’ questions. Each group supplies one question, which is written up on a slide or flipchart. Then a system is used where one member of each of the other groups in turn suggests a tactical response to the problem being addressed, and after all the tactics have been heard, the problem returns to the group who thought of it, who then discuss the pros and cons of each of the tactics they have heard from the other groups.
The exercise can be used for a wide range of problem scenarios, but is particularly productive when addressing interpersonal or communication contexts, or working with ‘difficult people’.

Activity
The processes described below typically take around an hour with a group of 25 learners, but can be extended to two hours by using a second round of the whole sequence (by which time the learners will be much better able to engage with the process based on experience, and will often have come up with more-challenging questions, causing deeper thinking).

1. Divide the total number of learners into groups of (approximately) equal size, e.g. 25 learners into 5 groups of 5 at carousel tables. (It is best to do this group formation randomly, avoiding the disadvantages of ‘friendship’ groups and ‘left-over’ groups!). Name the groups A, B, C, D, E.
2. Set the context for the problem-generation phase. For example, the problems of working with learners on an ‘enterprise’ module could be addressed by asking everyone to think individually of their worst nightmares in the context of working with such learners, and jotting down individually on one or more post-its their nightmare in the format of ‘what could I do when…’
(Completions in this particular instance may well to include ‘…a learner repeatedly doesn’t turn up?’, or ‘…a learner won’t join in?’, or ‘…a learner becomes aggressive to other learners?’, or ‘…I run out of ideas to use with the group?’, or ‘…time runs out when I am only half-way through an exercise?’ and so on).
3. When each learner has jotted one or more problem-questions down, ask the groups to prioritise the problems identified in by their group members, and work out the most important to tackle (or the most difficult to tackle), then the next most important, and so on.
4. Ask group A to read out their top completion of the ‘What can I do when…’ starter, and write it up exactly in their words, on a slide or flipchart. Then ask group B for their problem, then group C and so on, writing them up in turn. If a group comes up with a problem too similar to those already written onto the slide or flipchart, ask the group for their second-most-important problem and so on.
5. Set the ground-rules for the report-back from the groups. Group A’s question goes first to Group B, where one person described what they might do to address the problem. Only one person can speak; it sometimes takes a little time for a volunteer to come forward. Next, one member of Group C is sought to respond, and so on to Groups D and E in turn. It can be useful to brief Group A to make brief notes of the gist of successive responses.
6. T0 respond gets harder as it moves from Group B onward. Each successive respondent must think of a different response from those which may already have been given. At this stage, the facilitator may choose to throw in one or two further solutions, if the groups have missed anything important in their responses.
7. Finally, Group A, who own the question are asked to consider the responses from Groups B-E (plus any offered by the facilitator), picking the best one, and coming up with any further alternatives they have thought of. All members of Group A can join in this discussion.
8. Next the question from Group B goes in turn to Groups C, D, E and A, again only one member – a different member of the group coming up with a solution. In the event of too long a pause, the person from the group concerned who answered last-time round can nominate someone from their group to respond.
9. Continue until all five questions have gone round the groups.

This process means that just about everyone has a turn at answering one of the ‘What can I do when…’ questions. If there were six groups of five members, everyone would have a turn, but it is probably best to leave the flexibility of one person in each group not being required to answer, in case any of the learners has a particular problem with ‘being put on the spot’ in this way. However, if a second round of questions is then generated, the response can start in each group with the person who did not speak in the first round.

An alternative way of running this exercise includes asking for ‘what would make this situation worse?’ (i.e. ‘what I should not do when …? responses – ‘negative brainstorming’). This can be great fun for a second round of the whole exercise.

Skill Development:
1. Identification of problems individually, followed by discussion and prioritisation of problems in groups.
2. Refining of an identified problem, by turning it into the ‘what can I do when…?’ format.
3. Oral quick-thinking and communication, as each group member responds to a ‘what can I to when…’ question.
4. Building on what has been already said earlier in the round, when the next respondent has to in effect think of ‘what else can I do when…?’ as responses can not be repeated as the round continues.
5. Listening to the various responses by the group ‘owning’ the question, noting down the gist of each for subsequent discussion, then analysing the pros and cons of the various responses.
6. ‘Negative brainstorming’, if the exercise includes ‘What would make this situation worse?’, which can often yield further ideas for actual solutions to the problem.


Resources:
• Post-its for individuals to jot down ‘nightmares’ to base their ‘what can I do when …?’ questions upon.
• More post-its (possibly a different colour) for groups to write their final versions of ‘what can I do when…?’ questions down on, before prioritising which they want to submit to the other group rounds.
• A few pens to give away if needed.
• Flipchart or PowerPoint display to show the questions. 


References:
Race, P. (2014) ‘Making Learning Happen: 3rd edition’, London: Sage. (Note that one Chapter of this book is entirely composed around ‘what can I do when …? questions, (in the broad context of teaching, learning, feedback and assessment), each followed by the sort of responses which can be given by participants working in the creative-problem-solving mode described in the above activity).

Race, P. (2015) ‘The Lecturer’s Toolkit; 4th edition’, Abingdon: Routledge.
http://phil-race.co.uk

Author: Professor Phil Race

Creative Problem Solving What can I do when...? (QAA 1,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Carousel Tables (small working group)

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

1Creativity and Innovation 7Communication and Strategy

Objectives: 

This is a lively exercise which works well with 25 or 36 learners, respectively in groups of 5 or 5 at a carousel table.

  • Learners will identify individually problems in a given context or scenario.
  • Group prioritisation: groups will next prioritise problems in order of importance, or difficulty.
  • Group editing and refining: groups will formulate the most pressing problem to briefly complete the starter: what can I do when’.
  • Individual learners put ‘on the spot’ will creatively state a tactic to a ‘What can I do when …’ problem from another group.
  • Individual thinking and oral communication: by the end of the round, everyone in the whole group has had a go at suggesting a solution for one or more problems – no passengers!
  • Analysis and reflection: members of the group which thought of the problem will discuss pros and cons of the various solutions they have heard.

Feedback from participants who have engaged in this activity is very positive indeed, and they often comment that ‘the time flew by’, and ‘we wished to do another round of this straightaway’.

Overview:

This creative problem solving exercise starts with learners in groups identifying specific aspects of a problem situation they may encounter, and phrasing the problem in the format of ‘What can I do when…’ questions. Each group supplies one question, which is written up on a slide or flipchart. Then a system is used where one member of each of the other groups in turn suggests a tactical response to the problem being addressed, and after all the tactics have been heard, the problem returns to the group who thought of it, who then discuss the pros and cons of each of the tactics they have heard from the other groups.
The exercise can be used for a wide range of problem scenarios, but is particularly productive when addressing interpersonal or communication contexts, or working with ‘difficult people’.

Activity:

The processes described below typically take around an hour with a group of 25 learners, but can be extended to two hours by using a second round of the whole sequence (by which time the learners will be much better able to engage with the process based on experience, and will often have come up with more-challenging questions, causing deeper thinking).

  1. Divide the total number of learners into groups of (approximately) equal size, e.g. 25 learners into 5 groups of 5 at carousel tables. (It is best to do this group formation randomly, avoiding the disadvantages of ‘friendship’ groups and ‘left-over’ groups!). Name the groups A, B, C, D, E.
  2. Set the context for the problem-generation phase. For example, the problems of working with learners on an ‘enterprise’ module could be addressed by asking everyone to think individually of their worst nightmares in the context of working with such learners, and jotting down individually on one or more post-its their nightmare in the format of ‘what could I do when…’
    (Completions in this particular instance may well to include ‘…a learner repeatedly doesn’t turn up?’, or ‘…a learner won’t join in?’, or ‘…a learner becomes aggressive to other learners?’, or ‘…I run out of ideas to use with the group?’, or ‘…time runs out when I am only half-way through an exercise?’ and so on).
  3. When each learner has jotted one or more problem-questions down, ask the groups to prioritise the problems identified in by their group members, and work out the most important to tackle (or the most difficult to tackle), then the next most important, and so on. 
  4. Ask group A to read out their top completion of the ‘What can I do when…’ starter, and write it up exactly in their words, on a slide or flipchart. Then ask group B for their problem, then group C and so on, writing them up in turn. If a group comes up with a problem too similar to those already written onto the slide or flipchart, ask the group for their second-most-important problem and so on.
  5. Set the ground-rules for the report-back from the groups. Group A’s question goes first to Group B, where one person described what they might do to address the problem. Only one person can speak; it sometimes takes a little time for a volunteer to come forward. Next, one member of Group C is sought to respond, and so on to Groups D and E in turn. It can be useful to brief Group A to make brief notes of the gist of successive responses.
  6. To respond gets harder as it moves from Group B onward. Each successive respondent must think of a different response from those which may already have been given. At this stage, the facilitator may choose to throw in one or two further solutions, if the groups have missed anything important in their responses.
  7. Finally, Group A, who own the question are asked to consider the responses from Groups B-E (plus any offered by the facilitator), picking the best one, and coming up with any further alternatives they have thought of. All members of Group A can join in this discussion.
  8. Next the question from Group B goes in turn to Groups C, D, E and A, again only one member – a different member of the group coming up with a solution. In the event of too long a pause, the person from the group concerned who answered last-time round can nominate someone from their group to respond.
  9. Continue until all five questions have gone round the groups.

This process means that just about everyone has a turn at answering one of the ‘What can I do when…’ questions. If there were six groups of five members, everyone would have a turn, but it is probably best to leave the flexibility of one person in each group not being required to answer, in case any of the learners has a particular problem with ‘being put on the spot’ in this way. However, if a second round of questions is then generated, the response can start in each group with the person who did not speak in the first round.

An alternative way of running this exercise includes asking for ‘what would make this situation worse?’ (i.e. ‘what I should not do when …? responses – ‘negative brainstorming’).

This can be great fun for a second round of the whole exercise.

Skill Development:

  1. Identification of problems individually, followed by discussion and prioritisation of problems in groups.
  2. Refining of an identified problem, by turning it into the ‘what can I do when…?’ format.
  3. Oral quick-thinking and communication, as each group member responds to a ‘what can I to when…’ question.
  4. Building on what has been already said earlier in the round, when the next respondent has to in effect think of ‘what else can I do when…?’ as responses can not be repeated as the round continues.
  5. Listening to the various responses by the group ‘owning’ the question, noting down the gist of each for subsequent discussion, then analysing the pros and cons of the various responses.
  6. ‘Negative brainstorming’, if the exercise includes ‘What would make this situation worse?’, which can often yield further ideas for actual solutions to the problem.

Resources:

  • Post-its for individuals to jot down ‘nightmares’ to base their ‘what can I do when …?’ questions upon.
  • More post-its (possibly a different colour) for groups to write their final versions of ‘what can I do when…?’ questions down on, before prioritising which they want to submit to the other group rounds.
  • A few pens to give away if needed.
  • Flipchart or PowerPoint display to show the questions.

 References:

  • Race, P. (2014) ‘Making Learning Happen: 3rd edition’, London: Sage. (Note that one Chapter of this book is entirely composed around ‘what can I do when …? questions, (in the broad context of teaching, learning, feedback and assessment), each followed by the sort of responses which can be given by participants working in the creative-problem-solving mode described in the above activity).
  • Race, P. (2015) ‘The Lecturer’s Toolkit; 4th edition’, Abingdon: Routledge.
  • http://phil-race.co.uk

About the Author
This guide was produced by Professor Phil Race.

Creative Problem-solving Exercise Involving Peer-Assessment and Criteria Design ‘The Egg Game’ (QAA 1,2,3,6,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Presentation Space, Carousel Tables (small working group)

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

1Creativity and Innovation 2Opportunity recognition‚ creation and evaluation 3Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement 6Interpersonal Skills 7Communication and Strategy

Objectives:

After participating in this exercise, learners should be better-able to:

  • Achieve higher assessment literacy
  • Formulate and negotiate assessment criteria for a task, and undertake the task with the criteria firmly in mind;
  • Think constructively about the weighting of assessment criteria;
  • Undertake peer assessment of other teams’ performance;
  • Undertake self-assessment by reflecting on their own group’s performance;
  • Recognise the benefits of team work (and address some of the problems of working in teams);
  • On the basis of a ‘fun’ exercise, take forward useful thinking on assessment design.

Overview

The task is for groups of learners to make a container to hold an egg that is capable of being dropped from a specified height and position in the room without the egg breaking. To do this properly you need about two hours in a large flat room, big enough to enable groups to work independently. This is a practice task to familiarise learners with the concepts of meaningful assessment criteria, weighting and agency of assessment and is particularly useful during the first six weeks of the first semester of the first year. It is presented as serious fun which improves learners’ assessment literacy. It’s also a good staff development exercise to get staff to think hard about assessment issues.

Learners in a class (16-70) are divided into groups of 4-6, at separate tables around the room, and provided with a range of everyday objects as resources, including an unbroken fresh egg. They are briefed to use the resources in a specified time to arrange that the egg can be dropped from a specified height and position in the room to ground level, and remain unbroken by the fall. They are to use the various resources in a creative way to achieve this. But first the groups must come up with around five assessment criteria, which will be used by the other groups to assess each group’s achievement of the exercise, and the whole group of learners must assign weightings to each of the criteria. One criterion is not negotiable: “The egg remains unbroken by the fall”.

Activity

  1. Divide the learners into small teams (groups of about 4-6 work well). This activity can be done with a class size of up to 50, but for smaller classes the minimum group size is 3.
  2. Advise the learners of the purpose of the task, emphasising that it is competitive but essentially fun, and that actually the discussion around the task is much more important to their understanding of assessment conventions than the task itself.
  3. Issue the materials to the groups, instructing them that no other items may be used, including waste paper bins, people and furniture. Insist no one handles the materials and egg before the start signal. You may need to be very strict about this. You may also wish to ham up the rawness of the egg by chucking them to the learners or ‘accidentally’ dropping one. Get each group to check their egg is not cracked when they receive it.
  4. Ask learners to brainstorm up to 5 criteria on which they should be judged (5 mins)
  5. Collate the criteria on a flipchart or white board, and telling them that the egg not breaking is the non-negotiable criterion, get them to collectively prioritise their further criteria. Ask them to include both product and process in the criteria. (Typical criteria include effective planning, aesthetic beauty, sustainability (all items could be reused), using all items provided or smallest number of items, team all worked together well, everyone contributed to the task in some way, achieving the task within the set time, and so on). You shouldn’t need to spend more than 10 mins on this but if you get into discussing how you judge aesthetic beauty it could take 15 mins.
  6. Explain the concept of weighting of assessment criteria. Tell them that the egg not breaking is worth 40% and ask them to propose weightings for the other four criteria that add up to 100% with the most important things being given the highest weighting. (5 mins).
  7. Negotiate agreed weightings for the criteria for the whole group and put on flipchart or white board. (5 mins).
  8. Get the whole group to think up who will actually do the assessmenti.e. agency for 5 mins. Forexample, most product items could be assessed by the tutor or the learners acting as peers rating other groups (inter-peer assessment). If they are judging items like how well they worked as a team, this will have to be rated within the group by four peers each rating the fifth, i.e. intra peer assessment. Self assessment might be used for example if a negotiated criteria is something like individuals contributing to the best of their capabilities or enjoyment. Even if you only use a couple of agents, its helpful to discuss the full range and mention that other possibilities on future group work might include employers, placement managers and clients. (10 mins).
  9. Get the groups to talk for 5 mins about what they plan to do and insist no one touches the materials until you start the task. 
  10. Start the task advising them they have say 8 minutes in which to complete it. You may wish to add to the sense of fun by blowing a whistle, setting a kitchen timer, phone timer or whatever.
  11. Watch learners in action, talking no part in the activity but you may wish to record any breach of the rules which you can bring up in your moderation/summing up.
  12. Stop the task exactly on time. Blowing your whistle loudly is fun! Notice any learners who choose to carry on regardless and decide whether to penalise them totally by giving no marks at all (this gives you a chance to mention things like plagiarism policies and rules on issues like mitigation) and the risks learners can run by ignoring the detail of assignment brief.
  13. Allow each group in turn to come to the ‘dropping point’ and use their equipment to drop their egg from the specified height to the floor, and prove whether or not their egg has been broken, carrying out the assessment using tutors and peers as appropriate. If you have a lot of groups, this can take quite a while. Discuss the assessment of the first six or so in detail, and then tell learners that to do every one in detail would take ages and this is after all a game about assessment (but do drop every egg and check the egg isn’t broken or else learners will feel cheated).
  14. It is really important to get the learners back into small groups after the assessment to discuss the assessment issues for at least five minutes (try to stop them having endless discussions about whether their design was actually best or whether they were fairly treated, and so on) and then have 5-10 minutes in plenary with you summing up the learning points.
  15. You might then wish to issue to learners the assignment brief for the next actual assessment task that follows in their course or module, and get them to bring along to the next session any queries they have about criteria, weighting, agency or anything else, arising from their reflections on the egg game.

Skill Development:

  • Assessment literacy
  • Team working.
  • Creativity and originality of design.
  • Time and task-management.
  • Learners formulating and agreeing assessment criteria for the task.
  • Learners proposing and agreeing the weighting of the assessment criteria.
  • Peer-assessment of other groups’ performances.
  • Self-assessment and reflection on what happened in each group. 

Resources:

Flipchart of white board to display agreed assessment criteria.
Supermarket carrier bag, per group, in which you place:

  • a pair of scissors
  • a small roll of sellotape
  • a selection of about 4 items from the following: a newspaper, a plastic cup, paper plate, tissue paper (or a tissue), length of string (about 2 metres seems to work well), cocktail sticks, wooden or plastic clothes peg, square of bubble wrap (if you want to make it really easy for them) or whatever is available.
  • one uncooked egg in shell.

It is important that each bag contains more-or-less identical kit, otherwise appeals of ‘unfairness of assessment’ may arise (though of course you might wish this to be one of the matters which will arise, in which case allow some differences in the kit).

References:

  • Brown, S. (2015) Learning, teaching and assessment in higher education: global perspectives, London: Palgrave-MacMillan.
  • http://sally-brown.net

Author's Website:

http://sally-brown.net

About the Author
This guide was produced by Professor Sally Brown.

Creative Thinking through Idea Generation (QAA 1,2,3,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Carousel Tables (small working group)

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

1Creativity and Innovation 2Opportunity recognition‚ creation and evaluation 3Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement 7Communication and Strategy

Objectives:

  • Encourage team work and creative thinking outside the box
  • Creative problem solving
  • Creative thinking

Overview:

This task is an immediate and effective way to encourage teamwork and creative thinking. As a fun task, requiring no prior knowledge, this task stimulates creative thinking and group interaction.

Activity

Step 1 Split the team into two even groups

Step 2 Give each group an object ie Cereal Box with cotton Wool (or 1 paper clip or 1 brick)

Step 3 Each group has 5 minutes to come up with as many creative alternative uses for the object (a long list)

Step 4 Facilitator then asks each team to run through alternative uses for the object who ever has most wins

Step 5 Debrief and review with the group to explore what techniques resulted in new solutions and how the group worked together.

Skill Development:

This task explores creative thinking but also communication and team work. It is important that the group work well together and support each other as they develop their ideas in order to create more ideas. Debrief with the group to determine how they overcame obstacles or encouraged other in order to recognise the importance of emotions during learning and group work.

Resources:

  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Objects such as Cereal box or paper clip or brick per group (ideally the same object for each group)

About the Author
This guide was produced by ARP.

Creativity (Rich Pictures) (QAA 1,3,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6), Individual Task

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Carousel Tables (small working group)

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

1Creativity and Innovation 3Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

  • To explore, understand and describe a situation or problem
  • To create a collective understanding or meaning from a group
  • To visualise and communicate complex ideas effectively

Overview

This task focuses upon visual representation of problems and how this helps define a situation. It is essentially the transmission of ideas into pictures. It is used to stimulate participants in a programme to express themselves and their ideas in a pictorial form, often with the use of metaphor. It then stands as a basis for discussion of participant ideas and concepts.
This approach is recognised within some subject specialism as a rich picture, as a way to explore, acknowledge and define a situation and express it through diagrams to create a preliminary mental model or visual representation of the situation or challenge. A rich picture helps to open discussion and come to a broad, shared understanding of a situation.

Activity

Participants are asked, usually in groups, to discuss the meaning of a concept or an event or to explore a situation or problem. They are asked to portray this in pictorial form as a basis for presentation and discussion with other participants.

  • The class is divided into small groups and each group is given pens and a flip chart sheet. The group are asked to ‘discover’ their own meaning through discussion and to write down or draw what they see as the key components
  • The group is then asked to draw a picture which they believe encapsulates the meaning or the issue
  • The picture is then shown to the rest of the class and the class (not the group) are asked to describe what it means to them
  • This is then compared with the meaning that the group was trying to portray and the group are asked to explain this to other participants
  • The facilitator notes all the meanings given and attempts to pull these together for discussion of the concept and why it was given different meanings. Academic concepts and research work can be introduced to build wider understanding (and credit can be awarded for its inclusion).

The approach can be used in a number of ways but most importantly to test understanding after readings and discussion and, to harvest pre-conceived views and attitudes relating to a subject as a basis for discussion.

If you wish to focus the activity, you can ask the group to identify opposing elements inherent within their challenge and use these are axis. So a groupmight identify “speed” as a key element of an activity (such as inherent within the eating-out experience) and also “service”. This would create two axis of Fast and Slow (for Speed) and High levels of service with No service. This creates four quadrants that they can seek to describe through a rich picture. This would show what fast, high level of service restaurant experience would be like, against a slow high service experience etc. You can then invite them to title these quadrants and explore them for benefits/costs.

Skill Development:

The exercise aims to stimulate creative expression. It also is designed to give ownership of learning to participants by creating discussion on the basis of their existing knowledge and ideas. With sufficient pens available, there will be no ‘lead author’ and therefore a strong basis for mutual understanding is created. A sense of ownership is given to the group and participation in learning is maximised.
Explore with the whole group the power of visual presentation and their perceptions of their involvement. Explore their satisfaction with the finished product and how well they feel it worked as a mechanism for communicating with a group.

Resources:

  • Flip Chart / large paper
  • Pens

References:

Gibb, A and Price, A “A Compendium of Pedagogies for Teaching Entrepreneurship” ncee 2nd Edition, 2014; first published in 2007
http://ncee.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Compendium-of-Pedagogies.pdf

Seek additional guidance relating to Rich Pictures from work within Soft systems methodology

About the Author
This guide was produced by Professor Allan Gibb and Alison Price.

Creativity and Evaluation Using Questioning SCAMPER (QAA 1,3,6,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

1Creativity and Innovation 3Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement 6Interpersonal Skills 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

  • Creative thinking
  • Structured Group Problem solving
  • Evaluation of ideas through critical analysis and judgement
  • Presentation of ideas (including persuasion)

Overview:

This approach to creative thinking structures thinking through the use of a mnemonic "SCAMPER" and using questioning techniques to generate solutions. This makes an ideal group activity for students to work through the mnemonic and then present their results.

Activity:

Students are placed in small working groups and invited to explore the seven prompts of the SCAMPER mnemonic. Firstly, invite each group to take an existing product or service (or agree one to consider - this could be one that you want to improve, one that you'recurrently having problems with, or one that you think could form future product developments).

Questioning around these themes helps the groups develop creative ideas for developing new products, or services and for improving current ones. SCAMPER is a mnemonic that stands for:

  • Substitute.
  • Combine.
  • Adapt.
  • Modify.
  • Put to another use.
  • Eliminate.
  • Reverse.

Using these headings, invite each group to discuss the questions about the product, using the mnemonic.

By brainstorming as many questions and answers within each group, a rich solution can be produced.

Example Questions which you can share with groups in need of support.

Substitute: Ask "What can you substitute? What can be used instead? Who else instead? What other ingredients? Other material? Other process? Other power? Other place? Other approach? Other sounds? Other forces?"

  • What materials or resources can you substitute or swap to improve the product?
  • What other product or process could you use?
  • What rules could you substitute?
  • Can you use this product somewhere else, or as a substitute for something else?
  • What will happen if you change your feelings or attitude toward this product?

Combine: What can you combine or bring together somehow? How about a blend, an alloy, an assortment, an ensemble? Combine units? Combine purposes? Combine appeals? Combine ideas?

  • What would happen if you combined this product with another, to create something new?
  • What if you combined purposes or objectives?
  • What could you combine to maximize the uses of this product?
  • How could you combine talent and resources to create a new approach to this product?

Adapt: What can you adapt for use as a solution? What else is like this? What other idea does this suggest? Does past offer a parallel? What could I copy? Who could I emulate?

