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Spectrum of Opinion

Useful considerations
  • Ice-breaker and can be mixed with other activities (if required).

  • Online and in-person small and large group variant.
  • Estimated time: 15 minutes (can be made longer).
  • Minimum in-person number: one lead/7-10 participants - maximum 50 (if space permits).
  • Can be held outside (if in-person).
  • Accessibility considerations.
How the activity works

Students to share their opinions by moving along a set-axis (in-person or virtually) to find their position on a scale from ‘strongly agree’ to ‘strongly disagree’ in response to a set statement.

Statements can range from surface level e.g. ‘The building was easy to find’ to more in-depth and reflective/revealing topics e.g. ‘I am uncertain about what is expected of me at university'.

Designate at least three options e.g. “strongly agree”; “strongly disagree” and “impartial/undecided” (this can be three areas in a physical room, three options in an online form, or three breakout rooms in a Teams channel). Once everyone has found a spot that they think represents their opinion, encourage discussion.

Discussions could take place in small in-person groups or breakout rooms. Where voting polls are used, participants could be encouraged to raise their hands, share in their chat or use a Padlet. Staff should move around the groups or otherwise prompt discussions.

Subsequent statements are then used to shuffle and reshuffle students to facilitate discussion (and debate) about a range of issues that can be explored in a safe and supportive way (including the Warwick Values).

Linking to Warwick values and example statements

 In order to link this activity to exploring Warwick’s guiding principles, you should include at least two of these statements:

I am uncertain about what is expected of me at Warwick.

I understand who the Warwick Community is.

I see myself being a part of the Warwick Community.

Other suggested statement (you can develop your own which relate to your department):

This building was easy to find.

I have always been passionate about my degree subject.

My challenges are different from everyone else’s.

I enjoy people watching.

 

I am confident about cooking for myself.

I’m not sure how to ask someone their pronouns.

People are basically good.

I enjoy waking up early

I am more excited about joining clubs and societies.

 

I’m afraid of messing up someone else’s name.

 

I watch movies that have subtitles.

 

I prefer the winter.

In-person groups

In advance of the session:

  • Prepare your statements (see suggested list in table 1 on page 2).
  • Download the PowerPoint template and fill in your own statements.
  • Plan your timings (how long for movement, how long to discuss).
  • Arrange an appropriate physical space to accommodate your group size:
    • Space for students to move in (allow bigger spaces if Covid restrictions are in place). Rooms and Spaces.
    • Allow time to arrange/rearrange the room (students usually help).
    • If there is no appropriate in-person space, see the adaptations for big/online groups below.

 During the session:

  • Communicate the culture of the session: Non-judgemental, find out what we have in common, appreciate differences, respectfully listen, and discuss opinions.
  • Present the Warwick principles at the end of the activity. Students discuss/share first impressions of what the principles mean to them having now explored commonalities and differences together.
Adaptation for bigger in-person groups and online
  • Use Vevox voting technology.
  • Share the Vevox joining instructions in advance of the session to save time.
  • For online, you may need to lead a bigger group discussion or talk through responses, highlighting interesting points. Breakout rooms might be good to get students interacting with larger group discussions once breakout rooms close after each question. Allow extra time.

Thank you to Jonny Heron for sharing this activity.

 

"This activity allows students to get to know each other, to start exploring Warwick’s guiding principles in a safe environment, and promotes community awareness between students and staff alike."

 

Planning on using this activity?

If you plan on using this activity (or a variation of it), please submit your email here.

This helps us to capture the reach and impact of our resources.