CEC no words 2-8.png

Unofficial Starts

Definition: “…any strategy that facilitates early engagement & interaction that amplifies the productivity of your group and/or program” (Unofficial Start Video 30:50)

Meaningfully and purposefully sparking engagement of a group. (Session 1: timestamp 1:04:15)

Value: We often reward people for being late by waiting for students to stroll in.

By using the Unofficial Start a few minutes before or after the start time, you set a tone for high engagement before getting started. (Session 1: Timestamp 1:04:15)

WSU Tech Session Video

Select the title above to watch Chad Littlefield discuss Unofficial Starts with WSU Tech faculty (1 hour 40 minutes). If you are asked to sign in to view the video, use your WSU Tech credentials.

Examples and Resources

Video: Unofficial Start Art

Video Summary: This 10-minute video from Chad Littlefield guides the viewer on how to make virtual classes more interactive with an activity called Start Art. Watch Chad experiment for the first with this idea with a live workshop to see how it works!

Engaging Activity Summary: Participants use the annotate tool in Zoom to collectively color in a shared image with color guides.

Video: We! Connect Cards - 4 Activities to Create Virtual Bonding in a Group

Video Summary: This 12-minute video from Chad Littlefield guides the viewer on how to make create bonding exercises virtually using the We! Connect cards. Use the free digital version of the We Connect Cards for participants who do not have access to the deck. 

Engaging Activity Summary: Participants use the annotate tool in Zoom to collectively color in a shared image with color guides.

Classroom Activities

Activity: Annotate ​

Engaging Activity Summary: Using an annotate tool to engage people at the same time for brainstorming or group think for an unofficial start activity. (Have a backup plan for those who can’t or choose not to use the annotate tool.)

Consider what is the unofficial start you want to use to kick off a particular class with to set the tone for the entire class? Refer to this time stamp for an example of an unofficial start that creates high engagement in the first few moments of class meetings (9:20)

 

Activity: 90 in 90 Transitioning from an unofficial start to content

Engaging Activity Summary: Review take-aways from the time together through a  90 second review of the last 90 minute class or session (if class times or activities are shorter adjust your time accordingly for example: 20 in 20 or 50 in 50).

Activity - Create thought provoking engagement as students arrive to class.

Engaging Activity Summary: Using WeandMe cards (free resources at www.weand.me/connect) to find curiosity questions to start with. Questions are color coded. Put the curiosity question cards on a table; students pick a question they want to answer during the session as they come in. Students chat about the questions with someone else in the class.

Another idea: Post questions on the wall and hand out sticky notes for students to write their answers to the questions. There are written activities on the first 5 WeandMe cards. The graphic below is 7 ideas of interaction and engaging activities.

 

 

 

 

Activity: Write a Letter to the Future
Engaging Activity Summary: Navigate to futureme.org and write a letter to yourself in the future to use as a memory que so you can forget about the topic, subject, or event until the time comes. What do you want to tell yourself in the future? The Future Me letter is a way to remember something you have learned in class or a meeting. 

weme activities.png

Jump to topic resources and examples by selecting the link below.