  • How could you adapt or readjust this product to serve another purpose or use?
  • What else is the product like?
  • Who or what could you emulate to adapt this product?
  • What else is like your product?
  • What other context could you put your product into?
  • What other products or ideas could you use for inspiration?

Modify: Can you change the item in some way? Change meaning, colour, motion, sound, smell, form, shape? Other changes? Or Magnify: What can you add? More time? Greater frequency? Stronger? Higher? Longer? Thicker? Extra value? Plus ingredient? Duplicate? Multiply? Exaggerate?

Or 'Minify': What can you remove? Smaller? Condensed? Miniature? Lower? Shorter? Lighter? Omit? Streamline? Split up? Understate?

  • How could you change the shape, look, or feel of your product?
  • What could you add to modify this product?
  • What could you emphasize or highlight to create more value?
  • What element of this product could you strengthen to create something new?

Put to Another Use: Can you use this product somewhere else, perhaps in another industry?

  • Who else could use this product?
  • How would this product behave differently in another setting?
  • Could you recycle the waste from this product to make something new?

Eliminate: What can you eliminate? Remove something? Eliminate waste? Reduce time? Reduce effort? Cut costs?

  • How could you streamline or simplify this product?
  • What features, parts, or rules could you eliminate?
  • What could you understate or tone down?
  • How could you make it smaller, faster, lighter, or more fun?
  • What would happen if you took away part of this product? What would you have in its place?

Reverse: What can be rearranged in some way? Interchange components? Other pattern? Other layout? Other sequence? Transpose cause and effect? Change pace? Change schedule?

  • What would happen if you reversed this process or sequenced things differently?
  • What if you try to do the exact opposite of what you're trying to do now?
  • What components could you substitute to change the order of this product?
  • What roles could you reverse or swap?
  • How could you reorganize this product?

Evaluation:
Once the ideas have been generated, the next stage is evaluation. Through group discussion, ask the student to determine ifany stand out as viable solutions? Could any of them be used to create a new product, or develop an existing one?

All viable ideas can be explored further in order to find one improvement/suggestion for final presentation to the wider group.

A debrief on the solutions, the process and the team working should be included within the session to allow for the skills and emotional aspects of team work to be explored, and the constructs of the mnemonic discussed.

Skill Development:

Although the main focus of this project is idea generation, the discussion and evaluation within the group, which requires presentation and interpersonal skills as well as judgement and critical analysis of opportunities and ideas.

Student groups should be left to work through their discussion, and any difficulties with team working as may occur (intervening only to support the process and move the students on, if time pressures require) however it is important to review the task, the process and the protocols in order to seek guidance for future working or lessons to take forward.

Students should be encouraged to share the frustrations and difficulties of decision making within a group (where one individual may have suggested the idea) and how feedback should be given and shared.

Group dynamics need to be acknowledged and lessons can be shaped for future team working.

References:

http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newCT_02.htm

http://www.brainstorming.co.uk/tutorials/scampertutorial.html 

About the Author
This guide was produced by Enterprise Evolution.

Creativity and Reflection: envising the future (QAA 1,2,5,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Carousel Tables (small working group)

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

1Creativity and Innovation 2Opportunity recognition‚ creation and evaluation 5Reflection and Action 7Communication and Strategy

Objectives:

To think towards the future strategically

To work together as a team providing input

Could be used for branding, re-branding and cultural development or change management, future planning or scenario building

Overview: 

Learners are encouraged to get into small teams and are asked to address a future orientated task – either related to their own development or if you are seeking a more discipline focused task, their subject, or industry/sector.

By spending time exploring the subject together they are invited to create a future, and depict this within visual mood boards.

(for example, a group may have an area of the business to create, address change and how they want it to look, or be asked to visualise 1, 3, 5 years down the line)

They are each given a board or flip chart and a series of magazines, materials, catalogues etc and asked to create a mood board (or visual reflection) to reflect how the future or ‘task’ will look.

Activity:

This activity requires preparation (souring materials, or subject relevant magazines or images or similar as well as pens, glue, paper etc) and then requires the tutor to allow time for the group to work through this challenge.  Typically the group may be “stumped” by the future orientation of the task and may require prompts to help them explore their thinking and assumptions.  It can be hugely personal to create an individual vision board of the future you wish you have and will take time, and equally considering industry trends or movement within the sector can require pre-research by the groups or time to explore specific elements of future change.

The minimum time for such an activity with a well organised group would be 1 hour but it is important that this work is displayed and that time is taken to showcase the activity.

Ideally the reflection will form a key part of the activity and that time for this important activity is given to the group as a whole, as well to those working as a group to consider their work in light of others as well as well they operated as a group.

Skill Development: 

Reflection can draw out key learning from this task.  With potential for subject learning, team work and reflection, this task can be powerful in terms of creativity as well as considering and evaluating opportunities or options.

It is important that as a group they understand the process that they undertook and review how well they worked to hear all the ideas, consider opportunities and move forward together in agreement.  This process can be achieved through a few key reflective questions based on the process itself that can explored as a team and then discussed as the wider group.  These may include:

•How did you get into groups? – did you consider skills and knowledge for the task or did you prioritise friendship groups (and team working) over task?

•How did you tackle the task?  - was their a leader? How were ideas heard? Who developed ideas? How did you decide to move forward?

•Were you influenced by the activity in the room/other groups?

•What subject knowledge or prior experience did you bring to this?

•What issues of group work were apparent – time management; leadership; identifying strengths of team members

•How would you tackle it differently next time?

•What do you need to find out to improve on this? (setting actions)

Resources: 

  • Board for each team
  • Selection of magazines, journals, glue, scissors, pens , access to internet and printers (optional).

About the Author
This guide was produced by Alison Price.

Designing the Student Research Placement (Science: Microbiology) (QAA 3,5,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Presentation Space, Carousel Tables (small working group)

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

3Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement 5Reflection and Action 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

  • To design a research strategy for a summer laboratory studentship project
  • To investigate the research background, experimental methods and timescales to achieve a set of aims
  • To understand the research process and appreciate the contingencies required for real world research
  • To engage in decision making and problem solving
  • To evidence the power of group work as students peer learn and present together

Overview

The focus within this task is to stimulate team building and decision making through the research process.
Within this task, students will work together to explain their findings to group peers as they understand them and progress the plan as a group. (Some students may later undertake a summer studentship so they have been prepared for the situation as a result of this authentic assessment).

Activity

This task was based in Microbiology but would be accessible to any discipline where a research strategy and resources are required.
By placing the students into groups, issue the aims and introduction from a real research studentship (available from HEIs or via colleagues) and issue the task to design the activities required for the eight week research summer project.

This challenge is complex for the groups to address and requires them to utilise peer learning to understand what is required. Your role as tutor can beadjusted, depending upon the needs of the group, but it is suggested that you present yourself as a ‘resource’ to their learning, rather than ‘the guide to’ their learning.

You may wish to include regular contact time which could involve:

  • an ice-breaker session (short tasks to develop analytical reasoning, team-decision making and reflection)
  • a process of research session, looking at examples previously encountered and how these were approached,
  • optional drop-in sessions (x2) to validate their ideas (which can be tutor-led or working groups that create peer review and comment).

Students prepare a one page summary on their approach and what part of the project they researched. They also present their group studentship plan as a short group presentation (10 mins). Questions and comments from other groups should be welcomed, with the aim of enhancing their approach and improving their work through this final opportunity for peer-review and tutor comment.

Skill Development:

This task helps the students develop the mind-set of a researcher; questioning why and how for each experiment, and evaluating feasibility with respect to cost and time. Usually students would not develop these skills until postgraduate studies level so this encourages students to develop key skills early (so they may be utilised or referred to in an employability context).

Key skills include

  • Research and interpretation skills
  • Decision making
  • Resources
  • Communication – formative with peers and summative through assessment
  • Budgeting and time management
  • Delegation and leadership skills

However it is important that you draw out this learning within their presentation or within a final group discussion. It might also be helpful to review the ‘changed’ role of you as tutor, in directing the journey of their learning, and providing opportunities for review and enhancements, rather than immediately resolving their problems.

You can also explore with the groups how the decisions were made and resources accessed, exploring social networks as well as traditional academic resources (Guides; texts etc). Those that contacted senior researchers or their subject club/society may have drawn on expertise and experience and thisproject encourages them to access support as widely as needed. It also gives the opportunity to review and evaluate sources, and comment upon the validity of different materials. 

Resources:

Flat floor teaching space with tables so students can engage in teamwork activities
Quick teambuilding games: re-ordering a sequence of events, contingency planning, structuring research, and decision making

References:

Enterprise for Life Scientists; Developing Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Biosciences. Adams. D.J, and Sparrow. J. (2008). Scion
Research scholarships information page (2015) www.ncl.ac.uk/students/wellbeing/finance/funding/ukstudents/vacation/

About the Author
This guide was produced by Dr Carys Watts, School of Biomedical Sciences, Newcastle University.

Developing Feedback Skills (Physical) (QAA 5,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Individual Task

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

5Reflection and Action 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

  • To explore the need for feedback and support within the learning process
  • To understand the elements that support skill development and build confidence in execution

Overview:

This simple task is designed to help students understand the importance of effective support and feedback during any learning process, but particularly mastering a skill. This approach seeks to use a fun activity (standing on 1 leg) to demonstrate the importance of practice and guidance in achieving goals and improving performance. Reflection upon the learning experience seeks to provide lessons for future learning and illustrate how support, guidance and feedback can improve performance and experience.

Activity

This activity invites individuals to undertake the challenge to stand on one leg for the longest time. This challenge should be set by asking individuals to guess publicly how long they will be able to undertake this task.

(In a large group, you can ask everyone to keep their hands up if they feel that they stand on 1 leg for 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 15, etc until there are only a few left and ask them to state their time!)

Then demonstrate the task (or invite the person who had the most confidence in their ability to do it the longest) to undertake the task (*with the option to raise the arms from either side, at full stretch to meet above the head, hands palms-together).

Then invite each individual to think about what they need to improve the time they initially suggested - seek examples of

  • Research
  • Partnering or mentoring
  • Questioning/ scoping
  • Guidance
  • Practice
  • Advice
  • Expertise

that might be sought to help them – and give them time to improve their time through practice before testing the group / individuals in a timed test.

Once these have been identified, invite them to take the support they think they most need (a partner; a mentor; printed guidance) or to undertake research (using smart phones or lap tops) and be prepared to repeat the task in 10 mins. They can use this practice time in any way they consider effective to improving their performance.

Repeat the challenge and explore with the group who, if anyone, improved during the 10 mins practice and what helped their performance. Explore with the wider group what supported them and gave them confidence in the challenge.

Explore the issue of skill development as part of their reflective practice (See QAA5ReflectiveDiary) by outlining how they have improved upon skill development in the past (learning to drive; learning the piano; golf; swimming etc).

Skill Development:

Effective skill development is created through practice, repetition, guidance or mentoring. Exploring with your students how they developed their knowledge and understanding of the task, and what or who helped them will help identify these core themes. Explore how their research, partnering, mentoring, guidance, questioning, advice etc helped them and identify lessons for future skill development.

By broadening out the discussion to include wider examples of skill development (learning musical instruments; learning to drive; learning to swim etc) you can explore the role of effective feedback and also role models and mentors in their development.

Use this simple task to draw out examples from the group and collate the lessons that they can take forward into future learning.

Resources:

Prepared set of support as print outs – questions; advice; guidance (printed out to share or per person should they be required) – or on a slide to showparticular groups or individuals who are interested.

Suggested Questions

 

  1. Should you think you should have your eyes open or closed? Do you want a blindfold?
  2. Is it better to move quickly or slowly?
  3. Should you start quickly to get the task over with or start slow and risk running out of time?
  4. Would working with a partner (or partners) make you feel more secure, or distract you?
  5. Which bit of your body are you concentrating on?
  6. Would music help?
  7. Which leg should you use?
  8. What surface do you want to stand on?
  9. Are those the right shoes for this task?
  10. What will you do with your arms?
  11. Will you do your own timing?
  12. What muscles are you contracting?
  13. Would it help if you were getting feedback about how it looks during the task?
  14. Would you like to receive comment at the end?
  15. What research could you do before you tackle this task?
  16. Have you ever done this before? (where? When? How did it go? What did you learn?)
  17. Would it help to see it performed again?
  18. What are you thinking about whilst you do this?
  19. Do you want a practice run?
  20. Do you want to watch someone else learn to do this?
  21. Do you know about your vestibular system? This is a mechanism in your inner ear that tells you when you start wobbling, and how much and in which direction, and is your main tool in balancing. Becoming more sensitive to it will improve your balance greatly
  22. Are you using your core muscles?
  23. What are you looking at whilst you do this?
  24. Are you in the correct mental state for this timed challenge?
  25. Why is this task important to you? Why are you undertaking it?

 

Guidance: 3 stage approach

INTIAL ACTIONS

 

  1. Ask your partner to hold the watch and stand close by to catch you in case you start to fall.
  2. Decide which foot to lift (left foot if you're right-handed, right foot if you're left-handed)
  3. Place an object approx 1m in front of you on the floor (a candle; book;)

 

PREPARATION

4.Stand barefoot on a flat, hard surface, approx 1m back from your object.

5.Anchor your feet ('plant' your feet on the floor) and stand evenly, spreading your weight evenly across your body, and breath several times slowly to anchor yourself.

6.Before you start, shift your weight very subtly to your chosen foot, without lifting and then settle yourself in this position and breathe deeply again.

7.Think about your foot anchoring down in the soil, and lightly tense your core muscles in your body (core stability) to ensure you are stable.

8.Settle your vision onto an immovable object little way in front of you in the floor.

ACTIVITY:

9.Lift chosen foot about 6 inches off the floor, bending your knee at a 45-degree angle.

10.Breathe slowly throughout, keeping your focus on your immovable point in front of you.

If you feel wobbly, try bending the standing leg very slightly at the knee.

About the Author
This guide was produced by ARP.

Developing Self-Awareness in Teams (QAA 5)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Individual Task

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

5Reflection and Action

Objective:

  • To enhance self-awareness in team work through reflective practice
  • To reflect upon individual behaviour and practice
  • To explore individual approaches to team work
  • To develop approaches to improved future team working

Overview 

This reflective activity is based upon 'open questioning' to encourage students to explore their own behaviour in a group. As this activity focuses upon the individual it can be run effectively in any learning space and with any group size, however there are modifications available if the group has worked together before. 

Activity

Students are asked to work alone to complete the following sentences in relation to yourself when working in teams:

My greatest skill in teams is

A skill in teams which I could handle better is

My quality which team members respond to best is

I respond best to team members who

If there is one thing I do too much of, it is

If there is one thing I could do more of, it is

Team members find my manner predominantly

Students are asked to attempt this task individually (3-5 minutes) making notes for their own use.
Then they are invited to turn to the person next to them and ask them 'How did you get on?'.
This question is worded that way in case anyone does not want to talk about the specifics of what they have put down but still talk about how difficult or otherwise they found the exercise.
After they have discussed for 5 minutes or so, the tutor should ask the whole group the question, 'How did you get on?'
Individuals respond by exploring the difficulties they found in answering this and collectively the group seeks to identify three pre-requisites for developing self-awareness. 
These are:

  1. you have to be curious about yourself: many have never really thought about their behaviour or attitude in teams;
  2. you have to willing and able to seek information (feedback) about yourself from others;
  3. you have be prepared to consider and process all feedback; many are concerned about how they will handle the information (inclined to filter out the 'good' news or the 'bad' news)

Modification: If the group have worked together before you can ask them to undertake this task in pairs. First answering for themselves and secondly answering for their partners.

Then they can discuss/compare perceptions, and hopefully learn about the accuracy of individual self-awareness.
This deepens their skill development as will require effective interpersonal skills.

Modification 2: Completing a list of prescribed incomplete sentences can be a simple but very powerful tool for getting started on the reflective process. You can issue similar open questions after presentations or group work for individuals to reflect on. For example:

  • What I like most about my performance is ..
  • I have most difficulty when I ..
  • The bit I look forward to most is ..
  • If I could change one thing about my approach it would be ..

Here are some incomplete sentences for use by a student or lecturer in reflecting on a teaching /presentation session:

The part of the session that I found most rewarding was ..
The one part I would do differently if I had the chance would be ..
I was at my most uncertain when ..
I was most relaxed when ..
I felt anxious when ..
I was pleased with ..
I felt awkward when ..
One part of what I said that I could have worded differently was ..

Skill Development

Developing effective reflective skills requires practice and repetition. These open questions, together with the opportunity to share and comment, create the space for students to review their approach and consider the future lessons for their practice/behaviour. The technique of 'open questions' supports reflective practice and can be adapted to review many of the individual and group activities that students are challenged to undertake. Collective debriefing on personal reflection is also incredibly useful in helping the students appreciate wider viewpoints or to deepen their own practice. However it may be helpful to share clear ground rules regarding personal disclosure during these discussions to ensure that individuals only share elements of their reflection that they are comfortable with. 

Resources:

None

References:

Mortiboys, A. (2012) Teaching with Emotional Intelligence 2nd edition London: Routledge
Paperback www.alanmortiboys.co.uk

About the Author
This guide was produced by Alan Mortiboys (Higher Education Consultant (Emotional Intelligence)).

Dynamic Review and Reflection (physical) (QAA 5)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Any

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

5Reflection and Action

Objective:

  • To understand the power and necessity for review and reflection of a task or situation (review the session, understand the concept or steps covered in an interactive way).
  • To understand team dynamics and how teams come together to achieve a goal
  • To evidence the power of group work as more ideas are created through team work

Overview:

This is a physically active exercise that can be used at the end of the day or at the end of a session. It is especially useful after a session that involves a lot of technical material or requires heavy concentration as it is also an effective energizer.  This task brings together physical movement and the
opportunity for revision and review.

This can also be highly effective as an approach to reflective learning and providing natural opportunities for students to comment on the deeper or more personal learning they have achieved during a task.

Activity: 

Example 1 – ‘Valuable Lessons Learned’ Ball Toss

  1. The facilitator asks the workshop participants to form a circle
  2. The facilitator starts by saying what they thought was their most valuable lesson or concept they learned that day, and then throw the ball to another participant
  3. The participant states the most valuable or important lesson/concept they learned that day and throws to another participant and so on until all participants have expressed their valuable lessons/concepts learned.

Example 2 – ‘Concept in Action’ Ball Toss

  1. The facilitator asks the workshop participants to form a circle
  2. The facilitator starts by stating a concept that relates to the workshop / exercise, and then throws the ball to another participant. 3. The participant gives an example of that concept in action, and the states another concept and throws to another participant and so on

Example 3 – ‘Process’ Ball Toss 

1.After an exercise has been conducted about the steps in a particular activity, the facilitator asks the workshop participants to form a circle.
2. The facilitator starts by explaining the first step in the process that has been covered in the exercise, and then throws the ball to another participant.
3. The participant explains the next step in the process and then throws to another participants and so on.  Notes: If someone receives the ball but does not have an example read, they can ‘pass’ by passing the ball to a different person and simply repeating the question.  This can declare them as “out” and result in having to withdraw from the circle, or sit down.  However as facilitator, you may not wish to use this for reflective tasks, as deeper reflections may emerge from the comments of others and total non-participation is not helpful to the individual.

Skill Development: 

This task engages the whole body in either remembering or reflecting in a way that is both energising and engaging to the whole group.  The physical element can divert from the task and as facilitators, you can ask “why” or “so what” as the ball is thrown in order to deepen reflection.

If you wish to have more control over the game, you may stand in the middle and throw the ball back to participant who did not provide a sufficiently strong input. The skill development needs to be explored at the end and the emotions that are created in the game (pressure; speed; short-responses etc) acknowledged as drivers, as well as limiters of good communication.

Resources: 

1. A soft ball or ball of wool.

Dynamic Review and Reflection through Questioning (QAA 5)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Large Group

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

5Reflection and Action

Objective:

•To review the session in an interactive way.
•To evidence the power of group work as more ideas are created through team work.
•To understand team dynamics and how teams come together to achieve a goal.
•To understand the power and necessity for review and reflection of a task or situation

Overview: 

This is a dynamic review exercise that can be used at the end of the day or at the end of a session.  By creating a specific activity/challenge to review a programme or session, the importance of review and reflection is made clear to the learners in a fun and dynamic way. By following a TV “game show” format, engagement levels are high and learners have the opportunity to influence and engage with the game throughout, even as audience members.

Activity: 

1. Divide the participants into groups with about the same number of people in each group. Explain that the objective of the game is to be the group that answers the most questions correctly.

2. Explain the rules of the game:

  • Each group has two chances to ‘Ask A Friend’ – ask another member of their group if they know the answer to the question. 
  • Each group also has two chances to ‘Ask the Audience’ – ask all the participants to stand up and walk to the corner of the room with the letter corresponding to the answer they think is correct.

3. Ask the first group to send a representative to the ‘hot seat’. The facilitator asks a question giving four multiple choice answers (A B C D)

  • If the ‘contestant’ answers the question correctly they return to their group and another member of the same group comes to the front 
  • If the ‘contestant’ does not answer the question correctly they return to the group and the facilitator calls for a representative from another group to sit in the ‘hot seat’ 
  • If the ‘contestant’ is not sure of the answer they can choose to use one of their group’s opportunities to either ‘Ask The Audience’ or ‘Ask A Friend’. Remember: each group is only allowed to use the ‘Ask The Audience’ or ‘Ask A Friend’ twice

4.The facilitator adds up the number of correct answers for each group and announces the winner at the end of the exercise.

Notes: For each group ask a couple of easy questions first then ask progressively more difficult questions.

Skill Development: 

This activity is knowledge based and focuses upon learners reviewing and reflecting their work.  However it also engages them in team working, communication, problem solving and decision making.  Working with speed, precision and efficiency, they are required to feedback to each other when working as a team, drawing upon their skills of analysis and reflection.

It is helpful to review the process as well the learning gained throughout the task.

Resources: 

Prepare multiple choice questions with A B C or D answers based on the workshop material (about 3 -5 questions per group)

1.Place a paper sign designing A B C or D in the four corners of the space
2.Prepare two seats at the front of the space:
3.One for the facilitator (game show host)
4.One for the participant (game show contestant) – the ‘hot seat’

References:

Permaculture Facilitator’s Resource Book for Training and Assessment

http://library.uniteddiversity.coop/Permaculture/Permaculture_Facilitators_Resource_Book-Training_Assessment.pdf


 

Engaging Alumni for Real World Learning (QAA 2, 3, 4, 5)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Large Group

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

2Opportunity recognition‚ creation and evaluation 3Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement 4Implementation of ideas through leadership and management 5Reflection and Action

Objective:

Effective engagement of Alumni seeks to support the students to become:

  • be flexible and adaptable, seeing alternative perspectives and offering a choice of solutions
  • review and evaluate multiple solutions in contexts that anticipate and accommodate change and contain elements of ambiguity, uncertainty and risk.

Overview:

With the pre-arranged (and prolonged) support of alumni (now professionals) this approach of continued access to external professionals (ideally programme/course Alumni) is designed to prepare students to be able to engage with real clients and better enable them to respond proactively to change.

Externals are invited to engage with the current student group as they undertake a task, using social media (facebook; twitter etc) an/or Skype. This creates either incremental weekly instruction that builds into an overall assignment or regular support or feedback on course work from externals.

Activity

This approach needs pre-agreement and commitment of externals (ideally Programme/course Alumni) who commit to short, but regular interaction through social media or Skype.

This activity can either be driven by a live brief or challenge identified by the external (higher level of engagement) or as comment and support to those undertaking the programme, through sharing expertise and current work experiences. If the students are working on a live brief or task given by the external, this high level of interactivity can mean that summative deadlines can changedand information updated, and the newsworthy or other high profile influences can be included throughout the module. (The assignment usually mirrors an actual assignment undertaken professionally by an Alumni professional).

This engagement can be “managed” by the tutor – to pre-plan some ambiguity or pre-agreed change of brief/scope with the Alumni contact, or left open to allow access to externals as an organic relationship, where advice may be sought by the students or experience/daily practice shared by the Professional as they see fit.

In addition, any presentation /show case or final assignment submission can be shared with the external and their input made part of the summative or formative feedback (assessment strategy).

Note that the choice of social media will impact on the type of engagement between alumni and students, but ideally something that the Alumni member uses regularly will ensure more regular engagement. Even small inputs (as typically seen in social media such as Twitter) can guide student approach and ensure that they are able to ask private questions, and that other students can also learn from the mentor/alumni generic comments or insights.

