Duration: 30 min - 1 hour
Difficulty Level: Easy
Group Size: < 20
Level of interaction: High
Multilanguage fit: No
Preparation Time: Medium
Purpose: Online socialization, Knowledge construction
Type of Online Events: Webinar, Hackathon, Workshop
Engage everyone in generating questions, ideas, suggestions
The 1-2-4-All method is a fast idea-generating method in which all participants within a group engage. First, participants work individually, then in pairs (building on self-reflection), and then in groups of four to share and build on ideas. Finally, participants engage collectively in a powerful brainstorming session. In this method, participants combine know-how and imagination and create strategies with their own ideas. Since everyone in a group contributes, all feel ownership over the ideas generated.
Use this method to:
- Rapidly generate a large number of ideas.
- Make progress in a stalled discussion by engaging participants in searching for answers.
- Enrich the quality of observations and insights before expressing them in common.
- Build slowly toward a consensus or shared understanding.
- Foster spontaneous conversation after presenting the main topic, as an alternative to asking: Any questions?
Steps to apply this method to:
- Define the purpose of the learning activity and the topic driving the session
- Define the tool that you will use and familiarize yourself with its functionalities. Then, if required, prepare the online space for the learning activity.
- Brief the participants about the learning activity, its purpose, and procedure.
- Explain that, after you have introduced a topic, participants will work as follows:
• individually (5 minute): Participants spend this time in silent reflection on a shared challenge, framed as a question, for example: What opportunities do you see for making this (aim) happen? While participants are silently reflecting and writing down their ideas, play some soft background music.
• in pairs (15 minutes): Participants generate ideas building on those from self-reflection while in break-out rooms. When time is almost over, the facilitator send broadcast messages to communicate the duration of the activity.
• in groups of four (30 minutes): Participants are moved into larger groups in breakout rooms and develop ideas by noticing similarities and differences. 5 minutes before the activity is over, inform groups that they need to identify a reporter.
• as a whole group. Back in plenary, the facilitator asks each group to share one emerging idea. For example: Which idea stood out most during your conversation?