Suppose you want to pair up your delegates. The usual way is that you just give a simple instruction such as “partner with the person on your left”. What if in another exercise you want to pair them up again but this time with a different partner? You probably need to give a different instruction and devise a new pattern. If you have many exercises to go through, perhaps in a multi-day course, it can quickly become confusing to come up with new patterns. The usual instruction at this point becomes “find a partner you have not worked with so far” with the inevitable inefficiency as people would spend some time figure out who to go to.
It makes sense to have an easy system to find new partners for different exercises. The method presented here will facilitate this process.
Find a partner using your disc based on the number instructed to you by your trainer.
What You Need
- Custom discs for each individual. These discs must be prepared based on a particular pattern to function correctly. This is explained below.
Before the Course:
- Each person must have a disc with the names of everyone written on it. This is how a disc is setup:
- Consider the total number of participants. Suppose this is N.
- Write numbers from 1 to N in a circular way on each disc.
- Write the name of each person on the centre of each disc. So now you have N personalised discs.
- Next, for each number write the name of another person so that on both persons discs, they are each other’s partners for that number. Here is an example of three discs for Peter, Jane and Adam.
- The best way to prepare these discs it to use a computer program and print the discs based on a list of names.*
During the Course:
- Distribute each person’s customised disc to them.
- Explain how the setup works. Use an example: “Find your number 7 partner”
- Now expect each person to lookup the person under number 7 on their discs and then partner with them.
- That’s it! Next time, choose a different number and everyone will quickly and efficiently find a different partner.
Explaining the Exercise: 15 minutes before the course
Activity: 1 minute
Group Feedback: 0 minutes
You can use names rather than numbers as labels for each pair combination. You can select these names based on the topic under consideration to further add meaning to a specific activity. Examples:
- Continents: Europe, Antarctica, America, Asia,…
- Colours: Red, Black, Green, Yellow,…
- Greek Alphabet: α, β, γ, δ, ε, ζ,…
UPDATE (APRIL 2013): The Clock Buddies Tool is now available.
We are pleased to announce that you can now use the Clock Buddies tool to generate the discs based on a list of names that you provide. The tool is free and you can use it to your heart's content. Access the Clock Buddies Tool here.
The random group maker can now be used to create unique groups of 3, 4 and 5 as well as for pairs. An array of customisations have been added along with various modes to help you create fun clock buddies discs and divide your class into breakout groups quickly.
Review a comprehensive set of applications and use cases for the clock buddies generator in the classroom, online, or even outside of a training environment such as sports and competitions.
The following video shows how the Clock Buddies Tool works.