Skill Development:

Depending upon the level and type of engagement, students can benefit from insights from a ‘typical day/week’ of a professional working in their area, or be pushed to develop their tolerance to ambiguity (through changing deadlines, or unexpected changes to the brief or additional information). This can build resilience in the students but there needs to be clear expectations of this relationship, as well as additional tutor support.

Students typically respond well to changes and additional insights from professional Alumni and can develop their understanding and judgement, in their chosen field, whilst gaining further insight regarding professional practice.

Students should be bought together to share their experience of virtually engaging with their Alumni contact and explore their emotional responses to the changing briefs or additional information. They need to explore, and develop strategies, for coping with ‘real world’ brief/challenges and exploringthis together, and sharing how they dealt with it, and could deal with it in the future, builds their confidence and resilience to change. Using reflective practice to consider the learning across the group can draw out a range of key lessons for preparing for future challenges.

Resources:

Access to, and ongoing (committed) virtual engagement by appropriate alumni – determine brief/project or to commit to regular updating/comment for a pre-agreed period of time.

References:

Penaluna, A., Penaluna, K and Diego, I. (2014) The role of education in enterprising creativity. In Sternberg R and Krauss, G. (2014) Handbook of Research on Entrepreneurship and Creativity. Cheltenham / Massachusetts: Edward Elgar).

Scott, J., Penaluna, A., Thompson, J & Brooksbank, D. Experiential entrepreneurship education: Effectiveness and learning outcomes. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research (Forthcoming)

Jones, C., Penaluna, A., Matlay, H., Penaluna, K. Discovering the Soul of Enterprise Education. Education +Training, Emerald Publishing (Forthcoming)

Penaluna, K., Penaluna, A., Jones, C. and Matlay, H. (2014) ‘When did you last predict a good idea?: Exploring the case of assessing creativity through learning outcomes’, Industry and Higher Education, Vol.8, No.6, December 2014: 399 - 410

Penaluna, A., Coates J. and Penaluna K., (2011) Creativity-Based Assessment and Neural Understandings: A Discussion and Case Study Analysis. Education + Training, Emerald Publishing, Volume 52, Issue 8/9, pp. 660 - 678

About the Author
This guide was produced by Professor Andy Penaluna, University of Wales, Trinity St David.

Engaging Alumni to develop Implementation of Ideas and judgement (QAA 2,3,4)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Large Group

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Special

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

2Opportunity recognition‚ creation and evaluation 3Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement 4Implementation of ideas through leadership and management

Objective:

Students should be able to:

  • identify, analyse and respond to relevant opportunities
  • develop and produce multiple solutions to identified problems, shortfalls and similar challenges
  • be flexible and adaptable, seeing alternative perspectives and offering a choice of solutions
  • review and evaluate multiple solutions in contexts that anticipate and accommodate change and contain elements of ambiguity, uncertainty and risk.

Overview:

With the support of alumni who engage through social media (facebook; twitter etc) an/or Skype, students are given incremental weekly instruction that builds into an overall assignment. This interactivity means that deadlines can changed and information updated, often in response to newsworthy or other high profile influences and the students need to adapt throughout the module. (The assignment usually mirrors an actual assignment undertaken professionally by an Alumni professional). The project is designed to precede later work where the students will engage with real clients, so as to better enable them to respond proactively to change.

Activity

This activity is undertaken in semester 1 of a second year course of study (15 weeks – 2.5 hour sessions with anticipated 2.5 hours private study per week) and runs across all Visual Communication and Design courses. Each course's relevance is ensured as the framework can be adapted to specific study areas and alumni inform the actual project – so as to ensure relevance and to maintain student motivation (See: Continuous Conceptual Review Model). The sample offered here is for two cohorts (approximately 50 students) from the film and media production courses and from the Advertising and Brand Management course – who will subsequently engage in an interdisciplinary module.

The following provides an outline of the activity as delivered to these disciplines, and was first introduced in 1995 following alumni feedback on the value of their educational experiences. Other disciplines use their own alumni and realistic contexts.

Week 1

Students expect the lecturer to lead the class, but an unannounced stranger is brought in (alumni - in person or via skype) who asks the group about their career aspirations and challenges their understanding of the world of work. He or she explains their busy lifestyle and asks them to quickly help him or her with a problem they have – how to visualise a brand for a new academy of creativity, but explain that they have to go and leave them to it. Normally 90-95 per cent of responses include a light bulb.

Week 2

Student's have been discussing the individual and although not told, want to question the alumni about their work (curiosity based learning). The alumni,still in a rush, starts to explain that the headmaster for this new school will be Sir Humphrey Davy... then the connection is lost. Quick internet searches reveal that this is a historical project, as Sir Humphry Davy lived in 1778 – 1829 and that his work preceded the invention of the light bulb. Past work is discarded (with occasional moans and groans) and new research starts into historical images that represented creativity - prior to the invention of the light bulb. New / alternative ideas start to emerge.

Towards the end of the session the alumni reconnects / re-enters the room and takes questions about their work as a freelance storyboard writer for major TV companies. Scripts are discussed and student interest gained – a promise to see a script is made by the alumni.

Week 3

An outline of a TV script is presented to students by the alumni. They or another alumni start to explain how camera angles and specialist instructions such as close ups or super close ups need to be incorporated in the storyboards. Examples from well know TV programmes or Films are shown when possible. With support from the alumni, students attempt to develop a storyboard through acting out the script and noting important aspects such as emotional engagement. Identification of the brand is central to the story line.

Week 4

The alumni explains that he or she has just met the producer, who is happy for them to see other scripts for later episodes. Episode two has the main character Davy waking up in the future and looking at a barren landscape, one which is littered with light bulbs - which is now a thing of the past. The alumni explains that their brand has to survive the passage of time and that it has to be recognisable in the year 2020. Research into potential future understanding of creativity commences and students envisage / storyboard a potential future scenario based on the script.

Week 5

The alumni / staff set up an opportunity for the students to pitch their ideas to the alumni. They have an hour to prepare a presentation and are requested to discuss and argue a minimum of three ideas. This was unexpected. After 20 -25 minutes the alumni asks them to limit their presentation to one or two minutes, so that he / she can hear them all. Students are asked at random to present. Time may run out and alumni ask students to make a pdf version to email (via staff).

Week 6

The alumni explains the future direction of the time travelling Davy, and introduces the idea that he may meet aliens in his travels. Some students have already discovered Davy claimed this through their research. The task now is to create a pitch as to why aliens would find the brand design that they are developing to be credible.

Weeks 7–9

Students develop their storyboards and at least 3 brand ideas in the sessions. More in depth research is undertaken and initial concepts re-evaluated anditeratively developed. Arguments for the solutions are mapped and explained as reflective mind maps – so as to illustrate the thinking journey.

Week 10

With 2 or more alumni present or available via Skype, students are asked to consider how this kind of work could be best assessed and who should assess it? Using a pro forma, students suggest how their could be meaningfully evaluated. Through discussion, research, and assisted by appropriate lines of questioning by the educator and alumni, the idea of flexibility, adaptability and the requirement for multiple solutions emerge. Students come to realisethat their response to change is a key factor and that when faced with incomplete data (QAA, 23 states "students can be required to work with incomplete information or information that is incrementally offered after a review of their initial findings"). As multiple and responsive outcomes are the most important aspect, the theory of divergent production is introduced, i.e. more solution developing capabilities, many alternative solutions that respond to change, plus the value of distinctiveness of ideas (similar solutions being less creative than distinctly different ones).

Week 11–13

Students develop their ideas further, in the knowledge that the alumni will be commenting and advising the educator, and that they will be assessed on the distinctiveness of a range of ideas that relate to the assignment given to them by the alumni. These will be evidenced by charts that illustrate the critical elements of their research and how the research informed their solutions. In simple terms, the more divergent the thinking the more complex the charts, hence students can easily recognize the range of solution development that has taken place in a clear and transparent manner.

Week 14–15

Pitches take place and the alumni adds their thoughts and comments. Assessment is based on the range of alternative ideas, the divergence of alternative ideas and their ability to be used flexibly in the scenarios described in the scripts supplied by the alumni.

Note: later, in the next semester's module, the process continues and approximately 5 weeks into the projects each class will be provided with a theory session on brain functionality and how these kinds of activities enhance 'aha' moments of creative discovery (See: Penaluna, A., Penaluna, K and Diego, I. (2014) The role of education in enterprising creativity. In Sternberg R and Krauss, G. (2014) Handbook of Research on Entrepreneurship and Creativity. Cheltenham / Massachusetts: Edward Elgar). Thus practice informs personal theory development and theory follows practice, "reflective practice enables students to 'join the dots' of past experiences and perceptions" (QAA, 14).

Skill Development:

The assignment is constructively aligned (Biggs, 2003) as it enables students to demonstrate their skills and responses in meaningful and relevant (to their studies) scenarios that engage true to life experiences of alumni – who are partners in the process / most of whom have now experienced it for themselves in their own education and are familiar with the concepts.

Of interest is that the assessment strategy is often new conceptually and structurally, but through debate and discussion (week 10) the students feel engaged and very aware of the goals – which are not as they first perceived.

The assignment also leads into later QAA areas, for example they learn to "robustly justify their decision making processes" (QAA, 17) and includes "pitches to peers and expert advisors" (QAA, 23) that involves "feedback from different viewpoints" (QAA, 26).

Moreover, aspects of decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement (QAA, 19) can be evidenced in this and later assignments based on the same approach. Specifically, the assignment discussed here adopts the following QAA (19) guidance on delivery approaches:

  • recognise or create multiple opportunities through actively making connections
  • make connections as a result of problem solving, evaluating and assessing ideas, and iterative development strategies involving critique and enactment
  • develop relevant subject expertise, as well as awareness of contemporary issues, both of which should feature strongly in any strategies for recognising opportunity

Resources:

Open plan and flexible working environments suited to enactments and pitching – ideally simulated professional design studio with access to online resources

Access to, and ongoing (committed) virtual engagement by appropriate alumni – determine brief/project

Pens and software utilised in storyboard development and brand evolution.

References:

Penaluna, A., Penaluna, K and Diego, I. (2014) The role of education in enterprising creativity. In Sternberg R and Krauss, G. (2014) Handbook of Research on Entrepreneurship and Creativity. Cheltenham / Massachusetts: Edward Elgar).

Scott, J., Penaluna, A., Thompson, J & Brooksbank, D. Experiential entrepreneurship education: Effectiveness and learning outcomes. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research (Forthcoming)

Jones, C., Penaluna, A., Matlay, H., Penaluna, K. Discovering the Soul of Enterprise Education. Education +Training, Emerald Publishing (Forthcoming)

Penaluna, K., Penaluna, A., Jones, C. and Matlay, H. (2014) 'When did you last predict a good idea?: Exploring the case of assessing creativity through learning outcomes', Industry and Higher Education, Vol.8, No.6, December 2014: 399 - 410

Penaluna, A., Coates J. and Penaluna K., (2011) Creativity-Based Assessment and Neural Understandings: A Discussion and Case Study Analysis. Education + Training, Emerald Publishing, Volume 52, Issue 8/9, pp. 660 - 678

About the Author
This guide was produced by Professor Andy Penaluna, University of Wales, Trinity St David .

Enhancing Reflective Practice through Key Ideas (QAA 5)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Individual Task

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

5Reflection and Action

Objective:

  • To engage students in reflective practice
  • To capture immediate subject learning or review for revision

Overview:

(small paragraph/ 2 -3 sentence)

The focus of this task can be directed to subject knowledge (as revision) or as a way of seeking reflection on a particular learning experience or task.

This activity is very immediate and works well in large lecture theatres.

Activity:

Potentially long – if including timings; approach; extensions; assessment; options for delivery

You can use this technique to summarise reports, reading, or learning – or as a reflective tool at the end of an experience or task. If you are using it as a summary tool then after reading policy/research (prior to class) ask the students to pause and reflect about the information they have been working with.

Ask them to write TWO WORDS that stand out as key ideas. The words do not have to be related to each other.

These can be shared across the group at this stage, or ask them to write them down.

Have students use the Think-Ink-Pair-Share technique to discuss their choices.

Think: Why did you select these two words from the article?

Ink: Write your reasons for your choices.

Pair: Find a partner.

Share: Share the two words you selected

Share the reasons for your "Stand Out Words."

You can display these words by using some thematic headings on flipchart and ask them to put their words onto post-its and onto the diagram. You can, as tutor, prepare a venn diagram around key concepts or a grid/axis for them to work within in advance or you can take open comments and group them yourself in a group to share the thematic analysis of the words selected.

It is also possible to show case the words selected by creating your own Word Cloud – using a site such as Wordle http://www.wordle.net/ This will allow you to draw together a visual summary of the words selected, and use any repeat word choice to your advantage. This site will display all the words as the same size, but then increase the size to reflect the numbers of times that a word was used. So you will be able to create a visual word cloud, which has relative meaning/value of the words chosen.

Skill Development:

This task requires students to reflect and review, either on their learning or upon their learning journey. Ideally, as a tutor, you will receive the comments openly, but be prepared to do "another round" if you feel that the comments are not deep enough or that they have more to offer. This task can also review the rationale (the "why" they chose those stand-out words) and explore their emotional response to the subject/ learning.

Resources:

Whilst this is simple to use, it is best to "play around" with the fonts and formats in advance – and ensure that you are able to save or capture the wordle you create. Have a play with it by dropping in your own words, repeating some, and using the formatting to connect words that you don't want split up. You can even insert web page text (URL) to see the effect it has. Ensure you are clear how to save the wordles if you want to use them again.

References:

http://www.wordle.net/

http://www.learner.org/jnorth/tm/InstrucStrat36.html

About the Author
This guide was produced by ARP.

Enhancing Reflective Practice: Think Pair Share (QAA 5)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Any

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

5Reflection and Action

Objective:

  • Build deeper reflection by working with others
  • Explore and understand process and experience through reflection
  • Develop reflective practice within learning

Overview:

This simple and effective reflective technique works in all teaching spaces and across all group sizes. This requires some individual time, some time working in pairs and then working wider across the group. It is a collaborative process that deepens individual reflection and shares collective thinking effectively with a group of any size.

Activity:

This activity is a cooperative learning technique that encourages individual reflection that builds through three distinct steps:

Think: Students think independently about the question that has been posed, forming ideas of their own or reflecting up their own learning experience or journey. This stage should not be rushed as it is key that individuals take time to think on their own, making notes or reflecting personally.

Pair: Students are grouped in pairs to discuss their thoughts. This step allows students to articulate their ideas and to consider those of others.

Share: Student pairs share their ideas with the full group and the tutor supports or facilitates a group discussion on the consensus of ideas.

This technique works well for reflection but also any open-ended questions or problems that require discussion. Other amends are to "Write- pair-share" which ensures that the individual element of the task is not rushed, or to avoid the third stage of "share" across the whole group.

Skill Development:

You can enhance the presentation skills within this task by asking each person to stand and respond individually, moving round the group – or to create a powerpoint slide to share their individual or joint thinking from the process. However the immediacy of this process, requiring no resources and yet engaging all the learners in reflective practice is very attractive to use in class, with large groups.

References:

http://www.cultofpedagogy.com/think-pair-share/

http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/coach_gs_teaching_tips/2014/12/a_think-pair-share_on_think-pair-share_1.html?intc=es&intc=mes

http://www.learner.org/jnorth/tm/InstrucStrat36.html

http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/coach_gs_teaching_tips/

About the Author
This guide was produced by ARP.

Exploring Decision Making through Subject Review (QAA 3,5,6)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Any

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

3Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement 5Reflection and Action 6Interpersonal Skills

Objective:

  • To test or review key learning through an interactive game

Overview:

The activity can is best used as an ice breaker or as a revision technique as it is a fun method to start participants communicating and testing their subject knowledge and improving their subject judgement and decision making.

Activity:

  1. Give each individual 4 post-its or cards
  2. Give everyone 10 minutes to research or review their recent learning (or set this as a task the week before, in advance of this class) to determine 4 “facts” or knowledge that they will be using to test their fellow students with.
  3. After the research/review period, ask everyone to write 2 true facts, a lie (incorrect fact) and a point that is in debate in your field on each card.You can invite the students to be challenging in their statements, so that the fact may be basically correct, but there is a lie (incorrect element) which needs to be detected.
  4. Divide everyone into pairs or into 4s
  5. Each grouping need to identify their “truths” “lie” and which point is not yet confirmed/agreed upon within your subject area.

Once completed, the students need to produce their source material (reference; source; photo of quote etc) and their sources will be subject to comment by their partner.

If you want to create the review questions yourself to ensure that they are challenging and subtle enough to require analysis and critical judgement, you can issue the cards to the teams and circulate the cards amongst the groups.

Skill Development:

This quick challenge tests subject knowledge and can be challenging if the students create subtle statements. It can build their knowledge and
judgement if the “maybe” or “lie” require critical analysis and judgement, and (especially if you provide a longer research/review period) you can encourage the students to challenge each other. However there will be times when they need to make a decision with insufficient knowledge. Review of this activity ought to be undertaken to explore the subject material and also the pressure/time constraints of meeting the requirements of the game. Emotions are worth noting and pressure to create or answer the questions need to be recognised.

Resources:

  • Post-its or cards (or paper)
  • Pens

References:

n/a

About the Author
This guide was produced by EntEv.

Gather learners’ expectations and needs (using post-its) (QAA 1, 2)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Large Group

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Lecture Theatre

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

1Creativity and Innovation 2Opportunity recognition‚ creation and evaluation

Objectives:


• To allow learners to contribute to the agenda for large-group teaching sessions;
• To allow teachers to find out ‘where a group of learners is at’ at the start of a large-group session
• To gather details of ‘learning incomes’ for a group – what the learners can already do, what they already know, and what their potential problems may be.


Overview

This is a plenary activity using post-its in a large-group setting, for example in a lecture theatre, at the start of a lecture, or at the start of a series of lectures. Each learner is given a post-it, and asked to respond privately to a given starter-question. Learners are then asked to swap post-its, and a few volunteers are invited to read out what’s on the post-it they now have (in the comfort of relative anonymity). Then learners are asked to stick up all the post-its on one or more flipcharts, to serve as an exhibit for the rest of the lecture, and to be taken away by the teacher/lecturer at the end of the session for further exploration.


Activity


1. Show a slide indicating very broadly what the session is going to be about, or give a very short oral introduction to the session.
2. Issue post-its, one to everyone (rectangular ones are best for this)
3. Picking a main topic from what’s going to be addressed in the session, indicate the starter statement on a slide ‘Xxxx would be much better for me if only I ….’ and ask everyone to jot down, in good handwriting, quick completions of this starter on their post-its.
4. Ask everyone to swap post-its, till they’ve lost track who may have their own.
5. Find a volunteer to read out, loudly, whatever’s on the post-it they now have. Explain that there’s no risk, as if the post-it is ‘silly’ it’s not the fault of the person who now has it.
6. Ask the volunteer to pick any other learner (e.g. by what colour they’re wearing or any other way), and get them to read out what’s on their post-it.
7. Repeat till between 6 and 10 post-its have been read out.
8. Ask for the post-its all to be stuck onto a flipchart (or two) at the front of the room, e.g. ‘folk at the end of rows please bring them and stick them up’.
9. Look briefly at the exhibit, picking out trends, praising a couple of really good ‘if only’s, and reading out any amusing ones.
10. From time to time during the session, address things that were listed on the ‘if only’ post-its.
11. Peel off all the post-its and take them with you at the end of the session, and if you have time sort out what the most frequently occurring ones are, and start of your next session with the class by addressing one or two of these directly. From the whole collection, gain an idea of how much (or little) the group seems to already know about the topic (the ‘learning incomes’ – what they’re bringing to the topic).

Skill Development

This exercise helps teacher and students develop the following skills:
• Teacher: skill at finding out ‘where a group is at’ regarding a new topic, or an (important) subtopic.
• Teacher: a way of starting a lecture where it matters little if a few stragglers are still arriving during the activity.
• Teacher: a resource to re-visit before running a new session on the same topic with another group in future.
• Learners: the feeling that their views, fears, and ideas are being collected and addressed by the teacher.
• Learners: a quick, anonymous, safe way of admitting things they think will be difficult or challenging.
• Learners: the opportunity to think quickly around a new topic, and pick something they would like to get out of it being covered in the session.


Resources

• One or more pads of post-its.
• Something on which post-its can be stuck by learners towards the end of the activity; a flipchart is ideal, but doors, windows, whiteboards and walls can be used as necessary, testing them first to ensure post-its will actually stick to them.
• A few pens or pencils to give away to those learners who haven’t one with them. 


References:


Race, P. (2014) ‘Making Learning Happen: 3rd edition’, London: Sage.
https://iad4learnteach.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/making-learning-happen-the-power-of-the-post-it-note/
Race, P. (2015) ‘The Lecturer’s Toolkit; 4th edition’, Abingdon: Routledge.
http://phil-race.co.uk

 

About the Author
This guide was produced by Professor Phil Race.

How Can You Create Value from Freely Available Resources? (QAA 1,2,3,5,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Carousel Tables (small working group)

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

1Creativity and Innovation 2Opportunity recognition‚ creation and evaluation 3Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement 5Reflection and Action 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

  • The learner will be able to explore an idea or concept as openly as possible to gather a wide range of solutions
  • To evidence the power of group work as more ideas are created through team work
  • To explore the potential of networks and social connections

Overview

This group task challenges the teams to generate ideas within constraints. This task engages students by allowing them to draw upon their knowledge, connections, hobbies, subject experience, social networks etc. The open brief allows them to be creative but the constraints of time and “no spend” heighten their creativity.

Activity

There is an abundant supply of free-to-use resources which are not readily considered by those addressing a task. This challenge asks “How can you use one or more of these to provide an innovative product, service or experience which creates value for its users?” and seeks to engage the learners to consider the multiple forms of value creation - financial, economic, social, cultural, environmental, aesthetic.

Process – By placing your students into small working groups, suggest the following challenges to them:

  1. BRAINSTORM: Identify by listing or brainstorming all the ‘freely available resources’ you can think of. These must be resources you can use for free, without being challenged or acting illegally or irresponsibly. They may include physical, virtual, human, financial and knowledge resources, for example. (Note: you are asking them to draw together resources that will not ‘cost’ so whilst it is recognised that their time ought to be valued and compensated, for the purposes of this task, we are seeking access to resources that they can reach for free at this moment).
  2. COMBINATION: Using this “brain stormed” list, ask the group to combine selected resources to provide products, services or experiences which create new value? Aim to identify at least 3 innovative combinations.
  3. EVALUATION: ask the groups to select the best option. Who will the innovation be of value to? Whose problem does it solve?
  4. REFLECTION and REVIEW: What forms of value are you creating from the list above.
  5. REFLECTION: How can you ‘make it happen’ to implement the innovation?
  6. COMMUNICATE: Communicate your idea as effectively you can, using available resources, to the group, outlining the need they are addressing.

Depending upon time and the skills that you wish to develop, you can run this task within 1 session or extend the communication and reflection stages to create a half day task or a task that runs over 2 weeks. This allows the groups to access their resources and showcase their ideas in the presentation the following week.

Skill Development:

Within the group work, a range of skills are developed and as the tutor, you can place the emphasis on different areas, depending upon the time you have available. The core skills being developed are around idea generation and evaluation, however it is possible to extend this task to include deeper reflection and communication skills where the groups are required to analyse the challenge and their response to it, as well as present their idea. This reflection can either form part of the presentation brief so that the teams are both presenting their ideas and exploring their experience of the challenge, or you can draw the group together after the presentation-showcase to reflect collectively on:

  • How the groups worked?
  • What frustrations were caused by the constraints and open brief – and how were they handled?
  • How did you address the stages of the challenge?
  • How did the stages of the brain-storming/problem solving process help you meet the challenge?
  • How would you address such a challenge in the future?
  • Which group was most creative in their solution? Why is that your view? How do you assess creativity? 

And you can finally explore issues of cost with the group by recognising that some of these resources could be accessed once for free, but not repeatedly. Ask them to consider how they could achieve the same output/outcome regularly and attempt to cost this.

Resources:

(if available – flip chart or post its for brain storming; pens etc)
Resources to assist with presentation – access to powerpoint; flip charts etc

References:

http://www.palgrave.com/page/detail/opportunity-centred-entrepreneurship-david-rae/?sf1=barcode&st1=9781137474100
Rae, D (2015) “Opportunity-Centred Entrepreneurship” Palgrave

About the Author
This guide was produced by David Rae.

