More icebreakers and other activities for educational development events

From a long ago set of listserv messages about ideas on running a new faculty orientation, but many easily adapted for in the classroom or any educational development event. If you know to whom I can attribute this, let me know. 

*Networking Activity – faculty were paired, given index cards and asked to give basic info (discipline, # yrs. teaching, etc.) and to indicate a colour that best represented their teaching philosophy.  Informal introductions allowed faculty to identify common philosophies for future networking.

Interesting choice of colors.  Most chose green for a variety of reasons…. -always growing & changing, freshness & renewal, preparing students for job markets where they will earn lots of “green”……….

*Stir Fry Game – Discussions on the course syllabus, faculty or staff handbook, and course calendar were introduced with a sorting activity featuring important policies/information from all three.

*First Day Tips – generated from small group discussions with both new and experienced faculty

*Dare to Care Packets – small groups were given a bag which included a tissue, a penny, an envelope with notecard, a piece of candy, a sharpened pencil, a rubber band, and a band-aid.  They were asked to identify how each of these items might symbolize an attribute of a caring professor.

Responses included: penny-share yourself & your knowledge with students, tissue-be compassionate, envelope – give comments (positive with the negative), rubber band- stretch the potential of your students, etc..

*What’s in the bag? (from Cassidy – I have used this in many ed dev workshops and it is great in that it can be done ‘on the fly’ once you have your bag ready!) A play on the above tip, put a variety of small items in a cloth bag and ask people to pick one. Depending on numbers, work individually or in a pair with the item picked. Say how that item might represent some part of the work you do, or what you are getting out of the workshop to date, or something related.

*Poster displays of various offices on campus were provided for break time.

*Voices of Our Students – we filmed a 12 minute video of our students indicating their likes, dislikes, expectations of professors and also their advice to our new faculty.

*Voices of  Experience – a faculty panel of experienced faculty provided a response to the video and addressed questions

*Working Lunch with Provost & Deans – Admin. were forbidden to come before lunch.  When they came they were dispersed among the tables of new faculty. New faculty introduced their table “guest” and conversations centered around Education Expections at our university. Background music was provided during lunch by our Human Resource Officer who is a wonderful pianist.

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