Sailboat Retrospective for Reflection
To reflect in the middle or end of a group activity, project, experience, etc.
It is useful for teams undergoing a similar experience individually or the same experience together, to reflect on what is working, and what is not, and to anticipate future obstacles, in order to work better in the future individually and/or as a group.
Very little. Prepare your slides with the Sailboat visual. You can do a web search for copyright-free images or use www.canva.com, which has a collection of free-to-use images. Then figure out how many you need and how you will divide your students into groups to work on them. Share the slide links with your students.
Explain the sailboat metaphor and four elements/questions which are:
1. Wind – what helps you move forward?;
2. Sun – what makes you feel good?;
3. Anchor – what holds you back?;
4. Reefs – what potential risks may you face in future?.
The activity can be done in two broad ways.
Option 1: Invite students to reflect on an experience or project they worked on, and list all they can think of under elements 1,2,3, and 4. If they are reflecting on a group project, each team can take one slide and answer all 4 questions together so they can discuss what has been working and what hasn’t.
Option 2: If they are reflecting on a similar experience but in which people may have experienced it differently, then you can have different spaces for people to answer each question – for example answering question 1, before moving to a second space to answer question 2, etc.,. In this way, people can see what the group before them has said for the different questions, and the new group can +1 or add new thoughts.
Bring the groups together and spend some time towards the end reflecting as a collective on all the answers.
Depends on the group size and the similarities or differences, perhaps a total of 30-40 minutes.
Can be done in person or online with breakout rooms. Can be done individually and asynchronously. Remember to use alternative text and not be overly dependent on the visual.
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