Idea Generation & Creative Problem Solving (QAA 1,2)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Carousel Tables (small working group)

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

1Creativity and Innovation 2Opportunity recognition‚ creation and evaluation

Objectives:

  • The learners will be able to explore the relationship between creativity, ideas generation and problem solving
  • They will individually and in groups explore the characteristics of creative persons and creative occupations and they will discuss what stops us being creative
  • The group exercise will evidence the effects of 'Unleashing the Power of Routine Activity' as more ideas are created when the brain is occupied by activities that are enacted automatically, without even thinking about them.

Overview:

This activity focuses on how the audience perceive creativity as individuals and establishes a qualitative estimate on how creative each individual in the groups feels they are.

It proceeds with individuals choosing and listing their top 5 creative persons and top 5 creative professions. The names and professions put forward are collated and then act as a focal point for discussing any common traits for creativity that emerge. These traits should be identified as broadly as possible and the links made that everyone will have some of these traits, supporting the proposition that we all are creative in different ways and this brings into focus what stops people from being creative.

The class is then split into groups of 4-6 and goes through an exercise that connects idea generation and creativity.

Finally, the session is brought to its conclusion through comparing the traditional problem solving and creative problem solving approaches.

Activity:

  • Ideally this session becomes more exciting and interactive if there is the possibility of interactivity (wifi enabled) between the audience and the person delivering the session, although good old paper and pencil will do the job.
  • The activity can be tailored to a 50 minute or a double session, depending on what needs to be achieved, i.e. ideas generation and creativity only (50 minutes) or Idea generation and Creative Problem Solving (double session).
  • The session opens with the question of 'What does creativity means to the audience'; they are being asked to write what they associate with creativity (5 minutes). This should bring into focus their perceptions of creativity.
  • The audience are then asked to rate themselves on how creative they feel (from a scale of 1 [not creative at all] to 7 [extremely creative]). This can be done by using electronic interactive devices (if available). Typically, the class falls within a normal distribution curve and as this exercise has been done over the years it is good feedback to show them typical curves from past student groups that demonstrate this (3-4 minutes)
  • The audience are asked to individually write down (on post-it notes) 2 lists: a) 5 creative persons & b) 5 creative professions (5 minutes). Once the lists are compiled they are brought together on the board or a flip chart and a discussion can follow on what are the common traits of creative people and professions as they are perceived by the group. Points of interest are that few individuals such as Da Vinci, Steve Jobs, Mozart, Beethoven, etc. are quite commonly found on their lists and typically there are no women. In addition, on the professions, depending on the audience, engineers usually do not appear as a creative profession, once again typical professions being, artists, musicians, actors, etc. All this points can be used for discussion (5 minutes).
  • A short presentation follows on how we learn, mind-sets and how they can be very useful in routine activities but how they can negatively influence creativity. (10 minutes).
  • This is followed by a slide describing barriers to creative problem solving in the form of a list and a short discussion as to their effects on creativity (10 minutes).
  • What follows is a slide with the 4 (or 5) stages of the creative process and once again a discussion around it. (5 minutes).
  • Three examples of historical figures of creative, innovative and enterprising persons are shown and briefly discussed, bringing into focus that creativity is in everyone but innovation and enterprise although dependent on the creative spark, form usually the later part of the innovation process; bringing into focus the relationship between creativity and innovation (5 minutes).
  • A slide with a 'Creativity toolbox' showing various techniques that promote creativity, e.g. Brainstorming, Free association, Day-dreaming, Lateral Thinking, Metaphorical Thinking, Free-writing, Drawing & doodling, Synthesis, Crazy questions?, Sabotage thinking, Mind maps, Wear different hats, Role playing, etc. is used to provide the audience with a source of tools they could use in their problem solving exercises (10 minutes)
  • Final slide is a conclusion that 'creativity is an attitude' based on openness to experience, flexibility, and receptiveness to changes in conditions and situations. Creativity, is not looking to others for approval, it is the ability to play with concepts and elements, to see relationships between seemingly unrelated elements and concepts, ability to combine them in new ways. (2 minutes)


What follows next is a group exercise.

The audience is split in groups of 4-5 members and are either given a common object, say a brick, and are asked in their groups to find and list in 2 minutes as many uses for it as possible.

The alternative is that each group are given their own object, such as a paper clip, or a coffee cup, or a wire coat hanger, etc. and once again are asked to find as many uses for their object as possible in 2 minutes. (The common object is preferable as it gives a direct comparison between the workings of the groups).

Once this part of the exercise is completed, the groups are now given different tasks to do. 

These tasks have been designed to be under three categories: demanding; non-demanding-routine-repetitive; and one that requires no thinking at all. 

You can engage the students with Legos or packs of playing cards.

  • One group is asked to build a house with Legos or with playing cards
  • Another group is asked to separate the Legos into piles of different colours
  • One group is asked to sit and think of nothing; sleep if they prefer

If more than three groups choose what the other groups should be occupying themselves with, i.e. demanding; non-demanding-routine-repetitive; and one that requires no thinking at all tasks.

Typically there are moans and groans from the groups that are given the menial task and those that will be doing nothing as opposed to the groups that they get to build something and the facilitator has to explain, without giving too much away, that there is a reason behind this process that should come apparent after completing the exercise.

  • Give the groups 3-4 minutes to complete their give tasks (more than that it will start feeling too long for those that do nothing).
  • Have a timer available to make sure groups are under time constraints and once time is over, stop the exercise.
  • No need to admire what the group constructing something have come up with.

The groups are now asked to spend the next 2 minutes adding to their original lists of things to be done with their originally given objects.

After the 2 minutes are up collate the results of 'how many different ways of using their particular object' each group has come up with and most probably the results will show that the group that had the 'non-demanding-routine-repetitive' task will have come up with most ideas. 

The group is then shown a short clip from the BBC Horizon programme: How insight works and are introduced to the summary of the scientific findings of how the brain reacts to being occupied by different tasks, demanding the use of different parts of our brains and how these influence the onset of 'insight'; directly related to creativity. (10-15 minutes)

To close the session few more slides follow on traditional problem solving as opposed to creative problem solving, the use of divergent/convergent approach especially to engineering problem solving and a list of how to 'Get unstuck' in problem solving. (10 minutes)

If electronic devices are available, the facilitator can once again ask the audience to assess themselves as to how creative they feel on the scale 1-7 (as done at the start of the session); the results will show that although the spread of the answers are still close to a normal distribution, there is typically a shift towards the more creative side of the graph, purely because they understand more about creativity and they feel themselves capable of being more creative.

Skill Development:

Through this interactive session the students derive a number of benefits:

  • The session is designed to promote creativity as an attitude; it helps the audience to discover how creative they are and give them ownership of the process to make themselves more creative by removing the barriers to their creativity.
  • The session provides a hands on demonstration of the relationship of brain activity and insight; the start of the creative process
  • At the end of the session the students should be able to choose and employ appropriate creative techniques to enhance their problem solving capabilities.

Resources:

  • Post-its or similar sticky pads
  • Pens 
  • Electronic Voting Devices or any sort of interactive voting system
    Option 1: a brick and Lego
    Option 2: A number of simple everyday items (one per group), e.g. a paper cup; a coat hunger; an A4 sheet, etc. and Lego

References:

Key authors in this area include T M Amabile (1989; 2008) ; Tony Buzan (1998) Mind maps; Edward De Bono 1985 (Thinking Hats) 2008 (Frames for thinking about Information); H Gardner (1983; 2013)

Books: Managing Innovation, design and Creativity, Bettina Von Stamm, 2nd Edition, John Wiley & Sons, 2008

BBC Horizon: How insight works

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1gn21d_bbc-documentary-horizon-the-creative-brain-how-insight-works_lifestyle

About the Author
This guide was produced by Dr. Plato Kapranos, Senior University Teacher, University of Sheffield, Department of Materials Science & Engineering .

Idea Generation Workshop (QAA 12567)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Carousel Tables (small working group)

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

1Creativity and Innovation 2Opportunity recognition‚ creation and evaluation 5Reflection and Action 6Interpersonal Skills 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

  • To evidence the power of group work as more ideas are created through team work
  • The learner will be exposed to several future scenarios and develop and explore solutions to everyday world issues
  • Think speculatively, employing both convergent and divergent approaches to arrive at appropriate solutions
  • Identify, analyse and respond to relevant opportunities

 

Overview:

In this exercise,we use brainstorming and idea generation techniques such as

  • Blue sky thinking and creative problem-solving approaches
  • ‘Napkin sketching’ where you explain and defend your ideas and approaches
  • The Merlin Trick where you stress test your ideas by shrinking, enlarging, or adapting them

To be successful, students must be prepared to work like an entrepreneur. This means:

  • sharing underdeveloped thoughts and insights
  • offering and receiving uninhibited feedback from peers and mentors
  • a ‘letting go’ of ideas
  • collaborative gathering of alternative ideas
  • the identification of ideas to take forward and develop through the rest of the programme


Activity:

  • Students are introduced to the concept of effectuation and how this is a way of thinking that serves entrepreneurs in the processes of opportunity identification and new venture creation.  They are introduced to the concept of horizon scanning and exploring what the future might look like to understand uncertainties better.
  • The students are presented with a minimum of 3 future scenarios, the resultant and potential problem and the challenge this presents to the innovators.
  • Every student chooses one scenario and develops a basic, draft solution. This is then sketched onto one side of a folded paper napkin.
  • All napkins are stuck to a wall/window/board.
  • Each participant then votes for their 2 favourite solutions by placing a sticky dot on each.
  • The top 3 (this can change accordingly) are selected to be taken forward for the group work.
  • The participants are divided into groups of minimum 3 and maximum 5.
  • Each group is given a solution as sketched on the napkin and one person takes ownership. This person will stay with this idea for the rest of the session.
  • The facilitator then describes the ‘Merlin’ trick (Jonas Michanek and Andreas Breiler ‘The Idea Agent’). Merlins magical powers can be channelled in four ways, to enlarge, to shrink, to make vanish and to reverse. But you can always dream up your own variations – for example, the worlds’ cheapest, the worlds’ most expensive, the worlds’ smallest and the worlds’ craziest.
    The facilitator gives an example of the first magic trick, preferably with a clear example. For example: ”What would happen if we took an existing product such as a Fitbit tracker and made it smaller so we could swallow it.
  • After about 10 minutes the group moves to the next table (except for the owner) and the facilitator announces a new perspective such as enlarging and gives an example “if we were to enlarge the Fitbit perhaps we could create something we could walk through..”
    The owner of the idea who has stayed at the table explains the developments, suggestions and the current status quo
    This continues until all perspectives have been covered.
  • Students then write up or clearly sketch their ideas and develop them further.
  • A final vote is taken on the most feasible and potentially significant idea.
  • The facilitator re-emphasises convergent and divergent thinking and how this model can be applied to alternative situations.


Skill Development:

  • Evaluation
  • Idea Refinement
  • Communication
  • Reflection

 

Resources:

  • Paper napkins
  • Pens 
  • Coloured sticky dots
  • Flip chart paper
     


References:


What makes Entrepreneurs Entrepreneurial’ by Sarasvathy Explore more here: http://www.effectuation.org/
‘The Idea Agent: The Handbook on Creative Processes’ (2013) by Jonas Michanek and Andreas Breiler

 


Author: Lynda Povey, Enterprise Adviser, University of Portsmouth.

About the Author
This guide was produced by Lynda Povey (Enterprise Advisor, University of Portsmouth).

Interpersonal Icebreaker: Line of Evaluation (QAA 3,5,6)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Large Group

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

3Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement 5Reflection and Action 6Interpersonal Skills

Objective:

  • The learner will be able to assess limited information, within a short timescale, and make a judgement
  • Gaining the right information through effective interpersonal skills, under time pressure

Overview

This quick and immediate task works well as at the start of a topic or programme as it can be an effective icebreaker. However it can be used at the end of a programme of study or to close practical learning to gauge levels of confidence in the learning and pull out key points.
All you need is a corridor or open space in your teaching room so that you can encourage all your learners into a line. However this task can be noisy (lots of discussion) so you may need to accommodate other learners within your building/learning space; but it is also possible to do this outside in an open space!

Activity

This simple activity requires the learners to move physically and place themselves into a line. Your role as tutor is to declare a challenge or task – or introduce the topic (or restate if revision) and then ask the students to put themselves in a line, based on their understanding of the topic/challenge. Present yourself as the “head of the queue” as the expert and invite them to line up.
They will have to navigate their understanding of the challenge or negotiate with each other as to who has displayed better skills or knowledge in the past or during the programme, or who has more experience or understanding of the project or topic.
Typically they will bunch at the back, far away from you but given time and the instruction that you need a line in front of you, they will reorder into a line.
You can invite them to talk to those next to them to ensure that they are in the right order and move up or down as appropriate.

Give this quick task time to play out, as the discussion between participants needs to deepen, particularly if you are using this as an icebreaker. However it can also work as a confidence boost when used as a revision tool as students encourage each other to move up and recall their successes and prowess during the programme of study.
Once the group has settled, as them the following:

  • Are you in the right place? And why?
  • Can you see anyone that you would move up the line? And why?
  • What do you need to do to improve your position (improve marks; improve class interaction; support team work more etc)
  • Who would you want to work with going forward?
  • What questions did you ask to secure your position? – what else could you have asked?
  • What are you judging success/achievement on? (to create the line)
  • What other factors do you need to consider?
  • What would you do next time?

You can ask (some of) these questions and then allow them to talk to those next to them before taking full group feedback or you can seek responses from them as they stand before you. It is also possible to ask a different question of each of them and ensure that everyone in the group has spoken in this task.

Ensure that you reflect with the group on their decision making related to subject knowledge/expertise/practical experience but also see if internal personal skills or sharing knowledge (communication) improves your ‘ranking’ in this way. End this quick session by releasing them back to their seats but also reminding them that all they have displayed in their ranking is their confidence rather than actual ability and therefore they are now able to create their “real” score or position through their own practice/effort.

Skill Development:

Whilst the students have a short amount of time to find out what they need to know from each other, they have to use their interpersonal skills to ask the right questions. Some will be use a factual basis (previous scores obtained or exam results) others will judge on wider experience and knowledge. Itis important to reflect with the full group what they used to make these judgments and whether they could have taken other elements into account. Explore the important of communication and knowledge in achieving goals and encourage the students to consider their own action plan at the end. It is possible to determine a skill “take-away” or challenge to improve their “ranking” and this will deepen their understanding of skills in relation to knowledge.

Resources:

None

References:

N/A

About the Author
This guide was produced by Alison Price.

Introducing Interactivity in Large Group Teaching (QAA 1,3,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Large Group

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Lecture Theatre

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

1Creativity and Innovation 3Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

Engaging large groups of students in delivery and content interactively can be a challenge, often made more difficult by the lay-out of teaching spaces.  Using the potential of the mobile or smart phone for texting, voting, or twitter can engage all the individuals in the room, allowing them to ask questions that are unlikely to be raised as questions during a traditional lecture format.

Overview:

Engaging students in their learning, particularly in the static environment of large lecture theatres is a challenge.  However learners are likely to have smart phones available to them during class and rather than banning them from the room, it can be more engaging to encourage your students to use their phones to raise questions, vote and share their opinions or indicate their views on specific topics.  By developing your traditional‘lecture’ style to involve decision points, questions or votes, you can check understanding in the room, and if you wish to use specialised text apps or features (such as Twitter or voting apps) you can open your entire input to comment and reaction.

Activity:

This activity can be incorporated into your traditional large group teaching (particularly with large group or in lecture theatre) and although it doesn’t specifically take much time to set up and engage them, you need to ensure that you allocate time for discussion of any points within class to review and clarify the learning.  By creating point of engagement, or inviting students to comment you can change the dynamic of your lectures and develop a ‘conversation’ not only with the learners and yourself, but also across the learners together.

Note of caution: obviously this approach needs consideration relating to the age range and appropriateness of this type of engagement.  There are issues of privacy when using texts (phone numbers) and providing open communication, such as a full twitter ‘wall’ can lead to humour and irrelevant topics appearing on the screen which become distracting to your educational message. You however have the choice to open this screen fully to your students throughout the class, making all communications visible (if using twitter etc) either on a screen or through individual phones or lap tops, or you can keep this dialogue direct to you.  Ownership of accounts (such as in twitter) create a more direct link to individuals without disclosing personal contact details, but it is important to agree ground rules of respect to avoid any trolling of those actively engaging.  Typically students are responsible when engaging with this public forum, but it is important that you are clear about the need to respect contributions and those making them.

Skill Development:

In allowing the learners to voice their concerns, vote on their views and share their feelings or confusion you are opening up their learning experience and showing that other students, as well as themselves as individuals, can develop and deepen their understanding through discussion and clarification.  The skill of concise and effective communication is displayed in the voting and within the precision of short texts or 140 characters in twitter.  This task builds confidence if you, as the tutor, welcome comment and develop the “conversation” with your learners.  It is important to acknowledge questions and areas of concern and respond within the class, or specifically state when you will review this topic further, to create a legitimate feedback loop between yourself and students.

Resources:

Note: Check that students have access to mobile or smart phones and that they are happy to engage in learning by sending text messages (many phone packages allow for free texts but it is important to understand the group perception/position on undertaking this task before starting as it may involve expense).  If wifi is available, then many of the features of apps will be free to use and typically university students have access to institutional wifi in order to engage. However you need to check that your particular teaching room will support your proposed activity without students incurring costs to engage.
A little preparation can be needed (either for individuals to prepare (or establish an account) and/or  the tutor to  establish twitter accounts or to familiarise yourself as the tutor with specific apps, such as Poll Everywhere http://www.polleverywhere.com/ or a twitter wall to display (such as https://tweetwall.com/ or similar).   There are lots of different applications available which will display tweets, or visually display votes or words from students, many free to use, so consider the constraints of your teaching room (such as wifi enabled etc) and encourage your learners to be prepared in advance by making any downloads required.

References:

About the Author
This guide was produced by Alison Price.

Networking - Social enterprise (QAA 6,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Presentation Space, Carousel Tables (small working group), Outside

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

6Interpersonal Skills 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

This case study presents an interactive method of introducing the skill and important of networking to a social enterprise.  Students are introduce to the art of networking and given an opportunity to practice in a safe and fund environment.  Through setting a brief, students gain an understanding to the importance of networking, and in social enterprise in particular, being able to bring together a range of roles and skills can be key to success.

  • To have an experience of networking with peers
  • To have an understanding of the importance of personal networks and how they can contribute to a business

Introduction

Adapted from an activity introduced at the International Enterprise Educators Programme (UK), this is a networking game that gets students to role play and have conversation in character with each other. A challenge is then set for students to get into groups and consider the skills set in their group.  This activity takes approx. 1hr, with approx. 15-40 students workings in groups.

Activity

Approach to Group Work: The author uses this exercise at the start of a session, whilst it can be attached to almost any subject where you have a group task to undertake, this is used to allow students to self-select their groups based on the challenge brief set that they then subsequently work on in phase two.
Whilst the students are familiar to working in groups on class challenges , the first part of the task (The networking part) aims to get the students out of their comfort zone get them, away from working with their friends and the method of selection will mean speaking to nearly everyone in the group.

Phase one

As students enter the room they are handed a business card. The students are then told that they must assume the role of the person on the card as they take part in the game

Students are given one sheet of paper to take notes and given the instruction to circulate around the room speaking to as many people as possible and finding out what they do and how they might work together in a business sense. – This is time bound activity so can be as long as the teacher requires. I usually give 10-15 minutes depending upon the size of the group.

Student then have 3 minutes to look through their list to review who they have met and who may be of use to them in their business.

Phase two

The students are then set a challenge (which can be made specific to the subject you are teaching).

Example brief: You intend to set up a social enterprise that produces and sells a range of merchandise for fundraising events. To do his you decide to look through your immediate network to see who you could ask to join and support the development of the enterprise. You now have 5 minutes to get together a team of 5 people who you would want/need for the success of your enterprise.  

Give the students the 5 minutes to get into groups, there sometimes is a lot of shifting around as students are asked to join one team and then another person comes along that seems more appealing. Student tend to respond to this in different ways, some jump at the chance to get a range of job roles in their group, some stay within their friendship circle with no thought for roles in the group and some just see who’s left .

Phase three

In their groups of 5, students are each asked to say what they can contribute to the social enterprise in terms of skills, contact and time. The time here can be flexible, I usually allow up to 15 minutes.

Next the students have to draw up a list of any missing roles/skills and using their collective networking contacts establish if there is anyone else in the room who would make their enterprise complete.

Depending upon the number of group and time I then ask each group to do a three minute feedback on who is in the group, what they bring to the social enterprise and what is missing.   Student can then consider the consequence of those missing people to their business.

Impact

Student’s initial reactions to this task can be mixed. At the start there is a feeling of what is the point of doing this, but by the end they can see the connection with making good contact and more importantly having a clear understanding of what different roles and people have to offer.

One students commented ‘whilst at the start I did not see the point to pretending I owned a merchandise company, however once the brief was given and we formed groups I could see how such a company was important in sourcing supplier of the products. At this time, one group really got in to the role play and not only brought to the table the skills and knowledge the students thought they would have but also improved to add in fictitious family members who could also be brought into support, which opened up a discussion with the students on how our family and friend can be a rich source of support for an enterprise.

Resources:

For the game you will need:

  • a set of business cards ideally created with a range of job titles that would suit the subject being taught (these can be purpose-made or just a collection of local business cards)
  • Sheet of paper for students to gather names and job title/role in part one
  • Pen
  • Flip chart as a mean of students feeding back at the end (optional)

References:

Allerton, J.(2007) The ‘Strength of Weak Ties’: Social Networking by Business Owners in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Sociologia Ruralis.Vol.47,(3) pp228-245 .

Johannisson,B.,Ramírez-Pasillas, M & Karlsson, G. (2010). The institutional embeddedness of local inter-firm networks: a leverage for business creation. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development: An International Journal. Vol. 14, (4).

Author:

Track Dinning, School of Sport Studies, Leisure and Nutrition Liverpool John Moores University

About the Author
This guide was produced by Track Dinning (Programme Leader: Sport Business, School of Sport Studies, Leisure and Nutrition, Liverpool John Moores Uni).

Networking Connections (QAA 6, 7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6), Large Group

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Lecture Theatre, Outside

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

6Interpersonal Skills 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

  • An icebreaker (25 minutes) for a module or great background activity for a networking event
  • To ensure the group engages in networking activities
  • To introduce the importance of physical networking and hints and tips on how to go about it

Introduction:

A fun and interactive session that encourages networking which can be underpinned by theory and practical advice and support on how to improve physical networking. Each participant is given a card from a standard 52 deck. The participants keep their card for the duration of the game. Initially they find someone to pair up with to form a starting hand. The pair of participants then queue to visit the dealer who deals a Texas Hold'em hand and each participant is awarded points based upon the final hand obtained. Participants then have to find another partner to form a new starting hand and join the back of the queue. The gamification of networking encourages participants to meet as many people as possible and look to identify where they have commonality that could lead to mutual value. Each relationship is not equal as suits could represent sectors, face value could represent job roles. Yet sometimes cards that do not seem to have any strong connection can lead to a useful networking connection (and score in the game). The individual with the top score will win a prize; this is not always the person who made the most connections although playing as many scoring hands as possible (putting in the effort) obviously helps. Successful players are therefore selective in who they form a starting hand with. Through playing the game and talking whilst queuing to see the dealer, participants do engage in real networking as the conversation inevitable moves away from just game participation.

After a winner has been announced the sessions can be underpinned by introducing theory or practical tips.

Activity:

This session works well as an icebreaker at the beginning of a new module or extracurricular enterprise intervention or equally well at a formal networking event. This has been used with local Chamber of Commerce organisations, UGs, PGs and staff with excellent results. Please note a basic understanding of Texas Hold'em poker and hand dynamics does add value to the participant's experience. If the educator is not confident then it is likely a student or member of the group has the necessary knowledge to help.

Resources:

About the Author
This guide was produced by Jon Powell (Enterprise Team Manager, EEUK Board Member). If you would like to contact the author, please use this email address:- j.e.powell@lancaster.ac.uk.

Open Idea Generation: Resource Enhancement (QAA 1,2,3,4,6)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6), Individual Task

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

1Creativity and Innovation 2Opportunity recognition‚ creation and evaluation 3Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement 4Implementation of ideas through leadership and management 6Interpersonal Skills

Objective:

Students should be able to:

  • Identify and respond to stakeholder needs
  • Communicate enthusiasm to 'sell' new ideas, concepts or solutions
  • Interact with others both to build trust for long-term relations and also to 'close the deal' to make things happen. 

