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Problem Solving Exercise: Define the Sequence of Activities

Problem Solving Exercise: Define the Sequence of Activities


Purpose

This exercise helps groups of people to work together on a common activity to solve a given problem. The exercise allows you to address a number of training areas such as inter-group communication, self-management, leadership, approach to problem solving, mapping visual data to logical data and cooperation.

Objective

Find out the correct sequence of a series of visual panels that tell a story by exchanging information with other groups.

What You Need

  • A comic. Before the course, you need to choose a sequence of 5 panels in a comic story. These panels must be visually representative and contain a well-defined story. Choose the story based on the content of your course and what you want to teach. Examples:
    • Select a sequence on assertiveness
    • Select a sequence on an scheming individual
    • Select a sequence to highlight issues on body language
  • Prepare the materials as follows:
    • Choose the 5 panels.
    • Remove any descriptive text or conversation bubbles from the panels. It is best to do this digitally (such as in Photoshop) for best results.
    • Print the panels and cut each panel into a different card.
    • On the back of each card, write the name of a colour, so each card can be referenced.

Setup

  • Divide the delegates to 5 groups of roughly equal size.
  • Give each group one of cards at random.
  • Explain that groups should not show their card to each other.
  • Explain that the cards are part of a sequence of a story and the objective is for all groups to work together to find the right sequence.
  • Ask group to explain what they see in each card without showing the card to each other.
  • Ask other groups to listen carefully so they can understand the content of each card. Groups can take notes as needed.
  • Ask all groups to work together in working out the right sequence. At no point should they show their cards to each other.
  • Allocate 15 minutes for this part.
  • After the allocated time, ask groups to reveal their sequence by stating the colour names representing the cards that form the sequence. Record their suggestions on a whiteboard.
  • Collect the cards from groups and reveal the correct sequence by placing the cards face up next to each other.
  • Compare the identified sequence with the correct sequence.
  • Encourage reflection on results.
  • Follow with a discussion.

Timing

Explaining the Exercise: 5 minutes

Activity: 15 min activity + 3 min checking results = 18 minutes

Group Feedback: 5 minutes

Discussion

Did you manage to guess the correct sequence? What was the most challenging part of this exercise? What did you think of the panels without the textual conversation? How did you communicate with other groups and were you happy with the level of information exchange? If you had a chance to go through this exercise again, how would you approach it?