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Speed Dating In The Classroom: Less Stupid Than I Originally Thought.

I've said before, I'm not into flashy lessons. That's why I used to think Speed Dating in the classroom was one of those things people did to get decent mark in an inspection or because some bloke at an INSET on 'engagement' told you to.

However, I do think it can actually work in the right scenario and can be a really good way to expose students to lots of examples or case studies. The real benefit in my mind is they get to know one example really well, but also get familiar with and discuss a wide range of examples. I think I first did the activity with the facts Ruth Tarrant talked about in her Teaching Financial Economics webinars (the Fact Wall is at the end of the Financial Markets and Financial Institutions powerpoint). I have also done it with Ali Mclean's 'Reasons for Protectionism' examples and the social impacts of Palm Oil as outlined here (skip to page 239).

I ask the students to get into pairs and label themselves A and B/Kim and Kanye/Salt and Pepper/Fish and Chips/Ant and Dec/etc. Ask students to line up facing their pair, so you have a line of As and a line of Bs. Give each pair a fact or example. If you have lots of examples or not many students, it's fine for each pair to have a handful of examples. Give students a set amount of time (eg 1 minute) to discuss the fact, then ask all the Bs to move along one so they everyone has a new partner. Each partner relays their fact/example and the pair discusses them both.

As you can see, each partner will repeat their example plenty of times and get lots of perspectives on it, as well as being exposed to lots of new examples.

See, less stupid than I originally thought.

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