I was planning a post this week describing how to use speed dating as a class activity. I can always count on speed dating day as one of my favorite classes of the semester – the energy in the room is unbelievable. Students enjoy it and appear to learn while, at the very least, practicing their communication skills (over and over and over). As I started to do some background research1 for my post, I was disappointed to learn that I am not the inventor of using speed dating in class. Others are using it and appear to be getting great results too. I recommend this blog post by Jacqueline Hodes for a nice overview that also includes some references with evidence that speed dating actually helps learning.
So I’m letting myself off the hook for a longer post this week – read Jacqueline’s post and then think about how you can use (or request) speed dating in your classes or meetings. I will just echo what Jacqueline says about small touches making a big difference. I use an obnoxiously loud buzzer to signify when it is time to switch partners. One of my role models, Annie Pearce, plays upbeat techno music and wears a green and white striped top hat. You’ll have fun thinking up ways to personalize speed dating to meet the student learning objectives for your class.
- this means I googled “speed dating class activity” [↩]