Overview:

The focus within this task is open idea generation, pooling the expertise/wisdom of the group to create ideas that can then be evaluated and explored; all focused within time constraints and a clear objective to 'trade up' or enhance their resources.

The focus on this task is to encourage learners to learn outside the "classroom", independently or as part of a group to influence, create and establish effective networks through negotiation and building trust. It requires a range of skills including research, idea generation and networking or sales techniques.

Activity:

Description:

The activity is run over 2 or more weeks and is learner directed experience.

Each learner/ group is given a low value object (such as "Red Paperclip") and asked over an agreed period of time to "trade the item up" to something of a higher value. Over time learners are tasked with seeing who can come up with item of highest value through the individual trades, in order to achieve this. Each trade MUST BE recorded by signature and photographic evidence the trade has taken place.

Learners are asked on completion of the task to create presentation e.g. Petcha Kutcha 20 x 20, video story, blog to share their experience with peers at a showcase event where the individual trading experience is shared and lessons learnt identified through clear/directed reflection.

All items traded up to are donated to chosen charity identified by learners, to avoid any issues of 'personal gain'. 

Skill Development:

As well as working within teams, enterprise and entrepreneurship involves the ability to build effective relationships with others. Well-developed interpersonal skills form the core of relationships both within and beyond the team. Reflection on this task should acknowledge the group reaching the (perceived) highest value object, but also explore the transactional experience and the motivations to engage. This also provides the opportunity to reflect upon social and interpersonal skills, such as

  • Building trust
  • Influencing
  • Networking
  • Negotiation
  • Stakeholder relations.

Resources:

Per person:

  • Red Paperclip (or other item to trade e.g. something from your department or subject area
  • Trade up exchange form (simple dated log of activity) 
  • Internet access
  • Personal access to IT (Telephone; iPads/ Laptops) during the challenge 

References:

Key Authors

http://oneredpaperclip.blogspot.co.uk/

Books

www.http://oneredpaperclip.blogspot.co.uk/

http://www.pechakucha.org/

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/5167388.stm

About the Author
This guide was produced by Penny Matthews Coleg Llandrillo Enterprise Coordinator, Grwp Llandrillo Menai.

Opportunity Recognition 'Solution Conference' (QAA 1,2,3,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Carousel Tables (small working group)

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

1Creativity and Innovation 2Opportunity recognition‚ creation and evaluation 3Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

  • To generate multiple ideas, concepts, proposals, solutions, or arguments independently and/or collaboratively in response to identified problems and opportunities
  • To think speculatively, employing both convergent and divergent approaches to arrive at appropriate solutions
  • To explore and evaluate ideas.

Overview:

The focus within this task is to simulate innovative thinking within a curriculum topic, using creative methodology to create ideas that can be evaluated and explored.

Activity :

This creative thinking activity is potentially run over 2 hrs.

The academic tutor will need to identify a problem linked to curriculum topic or industry/sector e.g. 5 items that cannot be recycled. This topic can be prompted by recent news in the sector or the latest research update in your area. The task is then to explore this problem, but without using traditional methods. This problem therefore needs to be explored by the teams using drawing/ playdough to think through the problem and discuss solutions. No writing is permitted during this task. Music and creative freedom is encouraged to establish a comfortable and learner directed environment. The time allocated for this first part of the challenge is 1 hr. 

The second segment of the session is run as a presentation showcase and requires presentations from each team's problem/visualisation and the audience are invited to discuss what they feel the solution/s are. The original group is then given 5 minutes to draw in addition comment from their peer group and confirm their final solution. 

Skill Development: 

Students have the opportunity to work creatively an d beyond the traditional limits or expectations of their subject area or background.  Such freedom brings its own challenges and constraints but provides a rich opportunity to innovative think and problem solving through creativity.   The peer-review and comment aspect of the presentation allows the continued support of peers in the development of solutions and allows them to work co-operatively, rather than competitively to support the development of solutions. As 'chair' of this "solution-conference" your role will also be to draw out key reflections on the following topics:

  • Group work (roles; timing; constraints)
  • Creative process (constraints as enablers)
  • Communication skills (outside traditional methods). You can also explore how creativity is achieved and
    developed and the impact of peer-review and support in refining ideas and communication. 

Resources: 

  • Post-its or similar sticky pads  
  • Flip chart paper 
  • Play dough or plasticine

About the Author
This guide was produced by Penny Matthews (Coleg Llandrillo Enterprise Coordinator).

Opportunity Spotting Within a Narrative Journey (QAA 2, 3, 5, 6, 7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Presentation Space, Carousel Tables (small working group)

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

2Opportunity recognition‚ creation and evaluation 3Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement 5Reflection and Action 6Interpersonal Skills 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

  • The learner will discover that they have entrepreneurial abilities and potential
  • The learner will get an insight into the world of 'everyday' entrepreneurship
  • The learner will become more alert to opportunity recognition
  • This is a useful session for the reluctant entrepreneur – those who might think it's not for them, particularly arts students.

Overview:

Activity:

This is a two hour session and it will begin abruptly by creating a case study with the student group.

The idea is to pick on a student and announce in 5 years' time "Jane"(or John) will run a successful arts consultancy. This will raise some surprised gasps and giggles which will immediately engage students' attention. The narrative that unfolds will demonstrate: how Jane started out in one direction but discovered, and followed, opportunities elsewhere, how she took a few risks, showed resilience in the face of setbacks and how she turned to her networks (other students in the room who come into the story) to help her fill skills gaps and capacity problems.

The case study is pre prepared and can be tailored to the cohort. It should be approximately 10 mins long and the story should be plausible – not extraordinary – a case of everyday entrepreneurship. It will be fun as it draws the students into a fictional story.

Following this there is a 30 min breakout to discuss in groups of 3 or 4 to analyse Jane / John's journey: how did he do it, the key factors for success, would you have done it differently, could you have done the same journey, have you encountered any similar situations to John, if so what did you do? Students post thoughts on stickies.

The management of feedback here is important because the students, who are reluctant entrepreneurs, should be led to the explanation that this behaviour is entrepreneurial. The session is to not only identify the behaviour as entrepreneurial but to get the students to reflect on their experiences in similar situations and imagine how they would respond. The idea is for the students to see enterprise as tangible, every day (familiar even), as a series of minor steps and small scale risks and about trying things out to see what happens.

The upshot of the feedback session is that the students 'discover' the entrepreneurial mind-set for themselves – they have not listened to an expert talk about it for 50 mins – and that they identify with it as something they can do themselves.

Skill Development:

The session finishes with 10-15 mins reflection where students have to pledge to do something entrepreneurial that week. It could be something they had been thinking about for a while but had made excuses not to do it. Others may need a little help and guidance from peers about what they might do, so reflection and pledge setting should be discussed in groups. The follow up session (if appropriate) will be when more detailed reflections can emerge and when students can get a measure of where they might be regarding their own development in terms of entrepreneurship and the enterprising mind-set.

Resources:

  • Post-its or similar sticky pads
  • Pens
  • Flip chart

About the Author
This guide was produced by Dr Peter McLuskie, Coventry University. If you would like to contact the author, please use this email address:- Peter.McLukie@coventry.ac.uk.

PESTLE Analysis

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6), Individual Task

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Carousel Tables (small working group)

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

2Opportunity recognition‚ creation and evaluation 3Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement 5Reflection and Action 6Interpersonal Skills 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

 

  • The learner will be able to understand the concept of PESTLE ANALYSIS
  • The learner will be able to complete a PESTLE Analysis for a business

 

Overview:

 

PESTLE is a useful strategic planning tool. It provides businesses with a framework to analyse and keep track of the ever changing wider environment in which they operate. Its use is both appropriate at the pre- start business planning stage and for established businesses.

 

Activity:

 

This activity involves explaining PESTLE using examples followed by an interactive exercise where learners apply the PESTLE framework on an organisation.

 

  1. What is PESTLE

Each letter of PESTLE denotes a factor in the environment that has an influence on business, as follows:

 

PESTLE FACTOR

EXAMPLE

Example of a possible negative business influence

Example of a positive business influence

Political

 

How a government will influence the economy i.e. Policies, initiatives, taxes, duties, trading policies and tariffs etc. EU directives and changes in EU membership, International relations (war, trading sanction, trading agreements)

A company that exports a product to a country where political unrest results in an export sanction.

A government initiative involving a financial incentive to encourage home owners uptake renewable energy sources increases demand for a PV Solar Panel Installation business.

Economic

 

Economic performance factors that can affect our revenue and supply and demand. i.e. inflation, interest rates, exchange rates, wage inflation, disposable income etc.

Cheaper imports of steel from China compounded UK exports being less competitive due to exchange rates indicating strong £ pound against other major currencies reduces demand for British Steel.

A travel agency enjoys increased business as exchange rates indicate a strong £ pound against the currency of many popular holiday destinations making a holiday more affordable.

Social

 

Social changes can change our customer profile, influence our product and service and the way we communicate in our market place. I.e, trends, behaviours, habits, lifestyle, fashions, cultural & religious factors, population movement, migration and immigration birth rates etc.

High street clothing retailer’s sales decline due to changes in buying habits such as internet shopping

Tends from the USA and our ageing population have increased the market for cosmetic surgery.

Technical

 

New technological advances   that influence the way that we need   operate and communicate to stay competitive as well as provide direct business opportunities i.e research and development (new manufacturing techniques, robots, new product development etc ) social media, communication, security technology etc.

A small business can cut advertising costs by using social media to reach its market.

Bookshops see a decline in sales following the introduction of the Kindle and other tablet based technology.

Legal

 

Legislative changes that businesses will need to meet i.e health and safety legislation, employment law, licenses, trading laws, environmental legislation, specific standards etc.

A market leading tooth whitening product becomes illegal as its formula does not meet new legislation introduced.

A construction company who complies with a new quality standard introduced can work on government backed programmes. (It has less competition as standard is timely and expensive to obtain)

 

Environmental

 

Changes in the environment that can affect the business such as issues associated with the effects of climate change on weather conditions, loss of biodiversity (reduction in certain plants and species).Pollution.

Climate Change has provided favourable grape growing conditions British Wine Producers to increase supply.

Decline in the Honey Bee population has reduced production of honey manufacturing.

 

Split the group up into sub groups of 4-6 people. Ask each group to choose a business type from below and complete a PESTLE for the type of business they have chosen.

 

- A Supermarket

- A British Wine Producer

- A Cosmetic Surgery business

- A Travel Agency

- A High Street Boutique (choose ladies or gents)

 

Each group should write the PESTLE on a flip chart and present back to the full group for discussion. The activity should take 30 mins writing the PESTLE and 30 mins presenting it.

NB .This activity can also be delivered working with an individual or a group who are setting up or who already run their own business. In this case they would develop a PESTLE on their own organisation.

Skill Development:

 

The primary skills required to develop a PESTLE Analysis are analytical & research skills. Also this task develops debate and presentation sills.

 

Resources:

 

  • OHP for PESTLE Table
  • Pens
  • Flip Chart

About the Author
This guide was produced by Janine Hyland (Senior Business Adviser, The Women’s Organisation).

Problem Solving and Consenus Building (QAA 1,2,3,4,6,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Lecture Theatre

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

1Creativity and Innovation 2Opportunity recognition‚ creation and evaluation 3Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement 4Implementation of ideas through leadership and management 6Interpersonal Skills 7Communication and Strategy

Objectives:

The learner will be able to explore an idea or concept as openly as possible to gather a wide range of solutions through the power of group work and seek to build a consensus through: 

  • Developing problem-solving skills as team members 
  • Analysing information (and working with limited information) 
  • Negotiating and cooperating with one another.
  • Listening and leading 
  • Group Decision making (consensus building) 

Overview:

The focus within this task is open idea generation within a team, pooling the expertise/wisdom of the group to create ideas that can then be evaluated and explored.

Within this scenario, participants must pretend that they've been shipwrecked and are stranded in a life boat. Each team has a box of matches, and a number of items that they've salvaged from the sinking ship but they can’t keep them all within the lifeboat. Members must agree which items are most important for their survival as they need to prioritise.  

Activity:

The challenge should be issued to the group, and time given to the challenge individually.  This is important in creating the challenge of consensus building as it allows to think about the problem individually; continues the cycle of presentation and discussion in groups evaluate the process to draw out their experiences until the whole team has had a chance to voice their opinions and how teams arrive at consensus decision where everyone's opinion is heard.

Time:         Flexible, but normally between 25 and 40 minutes
Number:     Up to 5 people in each group

Instructions

1. Divide participants into their small teams, and provide everyone with a ranking sheet (with two columns).

2. Ask team members to take 10 minutes on their own to rank the items in order of importance. They should do this in the second column of their sheet.

3. Give the teams a further 10 minutes to confer and decide on their group rankings. Once agreed, they should list them in the third column of their sheets.

4. Ask each group to compare their individual rankings with their collective ones, and consider why any scores differ. Did anyone change their mind about their own rankings during the team discussions? How much were people influenced by the group conversation?

5. Now read out the "correct" order, collated by the experts at the US Coast Guard (from most to least important): 

    1. Shaving mirror. (One of your most powerful tools, because you can use it to signal your location by reflecting the sun.) 
    2. Can of petrol. (Again, potentially vital for signalling as petrol floats on water and can be lit by your matches.)  
    3. Water container. (Essential for collecting water to restore your lost fluids.) 
    4. Emergency rations. (Valuable for basic food intake.) 
    5. Plastic sheet. (Could be used for shelter, or to collect rainwater.) 
    6. Chocolate bars. (A handy food supply.) 
    7. Fishing rod. (Potentially useful, but there is no guarantee that you're able to catch fish. Could also feasibly double as a tent pole.) 
    8. Rope. (Handy for tying equipment together, but not necessarily vital for survival.) 
    9. Floating seat or cushion. (Useful as a life preserver.) 
    10. Shark repellent. (Potentially important when in the water.) 
    11. Bottle of rum. (Could be useful as an antiseptic for treating injuries, but will only dehydrate you if you drink it.) 
    12. Radio. (Chances are that you're out of range of any signal, anyway.) 
    13. Sea chart. (Worthless without navigational equipment.) 
    14. Mosquito net. (Assuming that you've been shipwrecked in the Atlantic, where there are no mosquitoes, this is pretty much useless.) 
    15. Sextant. (Impractical without relevant tables or a chronometer.)

Once the general discussion relating to the individual scoring has died away, draw the discussion to the team approach and explore issues of leadership, listening, negotiation, decision-making and consensus building.

Skill Development:

It is typical of many ice-breaker tasks that the learning is not within the task objective, but within the team process and often the desire to complete the task can mask the transferable learning that has been gained.  It is therefore key, that once the discussion of the challenge itself is complete, that the debrief explore the skill development within the task and team work itself.

Either within the groups themselves, and then as a larger group, or working directly with the full group, seek reflections and comment on what they have learnt about:

  1. Listening  
  2. Negotiating   
  3. Decision-making skills,  
  4. Creativity skills for thinking "outside the box 
  5. Consensus building

As a facilitator, it is important that you allow them to explore their team process and find the learning within that.  This can involve team members sharing difficult feelings about not being listened to, and this needs to be acknowledged, accepted and the lessons drawn from it (would it have been a better process to take view from each member and vote? Should individuals have been more forthcoming if they had strong views and how do they ensure they are heard in the future?). The lessons from each group can be usefully heard by the wider group, in order to understand and learn from different approaches as this allows deeper reflection as to how to approach similar challenges in the future to be explored.

Resources:

Develop a simple chart for each team member. This should comprise six columns. The first simply lists each item (see below). The second is empty so that each team member can rank the items. The third is for group rankings. The fourth is for the "correct" rankings, which are revealed at the end of the exercise. And the fifth and sixth are for the team to enter the difference between their individual and correct score, and the team and correct rankings, respectively. 

If this cant be done in advance and handed out, then it can be drawn by each team member at the start of the challenge.

About the Author
This guide was produced by Huda.

Problem Solving Challenge (QAA 1,6)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

1Creativity and Innovation 6Interpersonal Skills

Objective:

  • To understand team dynamics and how teams come together to achieve a goal
  • Listening to other members of the team  
  • Idea generation and creativity
  • Understanding the importance of careful research, discussion and planning

Overview:

This exercise is a fantastic way to get people working together to complete a simple challenge. The idea is that they are given a pack of spaghetti, a pen, scissors, a reel of cotton, two chairs and a bar of chocolate for each member of the team. They are asked to build a bridge using the equipment provided that will hold the bars of chocolate. The first team to do this wins.

Activity:

This activity could take from 30 minutes to complete, reflection and analysis takes place at the end of the session

An example of the tools they will be given is laid out on the facilitators desk where the spaghetti packet is opened and the cotton is cut into a few lengths, providing visual example of what is possible (if potentially misleading!).

The chairs are spread two feet apart and cannot be moved (ideally these will be away from other groups to stop cheating) items are given to the group and they are advised that they are to have a 5 minute team talk to prepare before they start, however the first one to build the bridge wins (and invariably they race ahead and start to build the bridge, but you can reflect upon this approach with the whole group at the end).

Typically the further they race ahead (without planning and discussion) and open the items, the more problems they will face. For example, once the spaghetti is opened it becomes a lot harder but the more creative constructions emerge. The best solution is to leave the packet closed, pierce the ends and use the cotton to secure the packet to the chair and rest the chocolate on the packet of spaghetti. However it is still possible to complete the task once the spaghetti is opened, but they will do well not only to hold the chocolate, but complete the task in 30 minutes.

At the end of the 30 minutes, the groups get a chance to see what the other teams have done and see how creative they have been in creating a bridge.

This could be done with any size group as long as there are sufficient facilitators to split into smaller groups. The optimum numbers in each group would be 4, however multiple groups will be working at the same time. They would have to work at the same time so as not to hear the discussion of other groups.

Skill Development:  

This activity can develop a wide range of skills including the following:  

  • Imagination and creativity
  • Communication and Strategy
  • Problem solving  
  • Teamwork and organisation 
  • Leadership/Persuasion 
  • Individual and team decision making 
  • Logistics/Systems 
  • Speed/Precision/Efficiency 
  • Reflection/Review/Analysis
  • Feedback to other team members and at the end of the task

It is useful to spend additional time reviewing the group process and explore how the task was tackled as a group.  Ask the groups to reflect on the following within their team process:

How the initial discussions went, did someone take the lead, was it a bit of a shouting match, was it chaos, was there a lack of ideas/too many ideas 

  • Whose ideas were listened to the most and why 
  • Who was ignored and why 
  • Whose ideas were taken on board and why, was a consensus achieved 
  • Who allocated roles 
  • Who put themselves forward for roles 
  • How did the actual production go, smooth, chaotic, who took the lead, who organised, how did it progress, how was the mood of the team? 
  • Was everyone involved? Did everyone need to be involved? 
  • How did the dynamics between the members of the group change as they went through the different stages

Resources:  

In advance you need to purchase resources.

Each team will need a pack of spaghetti, scissors, reel of cotton, two chairs and a chocolate bar for each team member. Someone will need to watch the time or you can add time keeping to their responsibilities.

About the Author
This guide was produced by Michael Marsden.

Production Line (QAA 4,5,6)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Carousel Tables (small working group)

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

4Implementation of ideas through leadership and management 5Reflection and Action 6Interpersonal Skills

Objectives:

  • To understand team dynamics and how teams come together to achieve a goal
  • To explore and establish methods of production for a simple products
  • To understand the power and necessity for review and reflection of a task or situation
  • Understanding processes and procedures
  • Replicating methods

Overview

This task focuses a group of people to organise themselves to set up a production line to exactly replicate an existing product as many times as possible in set amount of time. They are giveqaan the opportunity to reflect on and improve their approach twice to increase efficiency, quality and productivity. This gives participants and others the opportunity to see how their own and other behaviour, ideas, approach affects the development and outcome of the task and how by working together and reflecting and analysing a situation it can be adapted and improved going forward.

Activity:

This activity could take from 30 minutes to a couple of hours depending on how much review, reflection and analysis takes place at the end of the session.

Group gathers around a table with all the resources on it. There is a sample product : a booklet with 13 squares of paper 10cm x 10cm, secured with 2 staples in a x shape in the top left hand corner of the booklet.

The group is asked to put together a production line replicating this booklet. They will have 2 minutes to discuss how they think they could best do thisand to allocate roles. Then 3 minutes to put this into practice and produce as many booklets as possible. When the time is up the facilitator then countsand inspects the finished products, looking for quality and accuracy ie:

  • Correct number of sheets
  • Correct size
  • Cut lines are straight
  • There are 2 staples
  • Staples are in the right place
  • Staples are crossed correctly

The group then gets 2 minutes to discuss and review their methods, systems and procedures and come up with improvements or a different approach. They then get another 3 minutes on the production line to best their last score.

The above process is then repeated for a third time.

This could be done with any size group as long as there are sufficient facilitators to split into smaller groups. The optimum numbers in each group wouldbe between 6 and 10, however multiple groups could be working at the same time. They would have to work at the same time so as not to hear the discussion of other groups.

Skill Development:

  • Imagination and creativity
  • Communication and Strategy
  • Problem solving
  • Teamwork and organisation
  • Leadership/Persuasion
  • Decision making
  • Logistics/Systems
  • Efficiency/Productivity
  • Quality Control
  • Speed/Precision/Efficiency
  • Reflection/Review/Analysis
  • Feedback

As has been described this task involves many different skills and objectives on all different levels and can be assessed and analysed either briefly or in great depth across some or all of the objectives. For example, if this is an exercise for managers or recruiters to assess staff skills and abilities it can be finished there at the end of the last count. However it can be extended further, so each team then breaks off with a facilitator to analyse what happened at each stage and why.

  • How the initial discussions went, did someone take the lead, was it a bit of a shouting match, was it chaos, was there a lack of ideas/too many ideas
  • Whose ideas were listened to the most and why
  • Who was ignored and why
  • Whose ideas were taken on board and why, was a consensus achieved
  • Who allocated roles
  • Who put themselves forward for roles
  • How did the actual production go, smooth, chaotic, who took the lead, who organised, how did it progress, how was the mood of the team?
  • Was everyone involved? Did everyone need to be involved?
  • How did the review and analysis go, who took the lead, someone different? How were news ideas taken on board.
  • What changed the next time, was there an improvement, if so why
  • How did the dynamics between the members of the group change as they went through the different stages
  • Were more people involved, less people involved How did people participants feel at each stage, did confidence grow or recede
  • What skills were employed by the task
  • How are these important to a task/team

For example : the focus could just be on the outcomes, ie the quality and quantity of the finished products. Often the first time, people are rushing and slapdash and may do quite a few but get a lot rejected, so need to slow down. Or get them all passed but do a small number, so need to speed up. So it's finding that balance between speed and quality/accuracy.

Or the focus can be on the review and reflection, how the method was changed or improved each time to give better results.

Or the focus can be on the team dynamics how they evolved through each stage, or on the leadership and management of the task and how that changed and fluctuated at each stage, how the balance of power shifted as the task went along.

Or it could very much focus on the individual, the role they played, how this evolved, how they felt, how they were affected by the different characters,how they affected other members in the group, positively or negatively what they would do differently next time.

Depending on whether the focus is on 1 or 2 of the objectives and skills or all of them, all of these and more angles can be identified and explored after the task.

Resources:

Large sheets of paper (A3 or larger, could use old newspapers) minimum of 60 sheets per team, pens, pencils, markers, rulers, scissors, staplers.

About the Author
This guide was produced by EntEv.

Public Speaking Through Audience Identification (QAA 5,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Any

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

5Reflection and Action 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

  • To develop students communication skills.
  • To encourage students to understand context when communicating.
  • To encourage students to consider the real-world context for their subject area, and the skills they are developing.

Overview:

The ability to communicate your ideas clearly, confidently and effectively is essential in enterprise, and for any study and career a student may undertake. However, no to audiences are the same, and so, to be maximally impactful, no to pieces of communication should be the same either.

This simple activity can be run as a 5 minutes warm up or plenary to a session, or be expanded upon to fill a session in its own right. It works equally well with small or large groups, and requires no materials or preparation. It works well as a revision tool at the end of a lecture, topic, or module.

It encourages students to reflect on who their audience are whenever they're communicating, and to consider their language, tone, and points of reference to ensure that their message is understood as clearly as possible. It allows students to consider how their skills may be applied in a real world context, and to consider how their field connects with others.

