The Networking Game
The ‘things you wished you had known' question in the 2005/6 learning and teaching project ‘Using Graduates to Help Develop and Enhance the Curriculum' prompted 16 per cent of respondents to cite networking / social confidence. This was also raised in interviews with employers, for example one employer explained that she avoided putting new graduates in a situation where they would need to engage in social conversation with a client.
So my problem was finding a way to help students develop networking skills and social confidence in the university classroom. Someone told me I would never get students to shake hands in front of their peers, so I was determined to prove them wrong!
The board game we developed has three types of questions: true and false; multiple choice and interactive. The first two deal more with the networking side of things. The interactive questions help more with the social confidence aspect. As participants in the game, students do not have to answer all the questions themselves in order to learn the answers because as all questions are asked aloud everyone thinks about how they would answer it - and invariably share their thoughts! Interactive tasks like ‘shake hands with everyone around the table' enables all participants to experience aspects of social confidence.
Networking and social confidence