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Y is for YaY!

Updated: May 20, 2020

You’ve been thinking! Well done!

High Five!

So how did it go? Were you happy with the result? Have you heard the final whistle? Hmmm, maybe not. Let's ask the REF!

YaY! is the stage where you Review what you've done, Evaluate both the process and the product of your QWERTY® then Feedback to everyone concerned (even if that's just yourself) how it went.

Firstly, Review what you've done. Consider the product of your deliberations. Evaluate whether the solution worked, and if it did, did it work well? What was good about it? What made it stand out? Then you need to Feedback what has to happen next.

If your plan has worked well then you might want to Wrap and Remember. That's where you memorise a successful plan (or elements from it) to use again in the future. Having some ready-to-go solutions can save you time, allowing you to concentrate on other elements of the task at hand or add some extra bells and whistles.

In the simplest terms, did your solution work?

If Plan A didn't work so well, why not? What could you do (or have done) to have improved the result? Is it worth going back to your ranked solutions and trying Plan B? Even if you have a working plan, if you have the time and resources, you may want to revisit it in order to improve what you have. Or, you may choose just to move on.

Consider the ACES Forget-Me-Not again. Assess your results. Could you have combined different ideas together to construct something more interesting? Could you have enhanced some of your ideas to have made them better? What about your selection? Would one (or more) of your other possibilities have worked better?

What could you do to make the process even better next time?

  • What would you do differently?

  • What would you do the same?

In our Playground exercise, we had the Learners design their own individual playground at the beginning of the session.

Hand-drawn playground designs
Two playgrounds from the start of the session

Then, we did it again, as a group, using QWERTY®, adding in extra parameters (an obligatory theme, and the caveat about not using a swing, slide or roundabout unless really interesting). We worked through the various stages, with all the Learners participating fully (and, often, excitedly!) to come up with a playground design for each group. We did a YaY! stage with each group, where we looked at their final design and discussed whether they were happy with what the group had come up. Was there anything they would have changed? We also asked them what they, as individuals, liked and didn't like about it. It was the discussion, in the group context, which provided the Feedback.

Hand-drawn playground designs from later in the session
The designs those two children came up with, using the QWERTY® technique

We followed that up by giving each Learner a chance to design another playground using QWERTY®, with the same question we used for the group work. They were free to use some or all of the elements that had been discussed in the group, or change them for their own personal preference. Perhaps they would choose possible solutions that lost out in the vote at the ranking stage, or they would go for a different theme. The Feedback from the group session could help them choose which way to go. We were blown away by the difference in quality (in terms of creativity and innovation) between the original playground and the ones they came up with at the end of the session.

Evaluate and review your own thinking. Where do your strengths and weaknesses lie? Do you wander at the Wonder stage? Are you ace at ACES? Are you rank at Rank? Do you hit the bulls-eye on Target? How can you address any issues for next time? Feedback how it went and what you need to do - or not do - as a result.

Perhaps there was a problem at the Target stage? Was the plan difficult to implement? Why? Sometimes you need to loop between the Target and the Yay! stages to bring about a successful resolution. Reviewing your progress as you go along and evaluating how to improve can bring about a far better end result. Feedback can provide you with action points to streamline the process.

YaY! isn't just an incidental stage tacked on at the end; it's a fundamental part of the process that will ensure a higher quality product and a more engaged Learner. Research has found that Learners are much more likely to continue, or will try harder, if there is regular Feedback letting them know how they are doing on a particular project or piece of work. This Feedback does not need to be from an external source, but can be the Learners themselves deciding on how well something is working.

Similarly, Feedback is a key element of the Memory process. Learners will remember better if they get Feedback on how well their recall is working. In the QWERTY® context, that means things like remembering what they did to make a plan work (e.g. for use in Wrap and Remember).

When your plan has been implemented, remember the REF - Review, Evaluate and give Feedback to get the YaY! high five.

If you'd like a more in-depth explanation of YaY!, then have a look at Y is for YaY! on our YouTube channel.

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