At the Knowledge Management Round Table today, Michelle Lambert the convenor, trialled the use of “The Worm” as an approach to assess the energy levels and engagement levels throughout the day of the workshop. The Worm has been run a few times in national debates during Federal Election periods to assess whether the selected audience prefers one politician over another. I thought that it would be an interesting idea to use The Worm for participants to self-assess their energy and engagement levels during the workshop or conference as a form of feedback to the conference organiser to show what they really felt drawn to and when they went to sleep.
Michelle painted a good picture of The Worm and regularly asked the participants to not forget their worm, feel if it is wriggling, and make sure that they record it at regular intervals. In any seminar or conference, it would not really be desirable to keep the energy levels constantly high the whole time but to have periods of reflection or quieter times to build up for the next big rush. But what this approach attempts to evaluate is the turning points of what clicked with people and what turned them off. Ideally, people would annotate their worm with notes stating just that and also noting the highest and lowest energy levels during the day.
At the very least, it is a self-evaluation tool for the participants to check in with themselves, assess how they are going and record it rather than stare blankly at a powerpoint screen. Preferably, the feedback on the collective Worms would provide a valuable insight for conference organisers into participant’s attention.
There are many variants of The Worm that could not just assess energy or engagement levels but emotional states (happy/sad), level of group interaction, or from a meta-perspective, an assessment of why they felt the way that they felt to gain a deeper level of self-introspection.
It would be really interesting Michelle to see what the results of The Worm were and whether people felt that it was useful or just another of Luke’s crazy ideas that fell flat …