Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Online Team Building: Icebreakers 2

You can provide a very easy and fun icebreaker activity for your students by just using a Discussion board in Canvas. This activity could be used in an online only course, a blended course and even a face-to-face course. The idea came from Teampedia and is called Story Around the Circle.

As the instructor, you can decide if the story will have a certain theme related to online learning in general or related to a topic that you will be covering that semester. If you choose a theme, be sure to identify it in your instructions on the Discussion board. (e.g., "Challenges of taking an online course." "The first day I opened my new business", etc.)

Then, start the story! "Once upon a time, I decided to begin my college education by enrolling in an online course. With a trace of apprehension, but with mounting excitement, I placed my cursor on......"

Instruct the students to read through the other posts and continue the story from the last student who posted with a paragraph or two sentences. Suggest that they leave the last sentence incomplete such as "...and then..." or "This resulted in...".

  1. You will want to set up the discussion board to NOT allow threaded replies.
  2. Do NOT click on "Users must post before seeing replies".
  3. Decide to have it graded or not. (Bonus points for icebreaker activities is always welcome from students and encourages participation.) 
  4. Instruct the students to post their part of the story by clicking on the Reply link to the Discussion forum...NOT the student's post. 

  1. You might have the story end with the due date and then message the first student who posted to provide an ending to the story.
  2. You might provide a debrief assignment where students can relate if their part of the story was completely made up or related to an actual experience.
  3. You can create another Discussion forum to relate how the story might be relevant to a topic covered in your class.
Check out the Discussion Forum below to see how it might look:

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