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#12 Choose experiential activities with the appropriate level of complexity for your group

Client Enquiry:

I am looking for some tools to help make my Communications programmes more interactive. How should I choose between buying Colourblind® or Colourblind® Plus?


RSVP Design Response

Why choose? Buy both in the package and save money ;)

Seriously though, there are some considerations that might help you choose when you might use either activity:


Group Size:

Colourblind is ideal for groups of between 10 and 14 people where the 28 available shapes results in each person holding between 2 or 3 shapes. The large group version of Colourblind Plus is the same. For smaller groups - say 6 to 9 people - take out a full set of coloured shapes before beginning the activity. If people have more than 3 shapes the activity can become easier, and if they only have 1 shape they have little input to make. If you regularly work with groups of 2 to 5 people then use Colourblind Plus - it has paired and small group versions.


Requirement for short inputs:

Colourblind will typically require 20 to 30 minutes activity time before review and Colourblind Plus will take typically an extra 10 minutes for the same level of group. If you don't have 45 minutes to one hour to spend on your programme, then use the paired or small group version of Colourblind Plus. Including review you can probably schedule 20 to 40 minutes for either the paired or small group Colourblind Plus version.


Requirement to sequence increasingly difficult challenges:

Experiential learning is most effective when the activities are sequenced in such a way that the learners can take learning from one experience and build upon it in a subsequent experience, practising and improving skills, or gradually making a behavioural change more permanent. This can be within a single Workshop, or over a complete learning programme. Choose Colourblind as one distinct experience in your sequence then build upon it (perhaps with some theory on communication, then more practice in a different activity like Simbols). Choose Colourblind Plus if you want to sequence 3 x similar but increasingly  difficult challenges within the same activity - paired version, small group version, large group version.

Or if you have the package then you can have 4 x activities in your sequence: Colourblind Plus paired version, small group version, Colourblind, Colourblind Plus large group version.


Requirement to set the bar very high in terms of task objectives:

The Colourblind Plus large group version is a very difficult communication task and so even for an intact team that typically communicates together very well, it will present a more difficult problem to solve than the Colourblind challenge.


 Tip #12

When choosing an appropriate experiential activity consider the level of complexity and difficulty the groups needs, and whether task success might be important, or whether the group might learn more during a difficult challenge, where task success is far from guaranteed. Sometimes it is important to help a group unlearn something, or to set up a difficult task challenge in order to learn something new from that process - useful learning can come for groups who fail to complete tasks, and that can perhaps mirror their organisational reality better than consistent success. A review that then considers the process they follow for working with ambiguous or fuzzy problems might be more useful for developing approaches, helpful behaviours, processes and strategies in the real world working situation.



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