I participated in the following activity at a conference sponsored by the Department of Education. I highly recommend it as an active learning tool that can be used with large (hundreds of participants) or small (as few as eight) groups. 

In preparation for the activity, create a handout that asks several questions. Put all of the questions on one side of your handout. Select one of the questions to put on the opposite side (Side B) of the handout. Each question should be equally represented. For example, if Side A has four questions, each question would appear on Side B on ¼ of the handouts. Sample question: if you wanted to use this exercise for a mid-term review of the On Course text, you could ask questions such as this one which I have taken and modified from the Facilitator’s Manual: “Many people who commit crimes believe that they have been wronged by society and that having been wronged justifies their crimes. What would you say to a group of prison inmates about the differences between a Creator and a Victim?”

Procedure: there are three steps to this activity.

1. A. Seat students in two rows facing each other. One row will be named the Movers and the other row will be the Shakers. The students receive a copy of the handout along with instructions to interview the person who is sitting across from them by asking the single question found on Side B of their handout. Both students interview each other. (5 to 10 minutes)
B. After students have finished with their interviews, the Movers stand up and move to the left one place. The Mover with no one to move to goes to the other end of the line. The Shakers can stand up and shake hands with the new person but they will remain in their same seat.
C. After the Movers have moved, both Movers and Shakers again interview the person seated across from them by asking the same question they asked during the first interview. (This procedure can be repeated approximately four times with the Movers moving after each interview and all interviewers continuing to ask the question they originally asked.)

2. All of the students who were asking the same question now form into their own group or groups (depending on the number of participants). That is, all interviewers who were asking Question 1, form a group, and all interviewers who were asking Question 2, form a group, etc. These groups can sit in a circle or around a table. Each group selects a facilitator to keep the group on task and a recorder. One by one each of the group members shares with the group the responses received during the interviews. The group then chunks all of these responses into three general categories.

3. The recorders meet at the front of the room where they share with the entire group the general responses that were received from the original interviews.

There is much collateral learning to be accomplished with this exercise, and students enjoy it.

–Elizabeth Wynia, Communications, Sisseton Wahpeton Community College, SD

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