“Speed Dating” Activity for Faculty Meetings/Workshop

Yesterday’s #edchat focused on creative strategies to make faculty meetings more engaging and valuable to teachers.  It occurred to me that one of the activities I designed for our DODEA grantPhoto by CRDM. http://crdm.wordpress.com/2010/12/10/crdm-speed-dating/

Photo by CRDM. http://crdm.wordpress.com/2010/12/10/crdm-speed-dating/

participants to initiate sign-ups for peer observations would work great in a faculty meeting. I called it “speed dating” because they really were setting a date –to do a peer observation!

Teachers in our DODEA grant project (K-12) have worked all year to design four in-depth units using the Understanding by Design process.  Most of these units will be implemented sometime this semester.  I had set up a Google Doc for teachers to post when they would be teaching a unit and would welcome peer observers so that other teachers could sign up to visit.  This idea looked good on paper, but it was just too messy, I think, and so no one was signing up either way.   That is when I thought of the speed dating idea.  Here is how it worked:

Teachers were instructed to prepare to share one of their units. They had 5 minutes to share during each rotation. Here are the directions they were given.

During each rotation, meet with a different teacher to exchange brief information about at least one UbD:

-Title/Subject/Grade Level
-Transfer Goal
-21st century skill being modeled/taught/assessed
-Essential Question
-Performance Assessment

  • “Sign up” with each teacher you are interested in observing
  • You will have 5 minutes for each rotation – be prepared with what you will share since time will be short!  A music jingle will be played to signal time to move to the  next teacher. (“The Dating Game” theme)
  • Online teachers will provide information about how their online classes can be “observed” asynchronously
  • All  observation information will be transferred to our online Google Doc for peer observations

Room Set up:

Speed Dating Room Set Up2

The expectation was that by the end of the meeting, everyone would have signed up to observe at least one other teacher, and have at least one person coming to observe them.  In reality, most teachers came away with 3-4 peer observations to participate in.  (We are fortunate that our grant is paying for sub time for these peer observations to happen.)

Below are the documents I created for the activity. Feel free to share/use/adapt!

SPEED DATING Activity to review UbDs and sign up for observing

DATES CARD for Speed Dating

Observation Checklist and Comment Form




Author: Nancy White

Learner, Curator, Innovator, Teacher, Librarian, and Collaborator. Passionate about designing learning that is engaging, relevant & sticks. 20+ years in education.

4 thoughts on ““Speed Dating” Activity for Faculty Meetings/Workshop”

  1. I really like this idea for staff meetings or even gettting to know staff at the beginning of the year. Having specific guidelines of what to share with the expectation of commenting, signing up to meet and learn is an exciting twist on the standard way meetings are conducted. It involves movement and creativity. I love it! I hope we will be able to use this idea next year in one our large group meetings. I need to think further of the parameters, but feel it could be useful and fun to do.


  2. What a great idea! Apologies, but I have ‘borrowed’ it for use in my school too..seems a great way to overcome the reluctance factor too.


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