Activity:

  • Provide students with a piece of information which they are required to communicate. This could be something general (for example, what they do at University), or something relevant to the prevailing context and subject matter (for example, the plot of Hamlet, how a car engine works, or how the European Union was formed).
  • Next, provide students with three hypothetical audiences which they must present this information to. The three audiences should be distinct from one another (for example, a 5 year old, a friend and a grandparent; a website developer, a graphic designer and a plumber; a British client, an American client and an Australian client).
  • Instruct students that they should prepare a mini-presentation (30 seconds – 1 minute) to communicate their piece of information to each of these hypothetical audiences. They can do this alone or in small groups, and make any notes if desired.
  • In completing this activity, the students are required to think about the language and reference points which will be familiar to each of their audiences, and how the key information can be communicated without anything becoming lost in translation.
  • Students can then present their mini-presentations to the group for feedback and discussion.

The activity can easily be extended in a number of ways;

  • The topic and / or audience can be kept a mystery from the audience, who have to guess what they are as the individual / group presents.
  • The students can select three audiences themselves, reflecting on likely audiences for the information being communicated.
  • The task can be used to consolidate key information students require, as a revision tool.
  • The students can produce full presentations for their hypothetic audiences (for example, a web designer's sales pitch to a customer, or an economist’s evaluation of the economy to a public radio audience). These can be presented, recorded, or even tested in a real-world environment.

Skill Development:

Students will enhance their communication and public speaking skills, with a greater understanding of the importance of meeting the needs of your audience. They will have a greater appreciation of how their subject area connects with others, and of how their subject area operates within a real world context.

Resources:

  • This activity forms part of the workshop outlined in How to Guide 'Workshop: How To Speak In Public'

References:

  • BBC - The Speaker - Improve your public speaking. 2015. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/speaker/improve/ . [Accessed 28 July 2015].
  • Corcoran, Mike. How to Speak in Public - YouTube. 2015. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMnh02odBNA. [Accessed 29 July 2015].
  • McCarthy, Patsy, 2002. Presentation Skills: The Essential Guide for Students (Study Skills). Edition. SAGE Publications Ltd (pp70-106 & 219-236).
  • Shephard, Kerry, 2005. Presenting at Conferences, Seminars and Meetings. 1 Edition. SAGE Publications Ltd (pp1-18 & 138-148). 
  • Van Emden, Joan, 2010. Presentation Skills for Students (Palgrave Study Skills). 2 Edition. Palgrave Macmillan (pp1-61).
  • Zone Enterprise Hub, Topic: ZONE Resources. 2015. [ONLINE] Available at: https://moodle.glyndwr.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=37§ion=11. [Accessed 28 July 2015].

Associated Case Studies

About the Author
This guide was produced by Mike Corcoran (www.macorcoran.com). If you would like to contact the author, please use this email address:- m.a.corcoran@outlook.com.

Quick Smart Presentation (QAA 3,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Individual Task

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Lecture Theatre, Presentation Space

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

3Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

  • To present ideas in a short space of time
  • To communicate effectively under time pressure
  • To determine the content which most effectively communicates within the artificial constraints
  • To deliver a quality presentation working on your own

Overview:

(small paragraph/ 2 -3 sentence)

Described as the art of concise presentation, this format of presenting with PowerPoint ensures that all the speakers have a fixed time to communicate their ideas to their audience.

There are a range of time scales/number of slides (such as delivering 20 slides, 15 seconds each slide or 20 slides, 20 seconds each) but the essence of this format is to keep the delivery clear and crisp under strict time constraints.

Activity:

The preparation for this task will be done by the student in advance.

As their tutor, you issue them with a topic and the constraints by which they must work –

Either to deliver 20 slides, each timed for 15 seconds to provide a 5 minute talk

Or you can give them 20 slides, each timed for 20 seconds.

Ideally provide them with a template which will automatically move on after 20 seconds (downloadable – see resources) so that they cannot take longer over 1 slide or extend their point.

This format makes a great presentation showcase format for student conferences, workshop days or presentations.

You may wish to provide the links provided in the references to allow students to see how the format works – or prepare your own to show in advance.

Skill Development:

The challenge comes from the automatically moving slides which requires that that the students plan their short, but powerful impact.

Upon completion of this task, it is worth reviewing with the group their experience of this approach as a communication method and how they found the challenge.

Resources:

Powerpoint (optional pre-set slide show format such as available here - http://ignitebristol.net/speak/guidance-for-speakers/

References:

http://www.pechakucha.org/

http://bettakultcha.com/bettakultcha-events/

http://ignitebristol.net/speak/guidance-for-speakers/

http://www.speakingaboutpresenting.com/content/fast-ignite-presentation/

About the Author
This guide was produced by ARP.

Reflection on Learning Journey

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

2Opportunity recognition‚ creation and evaluation 5Reflection and Action

Objective

  • To reflect upon learning journey
  • To acknowledge individual or team "learning gain" experienced over time (process; project; task; or period of learning/study)
  • To articulate skill development (soft skills) and personal insights (in team dynamics, personal progression or learning)
  • Option to support future development: to provide the opportunity to identify gaps in learning or development and create a personal action plan for personal development and future learning.

Overview

This task provides an opportunity to reflect on the learning gained during particular tasks for activities (ideally should be of "medium" length, such as intense induction programmes, week long activities or longer learning 'events' (modules or years of study). This can be particularly effective in terms of drawing out "change" or learning gain as identified by the learner themselves.

This approach provides an opportunity to reflect upon a wide range of individual development (including emotional development and confidence levels) as well as recognising improvement in the development of skills.

Traditionally physical diaries were issued to encourage students to write regularly and informally, however the wide range of multi-media (through smart phones and tablets) also allows students to select their own format (s) or trial the use of a new media tool for this purpose (ideally agreed in advance with tutor to avoid IT issues in viewing).

A learning diary is therefore a tool of reflection which can take a variety of forms.

Key considerations for the tutor include:

  • media (format options include: written essay or report; video diary; podcast; voice memos; photos/collage; or a combination of approaches)
  • structure (open; templates; prompts or based on prescribed reflective models and frameworks, or those sourced by the student)
  • formalised base line (questionnaire or status review at the start, to review at the end)
  • inclusive of theory and wider reading (whilst some learning diaries are entirely "personal" and seek to draw out the development of softer skills and personal 'learning gain' others seek the inclusion of wider reading and theory development to evidence change and thought)
  • assessment (% within modules vary though typically it is used as part of an assessment strategy, though can stand alone when used to capture and review a full programme year or team task activity.)

NB: Consideration of how to create "value" is key in determining the role/purpose of this approach within an assessment strategy or within a programme. Typically students value activities that the tutor places a value on, and their currency is marks/assessment. However as diary is, by definition, a subjective view, and should reflect what the student has heard, learnt and reviewed, it is the student's own analysis and insights that count, and clear marking parameters and guidance need to be provided to ensure clarity.

Activity

Issuing this task should be done at the start of the activity that you wish the learners to reflect upon. Ideally you encourage (or set) answering a range of open-ended questions, delighted to understand their initial position as they approach this learning/task. This may include expanding upon their prior understanding or life experience, as relevant to this work.

Once the activities are being undertaken, reflective models can be issued or sourced by the students to support their thinking. However you may wish to provide a set of reflective questions at regular intervals as prompts to their developing thinking.

This activity can be highly prescriptive, with set timescales at which you expect stages of reflection to be completed (as relating to the task being undertaken) however it is also possible to make this an open task, where the approach and learning is with the student to design and undertake. This allows the learner to explore, source and select their own model for reflection and test its effectiveness as a tool for their development during the process. This additional skills of research, evaluation and comparative analysis but risks diluting the quality of the reflection if the students place the emphasis upon critiquing models rather than the task itself and their personal learning. It is therefore important that you reflect the emphasis you wish to seek within your assessment schedule.

To increase the synthesis, and the ability for personal and confidential reflection, you may wish to create a format in which the students regularly capture thoughts and feelings, but keep this as a personal document (diary, blog or video diary) from which the submission is created. This synthesised version of their learning and reflections build an understanding of their personal development over time and allows for honest and uncensored self-reporting and reflection. Again the structure/control of the format/questions can be loose and open (providing only sources and reference to guide) or highly prescriptive (working within a template or with specific tools/questions) to ensure that the key elements of learning (including emotional elements and confidence) are a required feature of the submission.

Skill Development

Personal reflection is a tremendous skill, but is often difficult for students to develop, particularly during a period of study, with little or no external reference points or practical application. It is therefore recommended that this is an assessed piece, so that the value of reflection is made clear. It is therefore important that you, as the tutor, place importance upon the development of this skill and take class-time to consider what is meant by reflection practice and how to ensure that reflection leads to learning.what is meant by reflective practice and how to ensure that reflection leads to learning. It is also important to consider the formative as well summative assessment within this process, as reflective skills are improved through regular practice, and this form part of your regular teaching. It is important that you 'model' a reflective approach with the students by including reflective questions onto your regular contact with them, and making reflection an explicit aspect of your activity/classroom debrief. Making this explicit within your teaching will reinforce the student's understanding of reflection as an activity to repeated and practiced, as well as help them see how reflective questioning or models can deepen their understanding, and build confidence in their abilities.

Resources

Three stem questions (Borton T 1970) were further developed by John Driscoll (1994, 2000, 2007)

  • What?
  • So what?
  • Now what?
  • Driscoll Reflective Questions (2000) - Download (PDF | 843KB)
  • Gibbs's reflective Cycle - Download (PDF | 843KB)
  • Atkins, S. and Murphy, K. (1994) - Download (PDF | 843KB)
  • Task template for individual (adapted from Reflective Learning Diary Template sourced from Burns, T and Sinfield, S (2012) "Essential Study Skills" Third Edition SAGE (photocopiable; printable) - Download (PDF | 843KB)

References

  • Burns, T and Sinfield, S (2012) "Essential Study Skills" Third Edition SAGE
  • Gibb's reflective cycle: from Gibbs, G (1988) "Learning by doing: A guide to teaching and learning methods"
  • Atkins and Murphy Model from Atkins, S. and Murphy, K. (1994) Reflective Practice. Nursing Standard 8(39) 49-56
  • Driscoll, J (2000) Practising Clinical Supervision Edinburgh Bailliere Tindall
Reflection on Values (QAA 5,6,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Individual Task

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

5Reflection and Action 6Interpersonal Skills 7Communication and Strategy

Objectives:

To understand the importance of values and explore how are values affect us and our decision making

To recognise our own values

To recognise the difference in people's values

Overview:

This session can be run by working with learners remotely (through a learning log or diary – see QAAreflectivediary) or in a group discussion in order to explore individual values. It can be useful to help groups explore their approaches and the values that underpin them.

Activity

This activity takes no more than thirty minutes to deliver in a group setting and needs few resources (have a prepared Flip chart replicating the grid with enough columns to suit the numbers in the group). However if delivered as a prompt within a reflective diary or personal learning document, this task and its outcome can be revisited throughout the learning process.

As a group task:

Ask each individual to take some time to read a list of values and decide which are the most important 5 values.

Once these values have been identified, they are asked to rank them by placing them in order of importance ie 1 being the most important. When they have all finished ask them to go behind the flip chart one at a time and put their scores in the grid when they have all sat down turn the flip chart around to group to discuss the range of findings.

Typically no two sets are the same, indicating the range across the group and ask them to discuss the diversity that they see.

Feedback and discussion should not now be task focused (particularly as values can be deeply held and discussions can be wide ranging at this point) but focused upon how to work together if the values are very different.

Please choose your top five values numbering your selection in order of importance 1 being the top and 5 being the lower value.

List of Values can be generic, task or profession focused or related to group work (see below)

Values listed could include:

  • Wealth
  • Peace
  • Environmental Protection
  • Human rights
  • Animal rights
  • Respect for all religions
  • Health
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Culture
  • Arts

Amend: it may be possible to alter this generic list to make reference to issues or debates within your sector/industry or a potential profession. This may require some research or background reading by the students which may impact upon scheduling this task to the following week after the issues have been announced.

Amend 2: Reflective Group work task

It may also be useful in developing communication skills for group work to alter these values to key elements of group work and ask the group to explore these elements and explore what is important to those working in the group and how best to work together, where there are recognised differences. These could include:

  • group harmony
  • time keeping
  • task compliance
  • client satisfaction
  • leadership
  • consensus building
  • deadlines
  • delivery
  • high quality
  • respect for the individual
  • satisfactory outcome
  • professional expertise
  • business like attitude
  • creativity

Skill Development:

This is great exercise for getting people to appreciate how diverse we all are and we should be aware of that when working with others. It is important to ensure that respect for all participants is maintained throughout and it can be helpful to create ground rules at the start of the discussion; however it is also important to build the skills of active listening and build confidence in expressing emotions or strong feelings. It may be helpful to reflect with a colleague on this task, and the group undertaking it, if you wish to be prepared for the range of observations and discussions that may stem from the group.

Group discussions should conclude with consideration of how to take this learning forward into future activities and tasks, whilst individuals can be prompted in their learning diaries or personal reflective logs to explore their emotions in relation to these issues.

As one of the more fundamental elements of communication and improving interpersonal skills, it is important that, as a facilitator, you are able to draw out the learning from this task, rather than allow the merits inherent within each of the values/topics to dominate the discussions.

Resources:

  • Paper
  • Felt Tip Pens
  • Flip Chart

About the Author
This guide was produced by ARP.

Reflective Learning Diary (QAA 5)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Individual Task

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

5Reflection and Action

Objective:

  • To reflect upon learning journey 
  • To acknowledge individual or team “learning gain” experienced over time (process; project; task; or period of learning/study)
  • To articulate skill development (soft skills) and personal insights (in team dynamics, personal progression or learning)
  • Option to support future development:
    to provide the opportunity to identify gaps in learning or development and create a personal action plan for personal development and future learning.

Overview:

This task provides an opportunity to reflect on the learning gained during particular tasks for activities (ideally should be of “medium” length, such as intense induction programmes, week long activities or longer learning ‘events’ (modules or years of study). This can be particularly effective in terms of drawing out “change” or learning gain as identified by the learner themselves. 

This approach provides an opportunity to reflect upon a wide range of individual development (including emotional development and confidence levels) as well as recognising improvement in the development of skills.  

Traditionally physical diaries were issued to encourage students to write regularly and informally, however the wide range of multi-media (through smart phones and tablets) also allows students to select their own format (s) or trial the use of a new media tool for this purpose (ideally agreed in advance with tutor to avoid IT issues in viewing).  A learning diary is therefore a tool of reflection which can take a variety of forms.  

Key considerations for the tutor include:

  • media (format options include: written essay or report; video diary; podcast; voice memos; photos/collage; or a combination of approaches) 
  • structure (open; templates; prompts or based on prescribed reflective models and frameworks, or those sourced by the student)
  • formalised base line (questionnaire or status review at the start, to review at the end)
  • inclusive of theory and wider reading (whilst some learning diaries are entirely “personal” and seek to draw out the development of softer skills and personal ‘learning gain’ others seek the inclusion of wider reading and theory development to evidence change and thought)
  • assessment (% within modules vary though typically it is used as part of an assessment strategy, though can stand alone when used to capture and review a full programme year or team task activity.)  

NB: Consideration of how to create “value” is key in determining the role/purpose of this approach within an assessment strategy or within a programme. Typically students value activities that the tutor places a value on, and their currency is marks/assessment.  However as diary is, by definition, a subjective view, and should reflect what the student has heard, learnt and reviewed, it is the student’s own analysis and insights that count, and clear marking parameters and guidance need to be provided to ensure clarity.

Activity:

Issuing this task should be done at the start of the activity that you wish the learners to reflect upon.  Ideally you encourage (or set) answering a range of open-ended questions, delighted to understand their initial position as they approach this learning/task.  This may include expanding upon their prior understanding or life experience, as relevant to this work.
Once the activities are being undertaken, reflective models can be issued or sourced by the students to support their thinking.  However you may wish to provide a set of reflective questions at regular intervals as prompts to their developing thinking.  

This activity can be highly prescriptive, with set timescales at which you expect stages of reflection to be completed (as relating to the task being undertaken) however it is also possible to make this an open task, where the approach and learning is with the student to design and undertake. This allows the learner to explore, source and select their own model for reflection and test its effectiveness as a tool for their development during the process.  This additional skills of research, evaluation and comparative analysis but risks diluting the quality of the reflection if the students place the emphasis upon critiquing models rather than the task itself and their personal learning.  It is therefore important that you reflect the emphasis you wish to seek within your assessment schedule.

To increase the synthesis, and the ability for personal and confidential reflection, you may wish to create a format in which the students regularly capture thoughts and feelings, but keep this as a personal document (diary, blog or video diary) from which the submission is created.  This synthesised version of their learning and reflections build an understanding of their personal development over time and allows for honest and uncensored self-reporting and reflection.  Again the structure/control of the format/questions can be loose and open (providing only sources and reference to guide) or highly prescriptive (working within a template or with specific tools/questions) to ensure that the key elements of learning (including emotional elements and confidence) are a required feature of the submission.

Skill Development:

Personal reflection is a tremendous skill, but is often difficult for students to develop, particularly during a period of study, with little or no external reference points or practical application.  It is therefore recommended that this is an assessed piece, so that the value of reflection is made clear.

It is therefore important that you, as the tutor, place importance upon the development of this skill and take class-time to consider what is meant by reflection practice and how to ensure that reflection leads to learning, what is meant by reflective practice and how to ensure that reflection leads to learning. 

It is also important to consider the formative as well summative assessment within this process, as reflective skills are improved through regular practice, and this form part of your regular teaching.  It is important that you ‘model’ a reflective approach with the students by including reflective questions onto your regular contact with them, and making reflection an explicit aspect of your activity/classroom debrief.  Making this explicit within your teaching will reinforce the student’s understanding of reflection as an activity to be repeated and practiced, as well as help them see how reflective questioning or models can deepen their understanding and build confidence in their abilities.

Resources:

Three stem questions (Borton T1970) were further developed by John Driscoll (1994, 2000, 2007)

  • What?
  • So what?
  • Now what?

 

References:

  • Burns, T and Sinfield, S (2012) “Essential Study Skills” Third Edition SAGE 
  • Gibb’s reflective cycle: from Gibbs, G (1988) “Learning by doing: A guide to teaching and learning methods” 
  • Atkins and Murphy Model from Atkins, S. and Murphy, K. (1994) Reflective Practice. Nursing Standard 8(39) 49-56
  • Driscoll, J (2000) Practising Clinical Supervision Edinburgh BailliereTindall

About the Author
This guide was produced by Alison Price.

Run-around (QAA 3)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Any

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Presentation Space

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

3Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement

Objective:

  • To test subject-related knowledge and/or ability to make judgements, synthesize information and make decisions within a time-pressured environment.
  • To create a learning environment where learning from 'failure' is permissible (accepted and rewarded, as it can improve student outcomes (scores) if they are willing to adapt with new information or learn from observation / from the group decision making).

Overview:

Based on the 80's TV classic format "Runaround" this highly interactive task energises and tests the learner's ability to recall or synthesis information within a short time frame (15-30 seconds). This is an active "on-your-feet" activity, designed to get the whole group "running around" between potential answers for subject based quiz questions. It does require preparation (of quiz questions and answer "zone" markers such as A, B, C, D as well a consideration of the space/safety issues when working with a given number of students.

Activity

PREPARATION: As a tutor you will need to prepare a set of (subject based) multi-choice questions to ask the group as a whole. These can be factual or can draw upon their skills of synthesis and instinctive decision-making as you challenge students to apply knowledge and learning to new areas in order to answer the questions presented to them.

In addition you need to create 3 or 4 (depending upon the number of options of your multiple choice questions) letters (A-D) for the students to move towards. These can be chalked on the floor, but ideally are large letters stuck to the wall (rather than the floor to avoid slipping).

In addition a large visible timer can drama to each question, but you can use a watch or phone as a timer, or adjust time scales relating to the difficulty of the questions asked by just declaring "time up" as you judge the room to have "settled".

Task: as the tutor you will gather all the students into the middle of a large learning space and then invite them to move to the areas (A-D) in order to show their answer to the questions you are 'shouting out'* to them.

*Depending upon the room, and the learning support needs of the students it can be beneficial to have these questions and their answer-options on PowerPoint.

As the questions are asked, there is a short time for the individuals to decide which answer they support and move to the letter that represents their answer (so the students are "running around" to stand by the answer they feel is right). It is best conducted with 1 right option and the others being false, if close, answers.

Students must go to the area that they think is the correct answer – undertaking "the runaround". They are then given the chance to change their position if desired, in a further "runaround". The answer is then revealed with a full explanation. This active form of learning means that students are fully engaged in the learning process and increase what they remember due to the jeopardy and risk associated with this game. Emphasis is placed on engagement, not on “winning” and active revision takes place. A handout of the slides can be provided at the end of the session to promote further engagement and continue the learning, by promoting discussion and reflection after the task is completed.

By creating questions that might split the group or by releasing further information as they move, you build student confidence in their decision making (as they are allowed to move during the "decision time") and reducing the stress associated with risk of failure. It is also a way to support those who less confidence or understanding as they are not isolated within the group, but able to see the consensus of views and chose to follow the majority if they wish. It also allows those who appear to be' failing' to change their answer by moving to a different letter, if they see that the group members have selected a different answer.

FINAL NOTE: Of course the safety of students is paramount and this should only be done if it can be carried out safely with the number of students and if all students are in a position to actively engage or can be supported to do so.

Skill Development:

A key pedagogic note is that students feel quite happy about taking part because they get the chance to change their minds, without embarrassment whilst less confident students gain a sense of confidence in their own ability.

Confidence can be built by awarding team points rather than individual points as this encourages the group to invite those it fears as having the wrong answer to join them, within the time limit. However it is worth noting that individual marking option makes this particularly useful technique for revision or 'last class before the exam'.

Whilst this game is fast and furious it is designed to limit failing and support those who may expose a lack of understanding, as the majority response to the questions is always visible. It is therefore important to reflect upon this at the end of the task to ensure that the difficult (subject) questions are reviewed (especially those that the group got wrong) but also that the confidence in each other as knowing and supporting each other as team members.

Resources:

Preparation of multiple choice quiz questions

Large "answer zone" signs (A, B, C, D)

Optional: handout of questions and answers for post-activity individual reflection

References:

Inspiration: Runaround TV Show: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Runaround_(UK_game_show)

Selling a New Service to Prospective Clients

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Presentation Space, Carousel Tables (small working group), Outside

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

6Interpersonal Skills 7Communication and Strategy

Objectives:

  • Focus on benefits for clients in talking about a new service
  • Enable clear communication in a short concise manner that is engaging.
  • Identify the importance of re-framing features as benefits.

Overview:

The focus of this task is the application of communicating the benefits and features of a new service in practice in a role-play situation. Students gain peer feedback in a role-play and from an observer on how convincing their benefits are and how they communicate them. They learn how to adapt the benefits they communicate to the target customer.

Activity

This activity takes about 30 minutes from introduction to debrief, if run with one role play situation.

Ideally, it should be run using the following stages:

  1. Introduction of the exercise with learning outcomes
  2. For the given services, identify features and benefits (plenary)
  3. Build small groups using a random member selection approach
  4. Brief observers and role play participants on what they need to do
  5. Go into roles and act out the situation
  6. Peer feedback
  7. If there is time for role changes: Change roles within the small groups
  8. Repeat step 5 and 6 – as often as suitable, ideally three different situations are used by the small group
  9. De-brief.

Overall, the role-play with three role-play situations can last about one hour.

The role-play situations offer three different scenarios for which the students need to adapt the generic list of features and benefits to the target customer in front of them. For each target customer they need to decide on the most important benefit.

The three target customers are:

  1. Students
  2. Single male parent with two children under 10 years of age, who is working full-time
  3. Older people.

The short role briefs below are only a starting point, feel free to embellish them with further details or change them.

Role brief target customers:

Students: Peter (Kate) is a student staying in a campus based student hall. While the hall offers washing machines, they are either constantly full or broken, so that he has to go very late or early in the morning in order to be able to have his clothes washed. Peter works part-time so that he has some money to spare he could spend on a laundry service.

Single male parent: John works as an IT consultant for a Council. His wife died last year in a car accident and he is bringing up their two children by himself. Being a dedicated father, John would rather spend time with his children than doing the housework, but there is work to be done. The two kids use a set of clothes every day, as they are wild players. John has to be cautious with money, as he is the sole earner and is building up reserves slowly for university for both kids.

Kate and Rowland are a happy retired couple in their late 70s. They are both still fit and out and about a lot, hiking for example. Kate is suffering from arthritis and cannot move her hands as swiftly as she would like to, while John is not one for housework around laundry, as for the last 30 years Kate had always dealt with that side of the housework. Money is tight, as with all people living on their pensions, but they are doing OK.

