No. 52 (August 2001)
A special procedure for teachers and trainers
(but the rest of you can also sneak a peek!)
by Win Wenger, Ph.D.
Those of you who are well familiar with "brainstorming" know that the best ideas are generated near the end of the brainstorming session, after the fluff and trite stuff has been gotten out of the way. If you aren't really familiar with brainstorming, please go to the CPS Techniques section on this site and check out Gravel Gulch; become familiar with that procedure. Or dig out some of the prolific literature on the Osborn-Parnes Creative Problem-Solving (CPS) system which heads the world-wide creativity movement.
Those of you who are well familiar with "Freenoting" know that the best ideas are generated near the end of the freenoting sessions, after the fluff and trite stuff has been gotten out of the way. If you aren't really familiar with Freenoting, please go to the T&L Techniques section of this site and check out Freenoting; become familiar with it an amazingly useful procedure, though admittedly for some people it involves some effort to do such writing. .
Those of you who have read Betty Edwards' famous book, Drawing on the Right Side of Your Brain, and tried her famous exercise of drawing a picture upside down, know that our perceptions and responses are far more accurate once we've gotten out of our way the fluff, the trite and stock responses we have for nearly everything, our short-cuts in perception and thinking.... Once we've gotten past these, we can become remarkably perceptive, effective and creative.
In addition to these, the "Final Exams" procedure below makes a truly wonderful way to review much of the contents and context of a course, especially a successful one like those this writer enjoys teaching at the National Institute for Teaching Excellence, a masters-degree program for teachers conducted each summer by Cambridge College. This writer first invented this procedure Friday, July 27, 2001, and used it to good effect the same day. You might as well have its use for your courses as well, if you so please. Enjoy.
For courses without final exams, to reduce anxiety, and to supplement finals in courses which have exams and tests. A major end-of-course booster and review.
I guarantee that even if some silly or even plain wrong ideas are in the
front of the torrent, as with a brainstorm, really good and meaningful
insights will start cropping up and predominate toward the end, and your
students will have a much better grasp and understanding of your course than would otherwise have been the case and feel much better about you and about your course than about most others, and more likely to follow through on what you've taught them. That easily.
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