Written by Erin Quinn
Speed Dating is a concept that came from our professor, Robert Kelly. He wrote about the process in his book, Educating for Creativity: A Global Conversation. I highly recommend this book, by the way.
Speed dating isn't for romance, it's for ideas. Its purpose is to grow ideas and collaborate with others to increase the amount of ideas everyone has.
Step 1: Have your students brainstorm ideas around a topic. When I did this with my students, they brainstormed a list of things they could write about in a book review. When I did this with teachers, we had them share ideas for a task they were designing.
Step 2: Set the chairs in your classroom up in two rows, facing each other. There should be an equal amount of chairs. If you have an odd number of students, you could join in the speed dating too!
Step 3: Have your students choose a chair, bringing their original brainstorming list with them.
Step 4: Set the timer. Depending on what the topic is, the timer could be set for 2 minutes or even 1 minute, or as much as 5 minutes. We did 2 minute intervals the other day.
Step 5: Have the two students opposite each other share their ideas. If one of them brings up a good idea that the other person doesn't have, they should add it to their list. The objective is for each student to grow their list.
Step 6: When the timer rings, have everyone move one seat to the left. The ones at the end of the row will go across to the other side. Continue the idea exchange until you feel your students have enough ideas or they have "dated" everyone.