This method gives participants the opportunity to identify associations and emotions related to a specific issue or case.
This method is for use when exploring a particular case or issue, especially one that is linked to a specific place. Participants are asked to consider the case using their full range of senses (hearing, taste, touch, sight, smell, and emotions or energetic feeling), and to record words, thoughts, and associations that come to mind. They are then invited to share a few of the words or concepts that they found especially illuminating. Consciously designating time and focus to imaginatively engaging all of the senses can lead to new insights and perspectives. Moreover, by capturing and sharing associations, sensations, and emotions, the group becomes more empathetically connected to the case, and to each other.
As a next (optional) step, participants can be asked to group keywords into clusters of related words, or “affinity clusters” (Silent Conversation). This practice highlights both the similarities and the differences in the way that participants perceive the case, and can be a good opening for further dialogue.
Sticky notes; flip-chart paper; pens or markers.
Chatterjee & Hannan (2015). Engaging the Senses: Object-Based Learning in Higher Education.
Join our email list for quarterly updates with links to featured resources, interesting opportunities, and special events. You can unsubscribe at any time.