People play an important role in creating the conditions for rich learning experiences. This might include designing the learning activities, selecting and maintaining appropriate tools and materials, and facilitating the learning experiences for learners so they are appropriately challenging and engaging. And behind the scenes, there are certainly people hiring and scheduling staff, raising money for the makerspace and communicating the role of maker-based learning experiences for visitors and patrons alike. For some museums and libraries, these roles are carried out by only a handful of people with key staff wearing multiple hats. In other cases, there is an extensive network of staff and stakeholders involved in bringing the maker-based learning experiences to life.
The purpose of this tool is to help teams reflect on the capacities and talents of current staff as well as consider gaps or opportunities for future strengths. Ultimately, this is a game to facilitate conversations among colleagues working in a makerspace and consider how their roles can better support learning and engagement.
How To Use The People Tool
This activity can take 1-2 hours, and can be revisited over time. This game is best played with 4-10 participants. The goal of the game is for each player to collect a hand of cards that represents their own individual interests, strengths, and expertise with regard to their role in the makerspace or program. To set the game up, shuffle and deal five cards to each player cards to each participant. Place remaining cards in a stack face down in the middle of the table. Everyone looks at their own cards.
To begin, one player draws a card from the central deck, and chooses whether or not to keep or discard the card based on its relevancy, with respect to the other cards in hand, to their role within the makerspace. If the card is kept, it must take place of one of the cards in hand. If it is not kept, it must be discarded. The discarded card is laid face up in front of the player discarding.
- Thought Prompt: Does this card describe your your personal interests, strengths and expertise with respect to your role in the makerspace or program better than any of the other cards in your hand?
In each subsequent turn, players can either choose to draw a face down card from the central deck or choose to take a face up card from in front of another player. Play continues until the last face-down card is revealed and either kept or discarded. All players reveal their hand, laying them face up in front of them on the table. Each player takes a turn discussing their cards and the implications of their choices, themes, etc.
- What do the cards you selected say about you?
- What do the discarded cards say about your team as a whole?
- Were there any card choices that were surprising to you or the group?
- How can your team adapt roles and projects to reflect the interests, strengths and expertise of individuals?
- What sort of actions can you make as an individual to work in areas that are suited to your strengths, interests, and expertise?
- What areas of practice are not well represented? What are the implications of this for your makerspace or program?
- How might the structures, goals, programming, etc. of your makerspace or program change to better reflect and/or accommodate the strengths and interests of your staff?