Other ideas for ice breaker activities

The purpose of an icebreaker activity, is to gently get the attendees to use the technology in a non-threatening, non-acadmic way so that they realise that they are not alone on the course, and to provide an opportunity for the tutor and students to enter into conversation with the other course members.

Gilly Salmon has created a model known as the Five Stage Model, which identifies the different phases that a new 'online' learning will go through, and how etivities (such as an icebreaker) can help students through the transition from one model to another.

There are various ideas for ice breaker activities:

Asking people to identify where they are from:

This could be done by asking them to find an interesting picture of their home town/village, or asking them to share an interesting fact about their home town/village, or you could ask them to add themselves to a map - e.g. http://www.mapservices.org/myguestmap/map/davefoord is a free mapping tools where people can add simple pins (without having to login). If using the map option, we have to think about protection issues - as this map is potentially visible to anyone on the web, so I would suggest putting the pin in the middle of the town/village rather than the exact address - and I would only use this with adults, not children.

Updating their profile within Moodle

Each person enrolled on a Moodle course will have a profile area, where they can update a bit of information about themselves - including their avatar (their picture). Asking them to update this information early on is a good way to get the using the facility of Moodle, and any contributions that they make later on (e.g. discussion boards) will have their avatar appearing next to them.

Creating a treasue hunt for the course

If you have a well established / developed course on Moodle, you could send people on a treasure hunt where they have to find certain areas e.g. "Where would you go if you needed to find out your grades from an assignment". You could ask them to email you the answers to the questions.

Virtual cakes

Set people a task (which could be one of the above) and then on completion reward (bribe) them with a virtual cake. This may sound like a daft idea, but has been proven to be very successful. You can then use an image search site such as Xpert (http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/xpert/attribution/) to locate images (these will be creative commons - so won't break copyright). Below is an example of such a cake.

Taken from http://farm5.static.flickr.com/8480/8258845541_aeb9b98cfe_b.jpg on 2012-12-12
Original URL - http://www.flickr.com/75279243@N02/8258845541/ created on 2012-08-03 18:39:10
Lynn Kelley AuthorCC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Last modified: Friday, 16 May 2014, 3:16 PM