SCoPE Seminar: Informal Learning: May 15 - June 4, 2006

Debriefing "Just Three Words" Game

Debriefing "Just Three Words" Game

by Christie Mason -
Number of replies: 7
There's a bit of irony in this posting because I'm usually very supportive of  chaotic/informal learning processes.  But, I have always had difficulty in seeing the reason to have a game just to have a game.   I enjoyed the moments of fun to think of 3 words but I'm left wondering... Has anyone learned anything?

I don't think we're building community with this because no one is commenting, expanding or engaging with any other posting.  There are some nested threads but only because people are replying to replies, not to the parent thread.

The best games have a reason to engage, an attraction tht promotes activity, a payback for energies invested.  Perhaps it's my internal blindness but I'm missing the reasoning for this game and where it's supposed to lead.

Maybe the purpose is to point out that informal learning isn't fun and games? 

Christie Mason
In reply to Christie Mason

Re: Debriefing "Just Three Words" Game

by Nancy White -
Ah, I heard Opportunity Knocking!

I split off Christie's post from the Just Three Words thread so we could engage around her questions. I found them very stimulating.

What are your responses to her questions? What do you think of the Three Words game?
In reply to Christie Mason

Re: Debriefing "Just Three Words" Game

by Derek Chirnside -
AHHH, Christine, I've just got to chip in here.  I did not find this just fun.  As a lurker in the latter part of the discussion I thought to my self "This (3 words) I can do!!" but I was wrong.  :-) - I took this as something Nancy put up as a bit of a wind-down, so if there was a purpose, that was part of it.

This is the first time I have done three words as a participant rather than a leader.  I sat here on Friday last week, avoiding my other work, and decided on my words to find one was flogged.  (Nancy Ritter: 'surprise') and then later on another (Curt: Serindipity)
I thought "Is this a linear process I want to describe?" - (See, think, learn) (Experience, ponder, Learn)  ?
I thought "How do I learn?" (Pretty chaotic learning, no fixed anything)
Just three adjectives? (Chaotic, fun, fruitful)
A metaphor? (like a cake) (Data, incubation, flowering)


Then I conducted my formal reseach to get an answer:
The scene: the tea table:
"Mark, what did you learn at school today?"
"Nothing"
(Further conversation ensured, which is too painful to relate)
"Well Anna, what about you?"
"Nothing"


Now the research design could be improved, the questions refined.  :-)  Like "What's the summary of your learning in three words?"  This experiment has now been completed:

Anna's three words were "School extremely sucks"
Mark: "Midyear ExamsHave LittlePoint"  [From this you may see why Mark has problems with formal schooling]

Back to three words and Christine: if this activity was the only thing done, it would have sucked.  If it was thrown in at random, ditto - but who is to know? even a a supposedly random time . . .
If this was done as a weekly wrapup and graded.  (Horrors)  As a regular weekly event?  (Horrors).  As a roadblock remover, or intensity moderator.  (We sure didn't need this)  Nancy can reply here, but I don't think the intention is directly to build community.
All this to say: for me, this 3 words was not just some fun, but it actually was fun. Also, I enjoyed reading the other 3 words replies.  I think I learned something. If I had wanted to engage (lke you have), I just would have.   Fair question Christine.  But for me (and on further research, my son) informal learning is mainly fun and games, even if you learn some hard things.
I apologise for this lengthy post.
-Derek
Who has enjoyed the glimpses of the threads in this wide ranging discussion, who has a much loved boss that has quit last week causing chaos, and who probably will not be back in for a while, but  I know you understand. . . .


In reply to Derek Chirnside

Re: Debriefing "Just Three Words" Game

by Nick Noakes -
I think that activities like just three words can have different purposes at different stages within a learning community (informal or formal). Initial icebreaker, community temperature taker, re-energizer, quick summarizer, etc. I guess the key point is that it is low threshold in terms of engagement for any purpose.
In reply to Nick Noakes

Re: Debriefing "Just Three Words" Game

by Bronwyn Stuckey -

To me it is about light and shade - creating a variety of pace and commitment in our time together. The little game did several things for me:

  • brought me back into the space
    I have played before and knew I could attend and have some presence - committing only a short time even with my hectic week
  • Back here I scanned the other things - requiring more commitment of time on my part - but noted them with interest.
  • The game held up the pace of conversation for a short time
    I think I saw the deep discussion pause for a while which gave me a way back in after a while away. I could catch up while you played.
  • The relaxed nature of the game gave me an insight into personality and perspective of people (humour, sensibilitiy etc - with guard down).
In reply to Derek Chirnside

Re: Debriefing "Just Three Words" Game

by Nancy White -
(I am having a lovely time imagining the dinner conversation in Derek's home!)


In reply to Christie Mason

Re: Debriefing "Just Three Words" Game

by Ann Busby -

Or maybe that it should be? I want learning to be fun, not drudgery, especially when it's informal and driven by my needs & desires. And games can definitely be learning tools-I've seen some beautiful word combinations for the "3 words" descriptions-so cool!

Ann

In reply to Christie Mason

Re: Debriefing "Just Three Words" Game

by Nancy White -
I wanted to wait a while until I shared why I started the Just Three Words thread.

The game has been very useful for me. Like Nick and Bronwyn noted, it is an "easy entry" or rentry point that does not require as much investment as entering into a full discussion thread. So it may pull some folks who were on the periphery closer to the center.

For me the distillation into a few words also helps me see what is really juicy for someone. It asks us to get to something essential. It can be challenging.

I also like to see how people riff or improvise off of each other, giving me a feeling of connection.

It also supports discovery. (See the conversation emerging here)

Finally, it is light. If you skipped the thread, it is not a huge loss. Oline there is so much we CAN read, sometimes it is exhausting. So if I peek into a game and it is not for me, I can rest a little easier when I walk away. That might seem contradictory to what I just wrote before, but that's how I feel. :-)