Role brief observers:

As an observer, you are asked to watch the two role players for their body language, tone of voice and choice of words. Overall, how convincing does the start-up appear to you? What story do they tell? How responsive are they towards the needs of the customer? Have they adapted the benefits meeting the customer pain? Take notes and feed them back to the start-up, but also the customer. How convincing was the customer?

Role brief for the start-up for the laundry service:

You have developed a new service, to pick up laundry from clients, and return it to them within 24 hours. Naturally, the service comes at a price going beyond what the cost of using to-pay-for washing machines or doing the washing yourself. You have to convince the target customer that it is worth spending money on your service. For the customer at hand, find the most important benefit(s) that will convince them that you are offering a solution to a big problem they have.

Assessment of the activity can be through an entry in a reflective diary students at level 5 and 6, or Master’s level can be asked to write as part of an overall coursework assessment. The reflection needs to address skills development and learning about sales.

Skill Development:

The QAA (2012) highlights how important the development of communication skills is for employability in general, and running a business in particular. This exercise is supporting the development of entrepreneurial capabilities. The following skills are developed with this exercise:

  • Communication skills (general), verbal
  • Sales skills (communication skills)
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Reflection skills on own communication skills and sales skills.

Resources:

  • Role briefs for observers and role play participants
  • Pen and paper, A4
  • (recording software every smart phone offers)

References:

Hill, I. (2015) Start Up. A practice based guide to new venture creation. London: Palgrave MacMillan.

Links:

About the Author
This guide was produced by Inge Hill. If you would like to contact the author, please use this email address:- ingehill@mystart-up.info.

Stimulating Creative Thinking: Magic Paper (QAA 1)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Any

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

1Creativity and Innovation

Objective:

  • To stimulate creative and lateral thinking
  • To encourage creative thoughts and behaviour
  • To develop problem conceptualisation, and problem solving capacity

Overview:

Could you cut a hole in a piece of A4 paper, large enough that you could climb all the way through, without breaking the paper?!

This is a simple activity suitable for groups of any size or ability.

Taking approximately 5 minutes to complete, it encourages learners find a solution to an unfamiliar problem. The problem can only be solved through novel and creative solutions.

The activity serves to stimulate students’ creative thinking and problem solving capabilities, and serves as a light-hearted ice breaker / introduction.

Activity:

1.Provide each student with a single piece of A4 Paper, and a pair of scissors.

2.Challenge students to ‘Cut a hole in the piece of, large enough to climb all the way through, without breaking the paper!’

3.Tell students they have 5 minutes to complete the challenge. You may invite students to work individually, in pairs, or in small groups to do this. (Many students will begin by cutting a circular hole in the rectangular sheet of paper, before realising this is far too small to be a plausible option. You may wish to provide students with extra paper so they can conduct a number of trails. Re-assure students that the challenge is entirely possible, and that it is not a trick question. If anyone completes the challenge quickly, ask them not to reveal their solution to the class until the time is up. If the group are looking for clues, suggest ‘snowflakes and decorations we used to make as children’).

4.When 5 minutes have passed, invite students to stop working, and invite them to attempt to climb through their paper! (Usually, you will find that at least one team have come up with a solution).

5.If no team have successfully completed the challenge, demonstrate a solution to the class (solution outlined below). Invite a small group of student to all climb through the hole simultaneously!

Solution

Figure 1. Challenge Solution

  • To solve the challenge, fold the A4 paper in half along its length (as indicated by the blue perforated line on the diagram).
  • Use the scissors to cut the paper with a comb effect, starting from the centre of the paper and working towards its edge.
  • Make similar cuts, this time working from the edge towards the centre, in between the incisions previously made.
  • Make cuts along with fold line of the paper, with the exception of the edges to the extreme of the incisions.
  • (All cuts are indicated by red lines on the diagram).
  • Carefully unfold the paper, and a continuous, large ribbon is produced, comfortably large enough to climb through.
  • The closer together and deeper the cuts made are, the larger the hole will be when the paper is unfolded.
  • A film demonstrating this can be viewed here > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jBUwH-TfqQ

Skill Development:

After this activity, students should be more attuned to looking for creative solutions to problems, and warmed up for any following creative / problem solving activity.

Resources:

  • A4 paper
  • Scissors

References:

About the Author
This guide was produced by Mike Corcoran (www.macorcoran.com). If you would like to contact the author, please use this email address:- m.a.corcoran@outlook.com.

Subject Review through Communication (QAA 7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

  • Ice breaker that encourages communication

Overview:

The activity can is best used as an ice breaker as it is a fun method to start participants communicating – however it can be adapted to test subject knowledge and specialisms that the students have prior to joining class with you, or are gaining during their studies.

Activity:

  1. Buy a large bag of multi-coloured sweets, such as skittles (determine expected number in class and ensure sufficient for each student to have 5 sweets each).
  2. Pass the bag around and ask everyone to pick 5 skittles each (but they're not to eat them ! yet!)
  3. Once they have chosen their skittles, each colour represents a different question, for eg: (Red = favourite hobby, Green = Favourite holiday destination, Yellow = dream job, Orange = favourite memory, purple = wildcard - tell us anything)
  4. Split the group, 4-6 in a team
  5. Each person takes turns introducing themselves, beginning with their name and then a fact for each skittle they have

This can be adapted to bring out subject knowledge or prior learning/experience by making each colour link to a subject theme/study area. This means that the group have to share facts and background with each other on a specific topic.

To bring together their learning you can invite them to present the information they have gained across the team as a flipchart or play to the other groups. This can help you understand the level of prior knowledge as they forfeit eating the colours they cant supply answers for and yet share their knowledge across the full group in the short presentation.

You can also add an element of jeopardy within this by allowing them to trade colours without knowing what the categories are – or even between teams once they know what the categories are.

Skill Development:

Listening and communication skills as well as interpersonal skills are the focus of this task, and it can be extended to develop group presentation skills if you wish to add the extension of a short presentation at the end. This requires them to communicate effectively within a limited time. Debrief this exercise by asking the group to explore their emotions as the task unfolded. It is important to recognise that some group members feel excited by a new challenge, whilst others are concerned by ambiguity (selecting colours without knowing why). Explore the emotions of undertaking this challenge and recognise how they may impact on performance.

Resources:

Packet of multi-coloured sweets, such as Skittles

References:

N/A

About the Author
This guide was produced by SS.

Teaching Entrepreneurship: A Practice-Based Approach - EXERCISE: BUILDING THE CULTURE OF YOUR BUSINESS WITH THE SIMS (QAA 2,3,4,5)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Any

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Presentation Space, Carousel Tables (small working group)

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

2Opportunity recognition‚ creation and evaluation 3Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement 4Implementation of ideas through leadership and management 5Reflection and Action

Objective:

  • Use and explain the critical interdisciplinary definitions related to organizational culture and entrepreneurship.
  • Describe the relationship between organizational culture, structure, and leadership.
  • Evaluate personal approaches to a professional work-life.
  • Design and assess an emerging organizational culture.
  • Critically evaluate the approaches to the intentional creation of organizational culture.

Overview:

By the time most enterprise founders start thinking about ensuring a healthy culture in their business, it is usually too late. The culture has already emerged and is not always the most conducive to the health of the founder and employees, or even the enterprise itself. The culture of the enterprise emerges from the mind, values, and practices of the founder(s) while the business is being created, a time when the founder generally places more priority on the creation of economic value than the creation of culture. This exercise is based on a combination of organization and entrepreneurship theory and uses an off-the- shelf computer game, The Sims: Open for Business™, to investigate the core values, assumptions, interpretations, and approaches that combine to define the culture of a new venture. The students are assigned to play the game for a minimum of two hours outside of class, with no introduction given around the concept of culture. The heart of the exercise is the in-class debrief (including viewing the game), which reveals the culture that was created, what it means for all stakeholders, and what actions could be taken to adjust that culture.

Usage Suggestions

This content of the exercise works for all audiences, undergraduate, graduate, executive, or practitioner. The delivery requires that the students have access to the game and are able to play it before the discussion. The exercise lends itself well to online courses, as the debrief and illustration can also be done online, preferably in a synchronous mode, although asynchronous will work too. The exercise works best when each student is able to log on to his orher game for the debrief. This exercise is positioned in the course when emphasis is on resources. Culture is presented as a resource that can either add to or detract from the value of the company.

Activity:

Pre-Work Required by Students

  • Play The Sims: Open for Business™ for a minimum of two hours.

Time Plan (90 minutes)

This 90- minute exercise can be adapted to fit various time schedules, including an entire class. Prior to the exercise the students would have been told to play the game for two hours. No other instructions are given. In this way, playing the game provides a shared experience and serves as the live case for the discussion.

Step 1 (Introduction) 0:00–0:10 (10 minutes)

Ask the students to open their laptops and log on to their games. Each game should open at the point at which the student left the game. The opening or warm- up questions should be about just playing the game:

  • How many of you had played some version of The Sims before? Anyone played this particular expansion version?
  • How was it? Did you enjoy it? If so, why? If not, why?
  • Were there any particular challenges?
  • Where there any particular surprises?
  • How long did you actually play? (Probe for who played the longest and why.)

Step 2 0:10–0:40 (30 minutes)

Divide students into groups of five to six and give them the following directions: “Please select a scribe and a reporter to first capture the themes of your work and then be ready to report out to the full class on your work. First, individually, each write down the answer to this question: What is the culture of the business you created – and how can you tell? You have five minutes for this individual work. After five minutes, and I’ll tell you when the time is up, we’ll switch to working with your team. 

  1. First, each student please share with your group the business you created.
  2. Second, as a group create your list of criteria that create an organizational culture.
  3. Third, please describe the impact of how people will carry out work given the culture you have created.

Step 3 (First report out and discussion) 0:40–1:10 (30 minutes)

Start with the first table and have the reporter share their top two criteria, along with an explanation and illustration of each. Then ask each table to add two criteria to the ones already listed. If desired, you can take a hand count at the end to establish what was considered as most important, and so on. The board map should match the theoretical criteria of your choice. For the purposes of this teaching note the primary source is Schein (1983) and focuses on the basic underlying assumptions around which cultural paradigms form. Examples include:

  • The organization’s relationship to its environment: Is recycling important?
  • The nature of reality and truth: How important is time?
  • The nature of human nature: how employees (insiders) are treated and how customers (outsiders) are treated.
  • The nature of human activity: the physical design of the employee break room.
  • The nature of human relationships: Is the focus on competition or cooperation?

Summary and Close 1:10–1:30 (20 minutes)

Ask the students to again work individually and list the three things they would keep about their culture and the three things they would change, along with how they would implement that change. Lead the closing discussion in such a way that the students discover:

  1. What types of cultural approaches are common across most businesses?
  2. What is the role of fit between the founder, the company, and the environment in creating culture?
  3. How does culture become a positive resource for your business?

Teaching Tips

The game generally has to be ordered online, so you need to allow students time to order and receive it. The ideal experience is for the classroom to have wireless internet access and for each student to have a laptop. However, if teaching students with no access to computers or ability to buy the game, the instructor can lead the class in playing the game as a group, with one computer and the screen projected on the wall.

Skill Development:

Key Takeaways

  • The importance of intentionally creating organizational culture during firm emergence.
  • Organizational culture can be a positive or negative firm resource.
  • Organizational culture needs to be a fit between the founder, the firm, and the environment.

Resources: 

Materials List

  • Video game: The Sims and the expansion packet The Sims: Open for Business™.

The full text ‘Teaching Entrepreneurship: A Practice-Based Approach’ can be purchased here > http://www.amazon.co.uk/Teaching-Entrepreneurship-A-Practice-Based-Approach/dp/1782540695

References:

This exercise is taken from;

  • Heidi M. Neck, Patricia G. Greene and Candida G. Brush, 2014. Teaching Entrepreneurship: A Practice-Based Approach (pp.110 – 113). Edition. Edward Elgar Pub.

Suggested assigned reading:

  • Schein, Edgar H. 2010. Organizational Culture and Leadership, Vol. 2, Chapters 1 and 11. Wiley.com.

Theoretical Foundations

  • Barney, J.B. 1986. Organizational culture: Can it be a source of sustainable competitive advantage? Academy of Management Review, 11, 656–65.
  • Brush, C.G., Greene, P.G., and Hart, M.M. 2001. From initial idea to unique advantage: The entrepreneurial challenge of constructing a resource base. Academy of Management Executive, 15(1), 64–78.
  • Cameron, K.S., and Quinn, R.R. 1999. Diagnosing and Changing Organizational Culture: Based on the Competing Values Framework, Chapters 2 and 3 only. Reading, MA: Addison- Wesley.
  • Schein, E. 1983. The role of the founder in the creation of organizational culture.
  • Stinchcombe, A.L. 1965. Social structure and organizations. In J.G. March (ed.), Handbook of Organizations (pp. 142–93). Chicago: Rand- McNally.

Author:

  • This exercise is taken from, Heidi M. Neck, Patricia G. Greene and Candida G. Brush, 2014. Teaching Entrepreneurship: A Practice-Based Approach (pp.110 – 113). Edition. Edward Elgar Pub. and is reprinted with the kind permission of the authors.

About the Author
This guide was produced by Patricia G. Green.

Teaching Entrepreneurship: A Practice-Based Approach - EXERCISE: IMPROVISATION FOR CREATIVITY (QAA 1,5,6)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Large Group

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

1Creativity and Innovation 5Reflection and Action 6Interpersonal Skills

Objective:

  • Cultivate an entrepreneurial mind-set.
  • Recognize limitations of entrepreneurial thinking (what holds one back).
  • Practice improvisation for idea generation and creativity.

Overview:

This series of three short improvisational exercises offers students the opportunity to identify personal limitations to idea generation and reflect on situations where creativity may have been stifled. Students will consider their personal abilities and reactions to their improvisational abilities, as well as approaches to incorporate improvisational thinking in entrepreneurial endeavours. The overall goal is to demonstrate how students can develop an entrepreneurial mind-set through improvisation. Such exercises are routinely used for developing improvisational actors as well as for pre-show warm- ups for the actors. This methodology was created in the 1960s and remains the standard by which individuals learn to improvise. Improvisation is an important component of the entrepreneurship method because idea generation and the ability to incorporate relevant, timely information are critical skills for developing new ventures that will not only survive but thrive.

Usage Suggestions 

These exercises work for all audiences, undergraduate, graduate, or practitioner. It is particularly relevant for new venture creation courses, entrepreneurial creativity and/or leadership courses, entrepreneurship boot-camps, and workshops.

Activity:

Pre-Work Required by Students

The optional readings may be used for pre-work or post-work, depending on the audience (see ‘Theoretical Foundation in ‘References’).

Time Plan (1 hour)

This exercise can be extended to longer sessions so that students can begin brainstorming entrepreneurial ventures. For the purposes of an initial introduction to improvisation, this teaching note has been written so that the exercise requires at least 60 minutes.

Introduction 0:00–0:05 (5 minutes)

Begin the exercise by introducing the concept of improvisation: Ask students generally if they know what improvisation means. Opening questions for the discussion can include:

  • What does improvisation mean to you? 
  • Where have you seen improvisation? 
  • Has anyone performed improvisation? Seen it performed?

Overview 0:05–0:15 (10 minutes)

Explain how the students will learn the basics of improvisation and see how they could apply it to entrepreneurship, in particular idea generation and creating new ventures. The instructor can show examples of comedy improvisation performance (either live or through video clips from YouTube. Some good short examples include scenes from the ABC show Whose Line Is It Anyway? An example clip can be found at http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v5Qd8bvNW9_h4).

After sharing an example, discuss how performing improvisation can be learned: there are lessons offered for comedy improvisation and improvisational acting performance in improv theatres worldwide. An established framework exists to learn how to improvise. For this class, improvisation equals thinking on your feet. They will now be “in” an improv classroom, and every improvisation theatre class begins with warm-ups. In order to think on their feet, they have to get up on their feet.

Warm-Up 1 0:15–0:20 (5 minutes)

  • Tell them to begin walking around the classroom and to observe every single object in the room.
  • Then tell them to point at objects as they walk past them.
  • As they point at each object they are to say what it is out loud – only they cannot call it what it actually is. They are to label it something it is not. And they are to do it quickly. Provide a quick example by pointing to an object in the room like the board and then say out loud “dog,” and then point at another object like the desk and call it “potato” or whatever comes to mind.
  • After one to two minutes of them walking and pointing and labeling out loud, ask them to stop and be silent wherever they are for a group discussion. When they stop, have them discuss how the experience of labeling objects was for them. Try to push them to explain what they were feeling. Some of the following questions can be used for this debrief: 
  • How was this experience?
  • Did you find this exercise difficult to do? Why?

Summary of Warm-Up 1

Students should experience and be able to articulate:

  • How difficult it is to break away from known “answers”;
  • How frequently they can get stuck in known patterns of thinking;
  • The ease with which they start creating patterns with a known grouping (e.g. eggplant, cucumber, tomato, lettuce), which is a way to make the experience easier (get the “right” answer) as opposed to pushing and fostering creativity;
  • The need for students to want to be in control, rather than searching for newness or playing;
  • Feeling the sense of awkwardness in saying the “wrong” label out loud, but having others around doing a similar activity makes the exercise less awkward;
  • How easy it can be just to listen to others and follow their answers rather than coming up with their own new idea.

Warm-Up 2 0:20–0:25 (5 minutes)

  • Tell them to begin walking around the classroom again.
  • When they come up to another student, they are to point at another student and name an animal, any animal that comes to mind, e.g. two students face each other and one points at the other and says “horse.”
  • Then tell them that the student who has been pointed at and labelled with a type of animal has to make the sound of the animal. If they do not know what sound the animal makes, they are to make it up and make some sort of sound.
  • Then they switch, and the student who just produced the animal sound – in this example, the horse sounds – points at the first student and names an animal, e.g. “cat.” This student then makes the sounds of whatever animal he or she was given.
  • Once the interaction is completed, and both students in the pair have completed their animal sounds, they are to find new partners and repeat the warm-up exercise with two or three other students.
  • After two to three minutes of animal sounds, ask them to stop and be silent wherever they are for a group discussion. Have them discuss how the experience of making animal sounds was for them. Try to push them again to explain what they were feeling. Some of the following questions can be used for this debrief:
  • How was this experience? Did you find this exercise difficult to do? Why? 

Summary of Warm-Up 2

Students should experience and be able to articulate:

  • Feeling a great sense of awkwardness – they are doing something they would normally be comfortable doing with children, but typically have never done in a classroom of adults or peers;
  • Not knowing the right “answer” or sound a particular animal makes, they would feel very frustrated, and then forget the instruction they were given to just make it up;
  • Once again, the ease with which they follow patterns – patterns offer a way to make the exercise “easier,” as they offer a means to come up with an answer or a label quickly rather than pushing creativity;
  • How difficult it is for them to have no control as to what they have to do, rather than stepping back, enjoying the ambiguity, and searching for newness or playing;
  • The fear they have of being “foolish” in a professional setting, how they do not want to be embarrassed by acting silly in front of others, and, in addition, the fear of feeling guilty, foolish, or rude for labelling others as certain types of animals with distinct connotations;
  • This fear leads to self-judging and/or editing before they label their peer with an animal or before making the corresponding animal sound.

Warm-Up 3 0:25–0:35 (10 minutes)

  • Tell them to form groups of four wherever they are in the room.
  • Then instruct them to play a game of word association, where anyone can go first, say a word, whatever word comes to mind.
  • The person to the left listens to the word and then says a word that comes to mind based on the word he or she just heard.
  • They continue in this way until you stop them, and they are to go as fast as they can (tell them to listen for further instruction).
  • Once they get started, let them go for a minute or so, and then very loudly instruct them to “Switch directions!”

After another one to two minutes of word association, ask them to stop and be silent. You can have them return to their seats at this point or have them stay where they are for the final group discussion. Now have them discuss how the word association experience was for them. Most will say this was easier to do, as they were in a group setting. So push them to explain what was happening rather than what they were feeling. Some of the following questions can be used for this debrief: 

  • How was this experience? If this was easier than the last two warm- ups, why?
  • If you found this exercise more difficult than the last two, why?
  • What happened when you were told to change directions? Why did this happen?

Summary of Warm-Up 3

Students should experience and be able to articulate:

  • The ease again they experienced of getting into routines or patterns – how much they wanted to “control” the situation and outcomes;
  • How much they were trying to be clever, or funny, rather than just coming up with any word that came to mind and following the exercise;
  • Typically they do not enjoy the ambiguity and opportunity to play and explore newness;
  • Self- judging occurs again, they feel limited in the direction for the exercise, and what words they allow themselves to say owing to their need to feel included or pressure to continue established patterns rather than pushing creativity and undefined randomness;
  • Students typically are not listening to the last word they just heard, and instead they focus on the words that people two ahead of them in the exercise are saying, as this way they can plan their response (this is highlighted with the change directions instruction).

Discussion 0:35–1:00 (25 minutes)

Once the students return to their seats, have them form groups of three to four and discuss what might be preventing their idea generation efforts related to initial new venture concepts. They should explore what holds them back when considering what they might do. Have them discuss the specific difficulties they experienced personally during the improvisation exercises and how they might get past these limitations to develop a more entrepreneurial mind-set. Have a member of each group report out one recommendation for fostering creativity through improvisation. A closing discussion should include how to incorporate improvisation in their idea generation practices.

Teaching Tips

It is important to keep the warm-up exercises moving fast. It might be helpful to tell the students before they begin the exercises that they will feel really uncomfortable, but feeling uncomfortable is the point of the exercise. In the debrief discussions, some students will genuinely enjoy the exercises and will say they found nothing in them difficult. Asking for a show of hands of those who found the exercise difficult to do first is often a better way to begin the debrief, before asking about how they found the experience (in case the students who enjoyed the exercises stifle the discussion). In warm- up 3 it is very helpful to move around the room encouraging groups to speed up their words so that there are no long pauses. It is important for them to think quickly and see how to come up with new ideas rather than thinking or planning and judging their ideas before they see where the new ideas can take them.

Skill Development:

Key Takeaways

  • How to incorporate improvisation to develop an entrepreneurial mind-set: being quick on your feet and adapting or reacting rather than planning and pre-judging.
  • Identifying and recognizing personal limitations to entrepreneurial thinking (why students are held back from creativity in idea generation, what their personal pitfalls are).
  • How to develop an entrepreneurial mind-set by incorporating tenets of fast and free thinking through improvisation for idea generation and creativity.

Resources:

The full text ‘Teaching Entrepreneurship: A Practice-Based Approach’ can be purchased here > http://www.amazon.co.uk/Teaching-Entrepreneurship-A-Practice-Based-Approach/dp/1782540695

References:

This exercise is taken from;

  • Heidi M. Neck, Patricia G. Greene and Candida G. Brush, 2014. Teaching Entrepreneurship: A Practice-Based Approach (pp.118 - 124). Edition. Edward Elgar Pub.

Attribution

  • These exercises are based on foundational exercises used in improvisational training, widely taught in improvisational theatre courses worldwide.

Theoretical Foundations

  • Spolin, V. 1959. Improvisation for the Theater: A Handbook of Teaching and Directing Techniques. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press. Johnstone, K. 1999. Impro for Storytellers. New York: Routledge/Theatre Arts Books.
  • Hmieleski, K.M., and Corbett, A.C. 2008. The contrasting interaction effects of improvisational behaviour with entrepreneurial self-efficacy on new venture performance and entrepreneur work satisfaction. Journal of Business Venturing, 23(4), 482–96.
  • Neck, H.M. 2010. Idea generation. In B. Bygrave and A. Zacharakis (eds.), Portable MBA in Entrepreneurship (pp. 27–52). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
  • Balachandra, L., and Wheeler, M. 2006. What negotiators can learn from improv comedy. Negotiation, 9, 1–3.

Author:

  • This exercise is taken from, Heidi M. Neck, Patricia G. Greene and Candida G. Brush, 2014. Teaching Entrepreneurship: A Practice-Based Approach (pp.118 - 124). Edition. Edward Elgar Pub, and is reprinted with the kind permission of the authors.

About the Author
This guide was produced by Lakshmi Balachandra.

Teaching Entrepreneurship: A Practice-Based Approach - EXERCISE: MARSHMALLOW TOWER (QAA 1,2,5,6)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Carousel Tables (small working group)

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

1Creativity and Innovation 2Opportunity recognition‚ creation and evaluation 5Reflection and Action 6Interpersonal Skills

Objective:

  • Practice and learn the concepts of effectual versus causal logic.
  • Illustrate when planning is appropriate versus action.
  • Employ experimentation techniques.

