Saturday, October 31, 2015

Moodle Interests Tag Cloud for Team Building Exercise

The Innovation ACT competition ends this evening with the announcement of the winners. It seemed a good opportunity to think about how to use mobile technology to improve such start-up competitions.

Innovation ACT has a PARTICIPANT HANDBOOK, which lists the activities the students do. One explicitly involves the use of social media (on page 8 of the handbook). Teams get one point per week for a post in each of the five weekly workshops:
"Social  Media  Posts

Points  can  be  earned  for  sharing  particular  learnings or experiences  to our InnovationACT Facebook group.  Details will be given throughout the program."
However, there may be scope for on-line activities in the 5 workshops and also the other events:
  • Workshop 1: Initial ideas
  • Workshop 2: Vision, Brand & pitch
  • Mentor Matching
  • Workshop 3: User Journey
  • Freedom to Operate: IP  For Start-­ups TBC
  • Workshop 4: Returns & Rewards
  • Continuation Avenues: Innovation Ecosystem TBC
  • Workshop 5: Finishing Business Models Civic.
  • Journey as Reward: Learning from Experience TBC
  • Pitch Night: Shortlisted teams pitch
  • Awards Night: Announcement of grants
There are also "download packs" which are handouts used in the live exercises. Some of these might be transacted to on-line activities:
  4. User Journey
  5. Returns and Rewards
As an example, the first activity is "Team Hunting". Currently what the students do is answer three questions on a card and then walk around seeing what others have written, looking for team mates:

"IACT Toolkit: Team Hunting:

1. List 3 things you are passionate about or interested in.
2. List Some of Your Personal Strengths. EG. Skills, Experience, networks.
3. What are you looking for in potential team mates."
Instead, I suggest they could enter this into an on-line system, which would then show the possible matches visually. A very simple way to do this would be to use Moodle, which has provision for students to enter "Interests". The system will then show a photo of all students who share an interest. You don't have to program anything to do this, it comes standard:  There is also a "Tag Block" (aka Tag Cloud): 

So the live exercise might become:
  1. Enter three things you are passionate about or interested in, your Skills, Experience and networks into Moodle as "Interests",
  2. Select an interest from the Tag Cloud. Hold up your phone and use it to help find the people who share your interest.
Something more sophisticated might be possible with Social Media systems, but Moodle has the advantage that the information is limited to the participants.

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