Wednesday, August 6, 2008

New workshop format: Goldtaking


Today we tried out a new format for workshops; I'd like to call it "GoldTaking". We got great feedback on it.

It works in the following way:

Pre-requisites
1. The group starts off by having a quick standup where everyone suggest one topic to discuss. These topics are being listed on a board/big notebook.

2. Everyone goes up to the board and make a single mark on one or two topics they like to discuss.

3. Depending on how many people are attending, the organizers choose a number of topics to discuss and make up groups for them based on number of markings. Since everyone can mark two topics, we easily filter the topics. If they could only select one, they are more likely to only mark the one they came up with in the beginning.

The actual "Goldtaking":

For each group we have a notepad and a pen and select a note taker to begin with. Whenever that note taker wants to make a statement or ask a question, she passes the notepad and pen clockwise, thus making the person sitting next to her the new note taker.

This has some interesting effects; one that we experienced is that very often someone is likely to "take over" the discussion. After some time they are bound to become the new note taker, thus giving the word to the others.

Another thing that this accomplishes is that when we gather the books afterwards, we have an excellent document for making reports or post-documents of the discussion.

Everyone is free to take their own notes when they are not the official note taker, this means that if they really want to take notes on everything; they can either fill in their notes whenever they pass the notepad (after making the statement/question) or they can borrow the notebook afterwards and copy from it (the missing bits will be written by them self!).

The reason for the name "GoldTaking" is that this is inspired from Gold Fish Bowl-discussions and that the result document may be worth its weight in gold.

3 comments:

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