That phrase ‘Two heads are better than one’ is often very true. But what about ‘Too many cooks spoil the broth’? Do we make better decisions in groups or as individuals?
In our democratic society more often than not, decisions need to be made in groups, but how can we make these decisions without discussion falling into chaos? And how can you enforce good brainstorming techniques with your class?
Tricider is an intuitive web tool that helps make brainstorming and group decisions an easier, more enjoyable and productive experience. The web application is so simple and easy that you could have it up and working with your students in minutes. Here are five basic steps on how to brainstorm in your class with Tricider.
1. Ask The Question
When visiting Tricider for the first time, it is pretty clear what you need to do. You are presented with a large text box displaying “Enter your question here”. In line with many of the web apps now available, the goal of the tool is clear from page one. You start using the web app without any need for sign up, details or messy configuration.
So, go ahead and enter your question or brainstorming topic. It’s as simple as that. Now, let’s flesh that question out a bit and add some further details.
2. Add Details And Ideas
Once the question is entered you will have the option to add a more detailed description to help students understand what is required. You also have the ability to add any of your own answers for brainstorming and voting.
Further advanced settings will let you control whether students can submit their own ideas and/or participate in voting. You also have the ability to add character restrictions to prevent long winded arguments, as well as SPAM protection to prevent unwanted participants.
3. Invite Participants And Share
Once you are happy with your question for voting or brainstorming, it is time to invite your class to participate. Tricider gives you a number of options to share your question via email, Facebook and Twitter (LinkedIn is also an option for older students).You are also given a unique URL that you can share however you please.
If you run a school blog, intranet or website, there is also the ability to embed your Tricider question right into your site. This allows students, parents or staff to answer without even leaving your page.
4. Review And Collect Results
Once your class or community has voiced their opinion, it is time to collate the results. You can see the basic statistics such as votes, submissions and views all from the Tricider dashboard. If you want something a little more formal, you also have the ability to run reports, view charts and export to Excel.
5. Motivate Participation With Rewards
If you are in the unfortunate position where no-one wants to answer your question, Tricider has added the feature to dangle a little carrot. You can set up rewards in the form of Amazon Gift Cards for participation. Rewards can be offered to those with the best ideas (most votes) or those that you consider participated best (you choose individuals).
Tricider is a very elegant solution to what can be a very messy problem. It is a fantastic tool in the classroom, but also consider the many other uses in other areas of your life. Try using it next time a comittee is struggling to come to a decision. Or even try using it to decide on where to eat out next with friends.
The broad reach of this product means it is being used in all walks of life. Here are just a few examples of how Tricider is being used by consumers, business and education:
- How do we encourage pedagogically sound exploitation of technology in language learning?
- What should we call our “Happy Hour”?
- What is your favorite dog character and why?
What tools are you using for brainstorming and decision making? Do you have any recommendations to make the process easier?
Image courtesy of Flickr, JD Hancock