If you walked passed the Old Library in Drummond Street on Monday the 17th of February you would have seen something you might not expect in a university setting….
Twelve students were namely busy ‘speed-dating’ with each other! The only clue that this event was not meant to take place on Valentine’s day was the the sight of participants taking notes during their conversations. If you then walked inside the Old Library, you would have wondered what was meant by the fact that every eight minutes the organiser loudly stated ‘Feedback reminder!’ If this had grabbed your attention, and you had listened more closely to one of the conversations, it might then have struck you what this event was all about. Since you probably would have heard fragments of students talking about ‘new animal relationship through the interspecies internet’, ‘the implications of ICT based agricultural extension services for rural farmers in the Global South’, ‘the role of Fair Trade certification in Ghana’ or ‘health geographies and outdoor education in Scotland’!
Indeed, this is speed-dating with academic content! In short, this ‘academic speed dating’, as I named it, was an opportunity for participants to present their own research and to get feedback from three different speed-dating partners. Let me clarify this with an example of two imaginary participants: Susan and Joe. During the first round Susan would present her research to Joe. She can decide herself which part of the research she wants to present. After eight minutes they hear the organiser loudly stating ‘feedback reminder!’. Now it is up to Joe to give feedback about the research Susan intends to do. He writes his feedback on a post-it and gives it to Susan. After two minutes they hear ‘Switch roles!’. The same process is now carried out, but then Joe is the presenter and Susan gives feedback. After this first round is finished, every participant moves one place to his or her right in order to hear new ideas and to receive different feedback from another participant.
Since a video says more than a thousand words (!), check out this film to get a real life impression of the event.
I hope this event has inspired the participants with new insights for their research. And who knows, maybe it will come to a point when lecturers will organise this as part of their classes in order to help you to make progress with your course paper or dissertation.
Here’s to interactive and innovative ways of learning!
* Please note that clicking on the above video will play an official School of GeoSciences video that is hosted on YouTube. A cookie may be installed in your browser by YouTube.