The Challenge and Group Formation

Category: The Challenge
Author: Anni Stavnskær Pedersen, Ann-Merete Iversen
Facilited by the teacher
The aim is to identify engaging challenges and create appropriate groups for the challenge. This exercise can be used if the teacher wants students to be part of defining the challenge.
2-3 hours.
10-50 students 2-15 groups
A virtual whiteboard and breakout rooms


1. The students identify ideas for challenges and write these on the left-hand side of the virtual whiteboard. The students read aloud each other’s ideas from the whiteboard.

2. The students categorize the ideas and place them together on the right-hand side of the whiteboard. They then create appropriate headings for each of the groupings on a new virtual whiteboard.

3. The students place the ideas under the appropriate heading on the new whiteboard.

4. The students write their shoe size in the chat and are paired up in groups of three – four with the same size/or closets to.

5. The students now spend time reviewing the ideas under each heading in the groups – ‘Shopping for ideas’ – discussing the ideas with other group members using a “Yes and …” strategy to develop their thinking about the challenges. (This stage should take approx. 30 minutes).

6. The students identify the challenge which they are interested in working with. Their choice should be based on the ‘possibilities’ that the challenge offers and not the solution to it.

7. Students write their chosen challenge on the virtual whiteboard under the ‘challenge’ heading. This will form working groups for each challenge. If several students choose the same challenge, they should be divided into smaller or subgroups for the challenge.


Students will develop their ideas for challenges by finding inspiration acknowledging others’ ideas and thoughts. Project groups will contain students who share a similar passion for the same challenge, which will create good working relationships.