Using icebreaker activities and re-energizers in the classroom effectively help to “break the ice” in various ways: Adult learners get acquainted, start conversations, build trust, and relieve tensions. They encourage participation and help creating a sense of connection and shared common understanding. They help to clear the mind, vitalize, and create enthusiasm (Chlup & Collins, 2010).
What is this technique about
The Motivational video method is an icebreaker or a “mind-freer” that in general try to motivate the students to complete more and complex tasks through the day, simply by completing small but meaningful tasks that are often taken for granted. One example could be to motivate the students to make their bed.
Where does it come from
Motivational videos are known as powerful means to inspire viewers. Organizations often use them to develop a sense of loyalty amongst their employees, and commitment to excellence (Cinimage, n.d., online). In teaching, showing students a motivational video allows them to free their mind and to get inspired.
For which purposes it is used (why in your engineering teaching)
When facilitating a workshop where students are deeply concentrated in solving a problem or develop a future scenario, it is ideal to have an ice breaker or “mind freer” midway or after long periods of focussing on one task. The purpose of the ice breaker is to get the students to stop thinking about the workshop for a moment and do a completely different activity so the brain can process all the information obtained so far. Here, drawing the students’ attention by showing them a motivational video can positively affect their self-confidence and boost their motivation for solving the problem or scenario even better than before. Ice breakers is often an underrated session but can affect the outcome of the workshop positively.
How to use it
Go to YouTube.com and click in the search field. Here, type the following: “motivational speech about making your bed”. The first video to show is a motivational speech from Admiral McRaven, which is ideal for this part as an icebreaker. Copy the link to the video and insert it into the sheet where the workshop is hosted or keep it as an open window in the browser, most important is that it is easy to access for the teacher. When reaching the icebreaker, share the screen so every student can see the video and play it for them. A link to the video is also provided under “Resources”.
How to implement this techniques online
Preparation, what do before the session
- Find a motivational video clip on e.g., YouTube.com (see example above)
- Keep it in the browser or save the link where the workshop is hosted.
During application, i.e., while giving the session
- Explain the purpose of showing the video.
- Share the screen so every participant can see the video.
- Make sure to turn up the sound and volume on the computer.
- Tell the students to make turn up the volume on their computer.
- Ask if the students can hear and see the screen.
- Press play.
Follow-up, about what to do after the session
- Give the students a break of approx. 15 minutes before proceeding with the workshop.
Examples and/or testimonials
The below is an example of how the method was prepared and facilitated in February 2021 by a student group during the course “Megatrends and Technological Innovation” held at the University of Southern Denmark by Prof. Dr. Patricia Wolf.
Example of The Motivational video – “SDG Challenge” Group 8, 2021
- Internet access (access to YouTube.com)
- Access to online learning platform (e.g., Teams, Zoom, Skype)
Cinimage (n.d.). Benefits of motivational videos. Online at https://www.slideshare.net/cinimage/benefits-of-motivational-videos
Speech To Change Your Life Today! Admiral McRaven “Make Your Bed” Motivational Words Of Wisdom. (2020, November 18). [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBAqF00gBGk
Chlup, D. T., & Collins, T. E. (2010). Breaking the ice: using ice-breakers and re-energizers with adult learners. Adult Learning, 21(3-4), 34-39.