I've been wanting an opportunity to use this activity in an online course for years! It's been tucked away in my (One day I will... file).
Here's a rough draft - any suggestions for improvement would be appreciated!
Sharing Stories - Building Community
Intended purpose: to initiate (build) a sense of community among participants who are all pursuing courses within a shared program; this activity would be offered during the initial introductory foundation course that they all take. After this course, they may all take different courses, fully online or blended offerings, at different times over a two year period. My hope is that they would have fun and get to know each other enough to make them want to stay connected in other ways that are offered during the program.
What? I chose to use Cogdog (Alan Levine's) Five Card Flickr open licensed activity. I selected the ds106 option. This is a digital "gamified" version of an activity you may have seen done in face-to-face workshops or conferences. Participants are offered a pre-selected number of images (or they have a chance to select a certain number within a limited time). Their challenge is to imagine a story that connects the often disparate images. Sharing their stories helps to build their understanding of each other (often through laughter!)
Things to consider: Suitable for an online or blended course offering. For the online activity, learners would have to be comfortable with basic web browser skills, and have a fairly good internet connection and relatively recent computer and web browser. If any learner found the online activity too challenging, the trainer could easily create an alternate assignment and share as a downloadable document or even send via snail-mail. Learners could be encouraged to be creative in how they told their story - as long as whatever story they told could be shared with their peers.
Alternate option: Use the Five Card Flickr search to perform a random sort and then download several selected sets to produce different documents. The images could be resized, grouped and added to a Word or editable PDF document so participants could complete as they choose.
Disclaimer: This is a new try for me (haven't had an opportunity to test it on my intended victims (oops, I mean audience ;-)
Tasks: (what I need to do before offering)
- Find a 'hook' or way to awaken creative instincts - make it fun. Share some funny, poignant examples. Roll a virtual dice to determine who gets to try first (if I'm able to get them started in a synchronous online session?)
- Provide a checklist that includes a direct link "Are you ready to play Five Card Flickr" and sets a timeframe and explains how to submit to a shared space.
- If they're comfortable sharing their story in the open, they can submit to the Five Card Flickr site and share a link back into the course discussion forum.
- If they're not, they can save the images to their desktop and build the story there or in an online page you provide that can be shared with other members of the course.
- Set a date for final storytelling submission - allow a few days thereafter and encourage them to read each others and share comments. You may want to provide some simple guidelines for comments.
- Provide a summary or share highlights along the way - this helps to keep learners thinking about the activity - even if they're not actually logged into the course site.
- Encourage learners to share what they enjoyed (or might change) about the activity for future classes.
I'm thinking this could be pretty engaging. If you wanted a slight variation, you could assign only 1 image to the first student (or victim ;-) . Each of the remaining students is assigned a date on which they must add one image (anything at all, as long as it furthers the storyline) to the shared story-space. This would be a way to spread out the activity, possibly less work for you.
But '5-card Flickr' has a nice ring to it & I expect anything designed by Cogdog to be solid. Whichever way you offered it, I think having a community building exercise at the beginning of a program is an excellent idea. You could engage a lot of learners with an activity like this & for sure it would be FUN.
I like the idea of having them build a story person by person, image by image. The challenge is in finding a tool that easily allows people to add images to same space with text AND for all participants to be able to do it easily.
I had thought at one point I could host an activity like this on Padlet but sometimes the upload of images is slow and many participants are still confused by the concept of resizing images to make them easier to share.
Still a good idea though - thx.
SylviaR I saw your comment: I've been wanting an opportunity to use this activity in an online course for years! and had a flashback to a Northern Voice conference at UBC where Alan unveiled this idea. I left the session thinking cool, I'm going to try this 5 card Flickr thing. I looked back in my own Flickr photos and saw it was 2011. Haha some ideas just need to percolate for awhile.
At the time I was thinking as a community building activity it would be interesting to deal out the same 5 cards to everyone to see how the stories might vary. It probably wouldn't have the same pizzazz but it might have a more connecting effect? Not sure!
Wow, we go back a ways eh?
Thanks for sharing that image from Alan's presentation. I should see if his open blog tool he built for TRU is still around - that could be another shared activity - and I have pics from when he shared it at ETUG with Brian Lamb.
And constraining the random 5 images might make it more interesting as the diversity of reflections could be revealing? Looking forward to having a chance to try...finally!
I made one for you! I figured Adobe Spark might be a fun tool to do this with, so I used my desktop (also possible on tablet) to make one for you. What do you think? Was this the kind of thing that you were thinking about?
