Round Robin Values Brainwriting


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Round Robin brainwriting is a formative assessment method that builds on consecutive contributions by each student about a specific question related to values in design. The assessment activity involves passing answers/reflection among students in class (or in groups) to assess the understanding of acquired skills related to e.g., creating value-based design, embedding values, or creating value for stakeholders. In a group of 4 or 5 people, each student writes down answers to an open-ended question given by the teacher on a value-related phenomenon.


The Round Robin brainwriting assessment activity generates and develops formative reflection through brainstorming by focusing on a central question, issue or theme related to the assessment criteria from the teaching activity. The activity thus assesses the students’ acquired skills through formative reflection and critical thinking.

The assessment activity builds on the consecutive contributions of each student and helps the students to know, respect and value their group members' experiences. Round Robin brainwriting has the distinct advantage of encouraging contributions from all participants, including those who typically remain silent. The activity involves all students by giving them a voice and a space to present their ideas without undue influences from the other students in class. That way the teacher gets valuable insight about all students' progress.


After the teaching activity, ask the students divided in groups of 4-5 people to run a Round Robin brainwriting session to demonstrate their skills about values in design.

The basic structure of a Round Robin brainwriting session begins with a central theme, an open-ended question, or an issue provided by the teacher. Ask the students to focus the Round Robin brainwriting on targeting the specific theme, question or issue . This could for example, be a question related to the assessment criteria in the teaching activity addressing the role of values in design, ethical implications, students' value vocabularies, stakeholders' values, etc.

Instructions to the students:

Step 1:

  • Write down an answer to/reflection on the theme,open-ended question or issue provided by the teacher in a shared document (all students write their names on the top of the shared document so it's possible to identify the group members).

Step 2:

  • Read through the other group members' answers.

Step 3:

  • Add an additional point, idea, or thought to all of the group members’ answers/reflections – ideally one which has not yet been mentioned.

Step 4:

  • Repeat step 2 and 3 until all group members have 4-5 responses and have received an addition to their original answers/reflections.


In this assessment activity, it is important to focus on the students’ ability to explain and address their reflections when conducting value-based design. When doing a formative assessment, the focus is on whether the students are able to explain and elaborate on their achieved skills, relative to the learning goals and relevant assessment criteria. Formative assessment provides the teacher with information on the students’ abilities to elaborate and reflect upon new skills that they have acquired through the teaching activity and how they will make use of it in future learning situations.

When reviewing the students’ Round Robin Brainstorming results about values in design, it might be helpful to pay attention to the following optional proposals for focus points depending on the content of the related teaching activity:

  • To what extent do the students meet the assessment criteria listed in the teaching activity?
  • How deep and broad are the students' answers to the preliminary question about values handled in an activity?
  • How deep and broad are the students’ additional answers to the preliminary question about values?
  • Are there obvious answers or reflections in the Round Robin brainstorm that students are missing, or answers or reflections that are particularly strong/weak?

For further professional development consider:

  • Are there specific learning outcomes or assessment criteria that students are particularly successful/unsuccessful in demonstrating?
  • Are there any exemplary Round Robin Brainstorm results that work particularly well in addressing learning goals and assessment criteria (consider comparing between student groups)?