Can staff help improve the culture? Can students help teachers think of new and engaging ways to learn? Yes! Relieve yourself from the responsibility of sole idea generator using this simple strategy for brainstorming, insight-building, and innovation.
Students and staff love to provide feedback about topics that directly impact them. They are vested because, if asked the question, there’s hope their opinion may lead to an improvement in their lives. Ask them! One simple strategy implemented by Intuit, the designers and developers of TurboTax, is called 2×2 Narrowing. The video below helps explain how it works.
I’ve created a two-step example to illustrate how it can be used. The example below can be used to receive feedback from staff about professional development or from students relative to activities they would like to/or have completed in class.
- Hand out post-it notes to everyone
- Have participants write down professional development activities (teachers) or activities (students) have participated in or would like to participate
- Everyone should put their post-it notes on the board in a pile
- Collectively determine the X and Y axis or for a modified gradual release technique, pre-determine the X and Y Axis, respectively
- Place each post-it note from step 2 into the proper quadrant on the matrix. If you wish to work in smaller groups, have participants write the item and the smaller group can discuss and establish where they think it belongs and then tally votes for the master grid
- Do this until all post-it notes are placed on the master grid
- Move on to step 2
Next, we will narrow the focus with another matrix.
- Establish the next X and Y axis groups or pre-determine. Remember, voice, choice, and engagement will add value to this activity
- Take the post-it notes from the green quadrant (upper right) and put them in the new matrix using the same technique as above
- You can continue to narrow as needed to gain the insights you are seeking by creating a third matrix
Enjoy the activity! The 2×2 Insight Matrix can be used to refine answers to any question. If you have used this or try it after reading this post, please leave feedback!