History Mapping: A Reflective Prompt for Digital Portfolios

 The challenge with questioning projects is to do so in a way that not only advances the work, but that also builds relationships and helps the people involved to learn and develop. This doesn’t mean that your questions can’t be tough and direct, but the probing needs to be in the spirit of accelerating progress, illuminating unconscious assumptions and solving problems.  (Continue Reading from HBR here)

How can we scaffold group reflection in order to maximize personal growth?

We often ask teams or students to plan ahead–construct a timeline of next steps. This post plans on directing you to a protocol which helps you flip that and reverse it.

Step One: Consider the big picture overview of all the questions you need the group to consider and construct your History Map:

I use Pages/Keynote for making my map. The ease of using ‘shapes’ allows me to quickly put together a map with the icons I need.

Step Two: Pair students off in ‘icon teams.’ Teams of two discuss one question specifically.

Step Three: Students bring a summary statement back to the bigger team (works best with that team being 10-12 students).  As a team they plot out the essential learnings/understandings along the timeline.

Step Four: Students take a photo of the finalized map and then independently go back to their own digital portfolio:

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Add the image

  1. Which plot point on the history map do you believe to be the most important to consider at this point in time? What makes you say so?
  2. How has my process felt similar to those on my team? From our team conversation is it possible to infer how resilient I am in relation to others? What makes me think so?
  3. If research shows that most basketball teams who are down by just a few points at halftime come back to win (see here) and we understand that small deficits can motivate us to work harder–what are our small deficits and to what extent does the history mapping bring them to light?

Step Five: Students share their posts as a class (in larger classes pair different ‘map teams’ up)

Ask students to comment on 1-2 other posts (I recommend having fixed pairs ready in advance).

Potential commenting sentence starters:

The history mapping activity pushed our thinking in different/similar directions, I say this because (x).

Your post helps me reconsider what actions/ behaviors need to be prioritized by our team.  Now I think we need to prioritize (x).

After reading your thoughts, a new question emerges, now I’m wondering (x).

Need a specific protocol for a specific activity? Leave us a comment and we will do our best to pair you up with a protocol that works!

One Comment Add yours

  1. vwi@gapps.uwcsea.edu.sg says:

    Very much stealing this, Tricia. Would love to chat next we have common free time. 🙂

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