Overview:

Groups of students compete to see who can build the tallest freestanding structure supporting a marshmallow on top out of 20 pieces of spaghetti, three feet of tape and three feet of string. This exercise is used to illustrate that under conditions of uncertainty, entrepreneurs rely on experimentation and iterative learning as a means to discover information about their environment.

Students are often taught and are familiar with traditional methods of planning and analysis, which work well in stable environments where the future is likely to be similar to the present. In these cases the future is fairly well known and understood. While some uncertainty exists, it can be categorized as risk.

However, if the future is unknowable, the only way to learn what may work is through experimentation. Typically many of the students spend a large portion of their time designing and planning the structure and only start to build it at the end to find out at the last moment that it cannot support the weight of the marshmallow, and they then go into “crisis” mode. The teams that perform the best are usually those that just start experimenting, learning what works and then modifying their tower based on what they learn. If you are using lean start-up concepts it is also a good way to illustrate the value of market tests.

Usage Suggestions

This exercise works for all audiences, undergraduate, graduate, executive, or practitioner. It is appropriate for new venture creation courses, entrepreneurship boot-camps, or workshops. The session is best positioned early in the course for discussions around planning versus action.

Activity:

Pre-Work Required by Students

  • None.

Time Plan (45 minutes)

Step 1 0:00–0:05 (5 minutes)

Hand out the kits (see resources) to each of the teams. Introduce the challenge. Be clear about the goals and rules of the Marshmallow Challenge. It is also helpful to tell them that this has been done by tens of thousands of people around the world from children to CEOs. The rules and goals are as follows.

Goal

Build the tallest freestanding structure: The winning team is the one that has the tallest structure measured from the table top surface to the top of the marshmallow. That means the structure cannot be suspended from a higher structure, like a chair, ceiling, or chandelier.

Rules

  • The entire marshmallow must be on top: The entire marshmallow needs to be on the top of the structure. Cutting or eating part of the marshmallow disqualifies the team.
  • Use as much or as little of the kit as you choose: The team can use as many or as few of the 20 spaghetti sticks, and as much or as little of the string or tape, as they choose. The team cannot use the paper bag as part of their structure.
  • Break up the spaghetti, string, or tape if you choose: Teams are free to break the spaghetti or cut up the tape and string to create new structures.
  • The challenge lasts 18 minutes: Teams cannot hold on to the structure when the time runs out. Those touching or supporting the structure at the end of the exercise will be disqualified.
  • Ensure everyone understands the rules: Don’t worry about repeating the rules too many times. Repeat them at least three times. Ask if anyone has any questions before starting; a good idea is to provide a handout with the instructions in the kit.

Step 2 0:05–0:25 (20 minutes)

  • Begin the challenge by starting the clock.
  • Walk around the room and note the process that different teams are using.
  • Remind the teams of the time: Increase the reminders as time gets shorter (for example, you might remind them at 9 minutes, 5 minutes, 3 minutes, 2 minutes, 1 minute, 30 seconds and then a 10- second countdown.
  • Call out how the teams are doing: Let the entire group know how teams are progressing. Build a friendly rivalry and encourage people to look around.
  • Remind the teams that holders will be disqualified: Several teams will have the powerful desire to hold on to their structure at the end, usually because the marshmallow, which they just placed on to their structure moments before, is causing the structure to buckle. The winning structure needs to be stable.

Step 3 0:25–0:30 (5 minutes)

  • After the clock runs out, ask everyone in the room to sit down so everyone can see the structures. Usually only about half the teams will have a standing structure.
  • Measure the structures: From the shortest standing structure to the tallest, measure and call out the heights. If you’re documenting the challenge, have someone record the heights.
  • Identify the winning team: Ensure they get a standing ovation and a prize (if you’ve offered one).

Step 4 0:30–0:45 (15 minutes)

Start by asking some of the teams about the process they used to go about building their structures. You can choose based on what you observed during the challenge. You will generally notice as you go around the room that teams that spend most of their time planning will fail to have a standing structure in the end. Those who experiment and learn through trial and error tend to do much better. It is usually best to start with some of the teams whose structures collapsed.

What process did you use in building your structure?

Focus on whether they spent a lot of time planning and drawing their structure or trial and error.

What went wrong?

  • This often highlights issues around unknown factors such as how much weight the spaghetti could support or how much the marshmallow weighed relative to the structure.
  • How did you deal with that?
  • This will often point out the fact that extensive planning leaves little time for adjusting and learning from experience and results in a “crisis.”

Repeat this with one or more of the more successful groups and try to capture differences and commonalities between them.
You can draw comparisons to various other groups who have done this challenge. The creator of the challenge, Tom Wujec, has
performed this challenge numerous times with a variety of different groups and has found the following:

  • The best performers tend to be engineers (good thing). They understand structures and stresses, so this is a more certain environment for them.
  • The worst performers tend to be recent business school graduates. They are in a very uncertain environment given limited knowledge about structures. However, they have typically been taught to plan, plan, plan. They spend most of their time planning and then try to build the structure at the last minute. When they put the marshmallow on top it weighs much more than they anticipated and the structure collapses, creating a crisis.
  • After engineers, the best performers are recent kindergarten graduates. They are also in an uncertain environment, but they tend to experiment to see what works, learn from that, and build off it to create much more interesting structures.

Emphasize the importance of market tests and experimentation when entering a new, unknown environment. If your students are already working on business ideas, this can be a good place to have them try to think about low- cost ways they could experiment with their concept before making large investments. As an alternative debrief, you can show the TED talk by the creator of this exercise by going to http://www.marshmallowchallenge.com.

Teaching Tips

Be very clear about the goals and rules of the challenge. Generally, you’ll want to repeat them three times and reinforce them visually. In almost every challenge, there is at least one team who will want to cheat or bend the rules in their favour. The clearer you are about the rules the better the results.

Skill Development:

Key Takeaways

  • In an unknown environment, it is better to take action than to plan.
  • Learning from small experiments and trials can produce more unique solutions – particularly if the future cannot be predicted.
  • Failure can provide important insights to improving products or services.

Resources:

Materials List

  • Create a kit for each team (about four people per team), with each kit containing 20 sticks of spaghetti, one yard of masking tape, one yard of string, and one marshmallow. These ingredients should be placed into a paper lunch bag or manila envelope (excluding the masking tape), which simplifies distribution and hides the contents, maximizing the element of surprise. The masking tape should be hung on the desks or on the wall for distribution, as putting it in the bags generally causes problems.
  • Ensure that you use uncooked spaghetti. Avoid spaghettini, as it is too thin and breaks easily. Fettuccine is too thick.
  • Include string that can be easily broken by hand. If the string is thick, include scissors in your kit.
  • Use standard- size marshmallows that measure about 1.5 inches across. Avoid mini or jumbo marshmallows. Also avoid stale marshmallows – you want squishy marshmallows that give the impression of lightness.
  • You will also need a measuring tape and a stopwatch or countdown application.
  • Having a countdown application projected on the screen where they can see the time counting down is preferred (use an online stopwatch on your computer if convenient).

The full text ‘Teaching Entrepreneurship: A Practice-Based Approach’ can be purchased here > http://www.amazon.co.uk/Teaching-Entrepreneurship-A-Practice-Based-Approach/dp/1782540695

References:

This exercise is taken from;

  • Heidi M. Neck, Patricia G. Greene and Candida G. Brush, 2014. Teaching Entrepreneurship: A Practice-Based Approach (pp.125 - 130). Edition. Edward Elgar Pub.

Attribution

  • This exercise was originally developed by Tom Wujec for teaching collaborative design. His website containing the instructions, a TED talk about the exercise, and other supporting material can be found at http:// marshmallowchallenge.com

Theoretical Foundations

  • Kiefer, C.F., and Schlesinger, L.A. 2010. Action Trumps Everything: Creating What You Want in an Uncertain World. Duxbury, MA: Black Ink Press.
  • Ries, E. 2011. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses. New York: Crown Business.
  • Sarasvathy, S.D. 2001. Causation and effectuation: Towards a theoretical shift from economic inevitability to entrepreneurial contingency. Academy of Management Review, 26(2), 243–88.

Author:

  • This exercise is taken from, Heidi M. Neck, Patricia G. Greene and Candida G. Brush, 2014. Teaching Entrepreneurship: A Practice-Based Approach (pp.125 - 130). Edition. Edward Elgar Pub, and is reprinted with the kind permission of the authors. 

About the Author
This guide was produced by Bradley George.

Teaching Entrepreneurship: A Practice-Based Approach - EXERCISE: PUZZLES AND QUILTS (QAA 1,2,3,5)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Special

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

1Creativity and Innovation 2Opportunity recognition‚ creation and evaluation 3Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement 5Reflection and Action

Objective:

  • Experience the difference between managerial and entrepreneurial thinking.
  • Engage with conditions of uncertainty and ambiguity.
  • Illustrate how entrepreneurs think.

Overview:

Given the unprecedented level of uncertainty in business and entrepreneurship, students must learn how to navigate effectively in an increasingly uncertain world. The exercise consists of students starting in one room with the task of completing a jigsaw puzzle. Students are systematically moved toanother room, where they are asked to create a quilt from a selection of fabric pieces. The debrief explores jigsaw puzzles as managerial thinking and quilt making as entrepreneurial thinking. There is an optional debrief that includes leadership.

Usage Suggestions

This exercise works for all audiences, undergraduate, graduate, or practitioner. Ideally the exercise should be done on day one of a general entrepreneurship course as a way to set up how entrepreneurs think and the difference between entrepreneurial and managerial thinking.

Activity:

Pre-Work Required by Students

None.

Time Plan (60–80 minutes)

The exercise begins in a room with tables for each team. Students are asked to clear their table in preparation. The second room required is a large empty space. A table (fairly long) is placed in front of this room or space, and fabric pieces are piled on the table. The piles should be messy, with all the fabrics mixed up (not sorted by size, colour, or any other dimension).

Puzzle time 0:00–0:05 (5 minutes)

Divide students into groups of five to seven and give them the following directions: “Your task is quite easy but you don’t have a lot of time. Your goal is to put together the puzzle that is sitting on the table as fast as you possibly can. It’s only 300 pieces! You can do it. Get started. You are being timed. Don’t worry; there are no cameras in the room!”

Random Pull - Out to Quilting Room 0:05–0:30 (25 minutes)

Pull students at random from the puzzle room, one at a time, asking for one volunteer from each group. The individual volunteered or selected from each group is taken to the empty room with the table of fabric.

At the fabric table the first group is told: “Your new task is quite easy but you don’t have a lot of time. You are now designated quilt leaders. Your goal is to construct a design for a quilt. Choose six pieces of fabric from the table – no more and no less. Select an area in the room and begin to construct a quilt. You may not come back to the table for more or different fabric. No sewing is required. Simply place your fabric on the ground as if you were going to sew patches of fabric together to create the quilt. The goal is to build the best quilt you possibly can. Others will join you a bit later. Have fun!”

Note: Each quilt leader should choose six pieces of fabric, and each will begin his or her own quilt in different areas of the room. Subsequent “volunteers” are taken out of the puzzle rooms at two to three minute intervals and instructed to take six pieces of fabric and join any quilt in progress that interests them. “Your new task is quite easy but you don’t have a lot of time. Join one of the groups in the room. You do not have to stay with the team members from your puzzle group. Your goal is to construct a design for a quilt. Choose six pieces of fabric from the table – no more and no less. Next, join a group to help them build the best quilt you can. You may not exchange fabric once you choose. No sewing is required. Simply place your fabric on the ground as if you were going to sew patches of fabric together to create the quilt. Have fun!” When all individuals are out of the puzzle room and in the quilt room, allow two more minutes to complete the quilts.

Debrief 0:30–1:00 (30 minutes)

The debrief may take place inside the quilt room or back in the classroom depending on group size. If debriefing inside the quilt room, have each quilt leader describe how the design of the quilt emerged. If debriefing outside the quilt room, give students time to walk through the quilt room to study all of the quilt designs before leaving the room. Begin with questions:

  • How many preferred the puzzle? Why?
  • How many preferred the quilt? Why?

Focus on quilts:

  • Ask the leaders about how the design came to be.
  • Ask team members why they joined one team versus another.
  • How did it feel moving from puzzle to quilts?
  • What type of thinking was required for each part of the exercise?

Summary

At this time, it’s important to introduce the concepts of puzzle as managerial thinking and quilts as entrepreneurial thinking. Puzzle as managerial thinking:

  • The goal is well defined (the puzzle picture is typically on the outside of the box).
  • Determine resources to achieve the goal (puzzle pieces).
  • Create a plan (put pieces in piles by colour, and start with the edges).
  • Execute the plan (edges first).
  • Measure progress along the way.
  • Goal achieved – the puzzle looks just like the picture on the front of the box! Well done!

Quilt as entrepreneurial thinking:

  • Entrepreneurs start with what they have rather than what they need (fabric pieces).
  • When entrepreneurs are not sure what to do their only choice is to act (pick a group and get to work)
  • The design of the quilt emerges over time because it’s difficult to plan (the quilt keeps changing every time a new person enters the group and the environment and resources change).
  • You never really know when it’s quite finished.
  • Creating something new requires iteration rather than linear problem solving.

Optional Leadership Debrief 1:00–1:20 (20 minutes)

  • What is leadership? (Ask them to write down their definition.)
  • How did you “see” leadership around you? (Call on several different quilt groups.)
  • How did you “see” followership?
  • Who were the assigned leaders?
  • Did the rest of you know there were assigned leaders?
  • Pick an assigned leader and ask that person to describe his or her experience.
  • When and how do you decide whether to lead or follow?
  • What is the difference between leadership, management, and entrepreneurship?
  • What is entrepreneurial leadership?

Key Takeaways

  • Under conditions of extreme uncertainty the only choice is action.
  • One form of thinking (entrepreneurial or managerial) is not necessarily better than the other, yet it is important to understand the environmental context. If the skills for completing a jigsaw puzzle (managerial thinking) are used to solve a complicated problem in an uncertain environment, students are likely to run into one roadblock after another. However, if students can get more comfortable with quilt making (entrepreneurial thinking), then they may be able to navigate the terrain of entrepreneurship with greater aptitude.
  • Action trumps planning in uncertain environments.

Teaching Tips

It is preferable not to refer to the exercise as the “quilt exercise” prior to conducting the exercise, as it rather gives away the punch line. Pacing is very important. As soon as the quilt leaders have placed their fabric on the ground, volunteers should be pulled out of the puzzle room approximately every three minutes. Fast pace is much better than a slow pace.

Skill Development:

This exercise is an interactive challenge designed to help raise student awareness of the difference between managerial and entrepreneurial thinking. It also is a strong illustration of how to gain a better understanding of the impact of increasing degrees of uncertainty on the entrepreneurial process.

Resources:

Materials List

  • Jigsaw puzzles (one per group, 300 pieces).
  • Fabric remnants (approximately six pieces per person).
  • Two rooms (one with tables equal to number of groups and one empty).
  • The exercise is adapted from Saras Sarasvathy’s crazy quilt principle within her work on effectual entrepreneurship.

The full text ‘Teaching Entrepreneurship: A Practice-Based Approach’ can be purchased here > http://www.amazon.co.uk/Teaching-Entrepreneurship-A-Practice-Based-Approach/dp/1782540695

References:

This exercise is taken from;

  • Heidi M. Neck, Patricia G. Greene and Candida G. Brush, 2014. Teaching Entrepreneurship: A Practice-Based Approach (pp.105 – 109). Edition. Edward Elgar Pub.

Theoretical Foundations

  • Neck, H.M. 2011. Cognitive ambidexterity: The underlying mental model of the entrepreneurial leader. In D. Greenberg, K. McKone- Sweet, and H.J. Wilson (eds.)The New Entrepreneurial Leader: Developing Leaders Who Will Shape Social and Economic Opportunities (pp. 24–42). San Francisco: Berrett- Koehler.
  • Sarasvathy, S. 2008. Effectuation: Elements of Entrepreneurial Expertise. Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Schlesinger, L., and Kieffer, C. 2012. Just Start. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Author:

  • This exercise is taken from, Heidi M. Neck, Patricia G. Greene and Candida G. Brush, 2014. Teaching Entrepreneurship: A Practice-Based Approach (pp.105 – 109). Edition. Edward Elgar Pub. and is reprinted with the kind permission of the authors.,

About the Author
This guide was produced by Heidi M. Neck & Patricia G. Green..

Teaching Entrepreneurship: A Practice-Based Approach - EXERCISE: RAINMAKERS (QAA 1,6)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Large Group

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

1Creativity and Innovation 6Interpersonal Skills

Objective:

  • Break the ice and build energy in a classroom setting.
  • Encourage students to think more creatively when problem- solving.
  • Feel how movement can be an active component of the learning process.

Overview:

How do you make rain inside a room? This is the opening question for a playful, kinaesthetic, exercise that can help students begin to think more creatively and collaborate as a group. In a round circle of 15 or more, participants work together to create the sound of light rain that then escalates to a powerful storm and back to light rain. 

Usage Suggestions

This exercise works for all audiences, undergraduate, graduate, and executive. The exercise is best positioned at the start of a session or a class as a non- traditional opener. 

Activity: 

Pre-Work Required by Students

  • None.

Time Plan (15 minutes)

Exercise 0:00–0:08 (8 minutes)

The instructor should begin with the following challenge: "If we wanted to make it rain in this classroom right now, how could this be accomplished?"

Students will offer the more obvious solutions such as: light a fire so the sprinkler system will go off; bring in a bucket of water and throw it up in the air; shake a closed bottle of carbonated water and then open it. Note that many of these solutions are individual based, and they are neither realistic nor innovative. When there are no more ideas, ask the students to form a circle (shoulder to shoulder) in the room and announce the following: “We are going to make rain together as a group. Only do what the person to your right is doing and don't start until the person on your right starts.” The “rain” is made during a series of seven rounds. The instructor begins each round, and then the person to the left will do exactly as the instructor does. The rounds flow into one another; there is never a break in the flow of making the rain.

  • Round 1: rubbing hands together. The instructor begins by rubbing his or her hands together palm to palm. The person on the immediate left should immediately follow. Eventually the entire group will be rubbing their hands together. When hand rubbing reaches the person to the immediate right of the instructor, it's time for round 2.
  • Round 2: snaps. While everyone is still rubbing their hands together the instructor then begins snapping his or her fingers of both hands. The person on the left should immediately follow. Eventually the entire group will move from rubbing hands to snapping fingers. When the snapping of fingers reaches the person to the immediate right of the instructor, it's time for round 3.
  • Round 3: slapping hands on thighs. Repeat the format of the previous rounds. Transition to round 4 when thigh slapping reaches the person to the instructor's immediate right.
  • Round 4: stomping feet while slapping hands on thighs. The storm is at its peak during this round. Repeat the format of previous rounds.
  • Round 5: return to slapping hands on thighs. Repeat the format of the previous rounds.
  • Round 6: snaps return, and the storm begins to subside. Repeat the format of the previous rounds.
  • Round 7: rub hands together so the light rain returns, and then end. Repeat the format of the previous rounds.

Congratulate the students for making rain and creating a storm and initiate a round of applause.

Debrief 0:08–0:15 (7 minutes)

The following questions are suggested for debriefing:

  • When I asked the question about creating rain, why did your answers not consider “sound” or other ways to create rain?
  • What does this mean for how you think about creating opportunities? Problem solving?
  • What was your reaction when I asked you to get into a circle?
  • How did you feel before, during, and after the exercise?

Teaching Tips

Here are a few tips to ensure a true rainmaking experience:

  • Every round must flow into the next without stopping.
  • The instructor sets the tone for each round because he or she is the first to go. For example, it's important to slap hands on thighs rather hard to get the sound needed. The same can be said for stomping.
  • Students have a tendency to want to all start rubbing their hands together when the first person starts. It's important that each person waits to start (or change) until the person to his or her right starts or changes. The instructor may have to start, stop, and restart in the first round to make the point regarding who does what activity when.

Skill Development:

Key Takeaways

  • Our frames of reference are the starting point for problem solving and creating, yet these frames are limiting.
  • There is usually uncertainty associated with asking students to get into a circle, but through collaboration this uncertainty is diminished and something completely unexpected is created.
  • Entrepreneurship requires action. Simply moving your body can have an immediate impact on emotions, motivation, and confidence to continue.

Resources:

References:

This exercise is taken from;

  • Heidi M. Neck, Patricia G. Greene and Candida G. Brush, 2014. Teaching Entrepreneurship: A Practice-Based Approach (pp.114 – 117). Edition. Edward Elgar Pub.

Attribution

  • This exercise has been used by teachers of all levels, though it's not clear who created the exercise. See http://www.teampedia.net/wiki/index. php?title5Make_it_Rain.

Theoretical Foundations

  • Gardner, H. 2011. Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. New York: Basic Books.

Author:

  • This exercise is taken from, Heidi M. Neck, Patricia G. Greene and Candida G. Brush, 2014. Teaching Entrepreneurship: A Practice-Based Approach (pp.114 – 117). Edition. Edward Elgar Pub, and is reprinted with the kind permission of the authors.

About the Author
This guide was produced by Heidi M. Neck.

Teaching The Teachers (QAA 6,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

6Interpersonal Skills 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

  • To expose students to working within a high pressure, novel, real-world environment.
  • To develop students presentation and communication skills.
  • To develop students teamwork and interpersonal skills.
  • To develop students ability to communicate information effectively to diverse audiences.

Overview:

The ability to work well as a team, to develop and manage effective relationships with a diverse range of audiences, and to be skilled in communication are essential for any student, irrespective of their programme of study, or future career aspirations.

This simple activity encourages students to develop these skills, by inviting them to become the teachers, working in teams to develop presentations, and delivering them to a given audience.

The activity requires minimal presentation, can be easily adapted to suit any group, with ample room to extension activities, and also serves as an effective revision activity for students.

Activity:

Pre-Activity

  • Set-up for this activity is minimal.
  • You may wish to gather any resources or props in advance of the session, available for students to use in delivering their presentations.
  • You may wish to invite in a particular individual or group, to serve as an audience to student presentations.
  • You may wish to set students preparatory work to do in advance of the session.

Part 1

  • Inform students that they are to prepare a presentation of a given length, on a given subject, for presentation to an audience.
  • Provide students with information regarding the subject matter which must be covered.
  • Provide students with information regarding the audience for their presentation – To enhance the 'real' element to this task, an external audience may be invited to receive these presentations. This could include students from other courses or year groups, school students, industry relevant professionals or otherwise.
  • Provide students with a deadline by which their presentations must be ready to deliver - To provide students with experience of working under pressure, with risk and uncertainly, this deadline could be very tight (i.e. a matter of minutes or hours), with no prior warning of the task. If depth of research and quality of presentation takes precedence, this activity could be spread across a number of sessions, or students provided with advance warning in order to prepare appropriately.

Part 2

  • Students organise themselves into teams.
  • Within teams, students delegate tasks, and research and prepare their presentations.
  • You may wish to allow students access to any appropriate props and resources, computers etc. to support them in this (as time and circumstance permits).
  • You may wish to set additional rules to groups (for example, every individual within the group must speak during the presentation).

Part 3

  • Students deliver their presentations to one another, and their invited audience.
  • You may wish to allow the audience to ask questions to presenters and for students to assess one another as they present.
  • You may wish for presentation to be recorded.

Post Activity

  • Students can feedback on their experience of the activity (what did they enjoy? what did they find most challenging? what did the activity teach them?).
  • If filmed, recording of presentations may be watched and analysed, or made available to students as revision tools.

Skill Development:

  • Students will develop their team work and communication skills, be better equipped to work to tight deadlines and under pressure, and more adept at communicating information in an appropriate way for a given audience.
  • They will have had opportunities to reflect on their own abilities as communicators, and considers means by which they could improve.
  • They will have consolidated the knowledge they were set to present through the task.

Resources:

  • An appropriate audience for students to present to.
  • Assess to resources, for students use in preparing presentations.

Associated Case Studies

About the Author
This guide was produced by Mike Corcoran (www.macorcoran.com). If you would like to contact the author, please use this email address:- m.a.corcoran@outlook.com.

Team Building Time Challenge (QAA 4,6,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Outside

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy

4Implementation of ideas through leadership and management 6Interpersonal Skills 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

  • To understand team dynamics and how teams come together to achieve a goal
  • Understanding the importance of careful research, discussion and planning
  • Listening to other members of the team
  • Research
  • Idea generation