Conversational Mixer Exercise
In the workplace, it is rare to find teams where all the individuals know one another. To help students get to know one another better, just like they would in the workplace, the class participates in a conversational mixer. Before the mixer starts, go over how to shake hands, introduce yourself, start conversations, and end conversations. Then, get the mixer started by modeling these actions. The students will be tentative at first, but after a few minutes, they begin to loosen up and start learning more about one another.
In the class period after the mixer, have an impromptu mixer in which students partner up with one or two students. Once they have a partner(s), they are then given a short (and not heavily weighted) assignment, usually an informational presentation or a brief informational report, to complete in collaboration. The goals of this short assignment are to start practicing collaboration in a manageable team of two or three while meeting another class objective such as the oral presentation requirement.
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