If you're curious, here was my process:
- I went to the Five Card Flickr site URL you gave above and tried to get photos that way, but I found it sort of difficult to save the photos onto my desktop in order to be able to bring them into Adobe Spark. The 'save as photo' function (right click on mouse) didn't seem to be working for some reason. And when I clicked into the photo itself and tried to go back to the Five Card Flickr photo site to find the rest of the photos I chose, it didn't work. So I eventually gave up on Flickr and went right over to Adobe Spark.
- I know how to use Adobe Spark so there was no learning curve there really, just remembering how to use it. It's pretty intuitive though. I had to think about how to get random photos in there. So I typed in the word 'random' and of course things came up, but a whole class couldn't type the same word, I figured, because they might get the same photos. So I typed in the words, 'one', 'two', 'three', 'four' and 'five' and I chose the first image that came up. (Adobe Spark allows you to pull in Creative Commons images within their system.)
- This means that if students were going to use the photos available for embedding right within Adobe Spark, they might need to use a random word generator tool alongside it, or choose a structure to use to find images before they go into Spark. For example, 'a', 'b', 'c', 'd' and 'e' OR 'do', 're', 'mi', 'fa', 'so', OR 'violet', 'indigo', 'blue', 'green', 'yellow' (colours of the rainbow order), and so on.
- Other details: With Adobe Spark you can record the audio per each page, so that was easy. It didn't take me long to come up with a story. I didn't script anything. I only had to re-record the first slide, because I had made an awkward pause. The re-recording process for one page is super easy.
(Edited by Sylvia Currie - original submission Thursday, 1 November 2018, 12:34 PM - embedded Beth's Adobe Spark story. It appears something has changed and ability for participants to embed iframe has been taken away! Will look into it.)
That's super-helpful Beth! Talk about constructive feedback
LOL re. "I feel this story doesn't have anything to do with me...was it supposed to? Or was it supposed to just be a cool, creative process/story to engage with?"
There was a bit of that behind my wish to use the tool to run the activity ;-)
I appreciated the details of how you did it but I think that I might approach it by running random sorts ahead of time and sharing the images into Moodle in a slideshow kind of way (could use Gslides or whatever replaced Moodle's Lightbox?)
BTW, are you using a free version of Spark? I did a quick look at limitations and couldn't find a clear statement about how long it's free and whether there are other constraints? I just remember Coggle and now Padlet - to make money they've had to limit the number you can create.
And, in terms of forming connections - I think I need to scale back - and be selective so that the random sort would bring up images that were relevant to what the group is learning. For my northern project, anything to do with recreation, leisure or leadership should create possibilities for shared experiences in the storytelling. And I can add some writing prompts or model how I might tell a story based on the images - I've become a serious Screencastomatic fan and I might use that as the suggested tool.
Appreciate you taking the time on a Friday. Have a good weekend.
hi Beth & SylviaR,
Beth, your 5-card Flickr photo essay really looked like fun! I played your voice-over & then played it again with the sound off & tried my own storyline. So this was a VERY low-tech way of doing the exercise but I found it really fun & easy & it took me only about 15 minutes to come up with a story (see below).
I love the idea of using a'random image generator'. Adobe Spark may indeed be a bit complex for students but what about a random image generator website? Then students would only need to know how to copy & paste the link, or (at the very least) do a screen capture.
Anyway, here's my story based on Beth's series of 5 images:
Slide 1. Martina, an experienced online educator, felt the ground quiver slightly as she watched a strange vehicle land silently in her horse pasture.
Slide 2. A young man came out of the vehicle. He called himself "Trtulr'q". Although Martina found his name impossible to pronounce, she fell immediately in love with him.
Slide 3. Trtulr'q invited Martina to a romantic picnic & introduced her to a food which he translated as "sauteed green daisies". Martina ate the food, not realizing that doing so would commit her to a lifelong relationship with Trtulr'q.
Slide 4. Through mind control, Trtulr'q convinced Martina to re-locate to his community. Together they endured a long space flight, surviving only on a succulent plant reminiscent of aloe vera.
Slide 5. Trtulr'q's home world was not as bad as Martina had feared but it took her some time to get used to red lawns. Fortunately, due to the wonders of technology, she was able to maintain her online teaching gig.
Hilarious, Gina! Are you a sci-fi fan perhaps? Love it.
Like the idea of the random image generator too.
I love this! Let me know when you publish the sequel. I'm hooked. I think I might add a leaf to the tree I made using Beth's activity idea: "online facilitator on distant planet?"
Wow, thanks for that resource Gina - and the story - definitely sci-fi ;-)
I've added it to my collection and will mention it in my blog - I'm promoting the SCoPE micro-courses - I so appreciate the feedback and ideas - I will try to contribute more next time around. Thanks all!
This is awesome! I love the opportunity for my science-minded learners to think creatively and more abstractly.
Would love to hear if anyone has done this/other ways people use Flikr!