To date, we have held two poly speed dating events in Berkeley.
They have been raucous and fun, a whirlwind carnival of romance and rejection.
Each round has to be long enough for the students to gather some information and short enough to get to each panelist during the activity. Most important is to leave time for reflection for the students.
At the end of the experience, have students work in their pairs to discuss what they learned.
I added follow-up questions to each set so students could delve deeper into the issue if time allowed.
Planning the event requires thought and organization.
The panel discussion is a valuable, time-tested teaching technique used in classrooms of all types to help students understand the experiences of a particular group of people. As I moved into the graduate classroom as a teacher of students studying higher education I realized I had a short time (one semester) to introduce and expose my students to the vast array of functions in the area of student affairs/student services.
My previous experiences facilitating successful panel discussions led me to believe that a panel would be a good method to use here. In an effort to create a panel that represented a diversity of functions and practitioners, I ended up with too many panelists and, consequently, an ineffective exercise.
Here’s how I set up my speed dating model this semester.Each pair turned in a list of three-five questions ranked by their specific interests.As the instructor, I assigned one-two questions per pair.Twelve pairs of students asked the same questions to twelve different practitioners, essentially receiving twelve different insights on one particular issue in the same amount of time used in a traditional panel discussion.In preparation for this event, students were asked to work in pairs to brainstorm questions for the practitioners/panelists.