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Developing Collaborative Perspective

Submitted by Lori Britt

This activity opens up the conversation and makes visible the need to gain a broader perspective of issues in order to effectively explore and address them. What we individually know and experience is important, what we can’t see is just as important in understanding a complex issue.

average rating is 5 out of 5, based on 4 votes, rating(s)
Cat looking at puzzle

Learning Goals

  • Acknowledge the limitations of individual vantage points and develop appreciation for the perspectives of others.


Set Up: Prepare for the Activity

As the facilitator, bring a puzzle with large pieces (preferably under 50 pieces).

Organize participants into small groups (5-6 ppl).

Begin by introducing the learning goals of this activity.

Step One: Individually Reflect on a Puzzle Piece (5 min)

In small groups (5-6 ppl), a puzzle piece will be given to each participant. Use pieces from a puzzle with a recognizable image but large enough that any one piece will only have a fraction of the total image.

Instruct participants to not show the puzzle piece to anyone else.

Invite participants to reflect on their piece. Prompt:

  • Look at your individual puzzle pieces and write down what you think the image may be.

Step Two: Describe and Discuss Puzzle Pieces (10 min)

Members of each group will describe and discuss their puzzle pieces, but without showing them to one another. Invite participants to be descriptive. Participants can ask questions about others’ puzzle pieces. The group will start to identify what the puzzle image might be based only on descriptions.

Step Three: Groups Offer Guesses (5 min)

Next, invite participants to show pieces to others in their small group and look at them all together. Discuss what they can now see and as a small group.

Invite each group to put forth guesses of what the overall image might be.

Step Four: Debrief as a Full Group (15 min)

Hold up or show the image of the completed puzzle. Discuss:

  • How did descriptions of other people’s puzzle pieces alter your initial views of what the picture might be?

  • Could you understand what each person was describing or did you have to ask clarifying questions?

  • How did your perspective change when you saw others’ puzzle pieces?

  • After being shown the full image, what were you not able to see that would have helped you identify the image?

  • Twist: How does this puzzle activity relate to situations that you experience at work, class, or you see nationally where people intentionally use misinformation?

  • Twist: What happens to the power of the group when one person is deliberately trying to mislead others?





Introduction to Collaborative Discussion

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average rating is 5 out of 5


September 20, 2023 at 5:17:25 AM

very good

average rating is 5 out of 5

September 11, 2023 at 1:51:40 AM

average rating is 5 out of 5

June 23, 2023 at 3:02:10 AM

average rating is 5 out of 5


November 29, 2022 at 1:31:54 AM

Activity 1.2 is a fun and engaging activity making use of puzzle pieces to clearly demonstrate the importance of developing collaborative perspective.