Debriefing an activity or experience is powerful tool for getting feedback from students about how they liked the activity and what they learned. It's also powerful for students to have the opportunity to unpack their experience, sort through their emotions, and feel heard among their peers.
Here are some ideas for effective debriefs:
I like, I wish, I wonder
- Have students take three post-its.
- On one post-it, students should think of one thing they really liked about the activity.
- On one post-it, students should think of one thing they wish had been different about their experience.
- On one post-it, students should think of one thing they are still wondering about or would like answered.
Pair & Share
- Have students pair up with a classmate and share what they learned from the activity. By pairing students, you create space for them to think and speak without the pressure of speaking in front of the group.
Line Up Debrief
- This debrief activity shakes things up by getting students up and moving around the room to reflect on their experience, rather than sitting in a circle.
- The facilitator frames the activity and comes up with specific prompts based on the activity or project they ran in class. For the debrief, they call out a prompt to their students that designates the space as a spectrum; students place themselves in the space where they fall on that topic. The goal is to have students scattered along the spectrum, not just in one corner of the room or the other. Then ask students why they placed themselves where they did to prompt a discussion.
- For example: Let's say you just ran an exercise in rapid prototyping. You would call out a prompt, "Did you think there was enough time to make your prototype? If you thought it it was insanely too short and not enough time move towards this corner of the room. If you had a ton of extra time move towards this corner of the room." [Students move to appropriate places in the room.]
- Then, pick a student somewhere along the spectrum and ask them why they placed themselves there. To add a fun twist, ask them a question that makes them consider the other side of the spectrum.