Card Swap

This is a way for a collaborating group to play with ideas on a topic.

  1. Each person writes down their ideas, each idea on a separate card (CRC size i.e. 5x3 inches).

  2. Trade cards with other people. Read what you see, write more cards if you like, and keep trading. You will get some of your own ideas back, and can think about them again! Also, you don't have to trade 1-for-1!

  3. Ask one person to read out a card that they hold, then pass them to the helper who puts it on the wall. People holding similar cards read them out, and pass them to be put on the wall close to ones just read. Then people with similar cards to those read them and get them stuck up, and so on.

RalphHodgson and I invented this technique during a workshop at OOPSLA'96. MarkSimos? encouraged me to write it up.

It has several constructive features: you can produce any number and type of inputs without having them counted or evaluated; your inputs will be interpreted by several people, so generating new angles; there is a good mix of parallel (efficient brain use) and serial (generate mutual understanding) activities; a visible record is generated.

-- BruceAnderson

A nice extension to the common group brainstorming technique of getting participants to write ideas on a card, passing the card on and using the card you receive to spark extra ideas which you then add to that card.

Benefit of CardSwap is that each idea is captured separately so it is easy to filter duplicates, and being able to generate new cards allows for an explosion of ideas.

One concern I have though is that it seems to lose the connections between the ideas, since each card is separate. However context is not always important, so it looks to be a useful addition.

-- PeteMcBreen

Compare to BrainStorm, BrainWriting


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