The Second CityLab! Session

We had our second meeting of students at the pilot CityLab! course. We met in the same place as last week, and with a different staff member too. This worked well with the two of us both contributing to the activities as went through the different section of session.

We started again with a few rounds of ‘yes, and… ‘ this time adding in a passion in the first round followed by a hate or dislike in the second. Then we worked through Sam’s Laing’s Count to 33 game, which I’d been reminded of the week before. I was surprised how long this took us to achieve. It showed that we need to listen and concentrate more on tasks than expected. This was good, and I’ll remember to do use it again in the future.


After this nice warm up we settled down to working on the students attributes using the attribute list (you’ll need to join to view) from the Business Model You community. We might’ve also used a challenge wheel, but decided not to as that’s more open ended about goal setting than the suggestive list of attributes as you can see from the photo above.

I changed the worksheet instructions so that they found ten that they are bring to the course to circle, and then had them add another ten to star, which they want to develop during the course. Lastly, I had them add a + or – to the original ten if they might help/hinder the team and which they would need to be aware of during the course. I want them to know their situation and to be aware of how their skills and attributes can be modified by our desires.

Then it was time for a coffee break before the next step of exploring how to use the Graduate Attributes and the ‘diamond nine‘ exercise in pairs to see how these could be used to guide us in setting out how to mark their assessments for the course. This took longer than expected, but proved to be worthwhile and provoked lots of discussion. In the end we ended up with many similar cards selected by the students along with a mixture of others. This will help guide me and the other staff in drafting up marking guides for the students’ work, which we can also show to the students for comment before agreeing upon.

Lastly, we sent the students off to observe people in the city. While it would’ve been good to send them to a city square, or something similar, as it was wet we sent them to a shopping mall. The goal was to have them observe how people used the space, and how they interacted with each other. They were to pick one spot and stay there for twenty minutes watching and noting people.

This worked well. Given that we had only prompted them for a few minutes about what to do, they returned with many good observations like ‘people were talking to one another’, ‘people would only briefly make eye contact’ with the students, and ‘some were only passing through the mall and not shopping’, and that ‘people queued to use the automatic doors even when the others were free’. They also didn’t get thrown out for loitering, or anything like that, which was good too, and they easily saw how they could use the experience to support the different ‘graduate attributes’ cards, which they’d previously identified.

The only problem with today was that we left the coffee break too late. We need to do this before 10:30, which is when Books’n’Beans raises the price of its coffee. Either that, or we bring our own coffee making supplies for the future when we have twenty students here for this from next week onwards.

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