Educational Mashups part two: The 30 Circle Test

This post refers to an previous post added in July on  educational mashups.

Students need to see how units of work tie together, link up, sequence and that there are recognizable patterns across what they have learned. It is of course our job to do this well but sometimes it can be very hard to make it concrete so that students understand. This is when the 30 Circle Test can help. We have adapted this activity for education from a task invented by IDEO, an innovative design company in the US (please watch Tim Brown’s talk on TED.com to see how they use it).

The 30 Circle Test

The 30 Circle Test
The 30 Circle Test

The key behind this activity is to get students thinking about the bigger issues and how they link together.

Print off a copy of the image/worksheet for every learner. Give them a Unit or Course area e.g. Surgery in Medicine through Time and give them 60 seconds to draw everything they know about the topic or unit. Students are not allowed to write anything just draw. Notice that quantity not quality is key here, so sketches rather than Monet will work better. Then get them to compare with each other and talk through what sort of items they have added to their 30 Circles – probably not many… Allow them time, round 7 minutes, to finish their drawings. Then in pairs ask students to compare with each other and give them a new 30 Circle sheet and get them to produce a new piece using their (can also be three students involved) previous ‘circle drawings’. It is important that they have established what the core of the topic or Unit is and what the key issues are for the activity to work so it needs to be guided by the teacher.

Works every time.

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