What is it?
Speed dating is a great activity to use as an icebreaker, or to give learners an opportunity to hear multiple perspectives on a topic or question. Divide the class into two concentric circles, such that both circles comprise the same number of learners. Learners should position themselves in the circles to form pairs facing each other, with one member of the pair from each circle. The educator poses a question or topic, and the pairs have approximately two minutes to discuss their responses. Once the time has elapsed, learners form new pairs and continue discussing the same topic or question. To form new pairings, learners in the outer circle rotate one spot to the right so that they are facing a new partner, while learners in the inner circle remain in the same spot. This process continues until the outer circle eventually returns to their starting pairing.
Why do it?
- Speed dating encourages learners to consider alternative and competing perspectives on topics. In so doing, it improves analytical skills.
- The fast nature of this activity requires learners to hone their active listening and direct questioning skills.
- In asking learners to move around, Speed Dating enhances motivation and interest in the subject.