Other uses for the Ink Blot test

inkblot.jpg

Colleagues and I were brainstorming yesterday for out-of-the-box ways instructors can group students to perform a knowledge check/learning engagement activity that we’ve built. We all have done “count off’s in two’s, three’s, four’s” before, we’ve done “everyone in this side of the room, you form one group and the other side, another”, and we’ve done “everyone with last names from A-J form one group, etc” and so forth. Then our conversation turned into “How about splitting them into animals,” “I like bears, let’s split them into different types of bears,” “Oh! How about personalities using Myers-Briggs” onto “How about those ink things, what are they called?” And I said “Rorschach ink blot tests! I like it!”

So this is what we came up with. Choose a couple of ink blot tests that will match the number of groups that you’d like to have in your activity. Print these onto coloured paper. Hand out to students and they have to look for their matches and that forms a group.

Then we added a twist. The coloured paper are also distributed into another number of people in a group that we needed for another exercise. When we’re ready for that exercise, we informed the students to not look at the ink blots but instead look for the match of the coloured paper and that becomes the group. We made sure to print the ink blots on unmatched coloured paper so that when this colour-paper grouping comes around, there will be different members for a group.

How does this help the overall instructional design of the class you’ve built?
Team Building – people working with different people after every activity.
Engagement – students not knowing how they will be grouped – they have to be on top of their game
Enablement – for your instructors to learn to think creativity and outside the box
Cost Containment – multi-purpose use of a pre-activity activity
Energizer – you’ve set a multilayered fun learning activity – at the grouping of teams stage and hopefully at the activity level as well.

I’m sure you can come up with other variations of this idea. Share those thoughts and post them here.

photo by sleevage

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