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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 1 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

February 14, 2024 at 1:03:34 AM

average rating is 5 out of 5

February 14, 2024 at 1:02:20 AM

average rating is 5 out of 5

February 11, 2024 at 3:55:15 AM

average rating is 5 out of 5

January 4, 2024 at 7:22:22 PM

average rating is 5 out of 5

December 12, 2023 at 11:56:40 PM

average rating is 5 out of 5

Lori Britt

October 3, 2023 at 5:00:05 PM

Have done this in the past, but today a group really blew me away. I did this as a Fishbowl with 7 students taking roles. Prior to the converstaion they could seek input from a few other students about what which decision they think the person in their role would support and why. I also asked them to come up with some things that were concerns for them. This 10 minute of prep time helped my role play participants really embody and feel confident in their roles. Great discussion about what deliberation looks like in practice and about how power can impact conversations and how a facilitator can try and minimize these power imbalances. I used the scenario above and assigned these roles (I was not sure my students woul be able to consider roles that would offer different perspectives): • Facilitator (non-voting) • Mayor • High school teacher • 17-year-old high school student • Transportation planner for the region • Local business owner • Economic development office for the region (your community and the surrounding communities served by the train) • 50-year-old who lost his job last year and who has been on unemployment

average rating is 4 out of 5


September 20, 2023 at 5:18:02 AM


average rating is 5 out of 5


September 20, 2023 at 5:17:25 AM

very good

average rating is 4 out of 5

September 16, 2023 at 2:25:09 PM

average rating is 5 out of 5

September 11, 2023 at 9:02:29 AM

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