I've become a fan of the project accelerator

Card's author : Laurent T├ęzenas - Montpellier SupAgro
Card's type of licence : Creative Commons BY-SA
Testimonies : I am a teacher at SupAgro Montpellier, in the department of Engineering, and I also teach on one-year diploma courses and professional masters. In the field of written and oral communication, work is done individually or in a group.
Whatever the type of work to be done, students must show their ability to mobilise their network to think of solutions, solve problems and overcome obstacles. Working alone does not exclude trusting others, giving them the opportunity of showing their availability and interest in our work. It is in this context that a project accelerator becomes operational.
A project accelerator isn't a software programme or IT tool; it is a method to limit exchanges between five people. This exercise lasts 60 minutes. One person explains a problem for the group to solve. The group will take 30 minutes to think about it and the person that explained the problem will not intervene.
I used this exercise with second-year engineers. Returning from a work traineeship, a debriefing in October gave the engineers the opportunity to talk about the roles, missions and activities they had to carry out during this traineeship, and then they had to remember the skills they had used. Then they had to form groups of 5 to share their experiences and also the difficulties they encountered. Each group then decided to choose a problem or difficulty they encountered and to apply the "project accelerator" method to it.
The students really appreciated this moment, since it was a structured time for exchange. The method allows everyone participate, even those who are shy, and it stops the person who asked the question from constantly re-focusing the problem since he or she does not participate in this collective thinking process. At the end of the exercise, students must pick a learning linked to the session, a small grain of sand. Some comments in this sense were: "it's really good that the person says no more after explaining the problem"; "developing the ability to listen really contributes to the thinking process".

A small irreversible cooperation experience!