Group Roles

Assigning Group Roles

In the last section, we talked about assigning roles to each member of the group. This helps each individual feel like they have agency in the process and that they are contributing to something greater than themselves. Here are some ideas for assigning and managing roles for participants in a Makeathon.

Each group should have between three and five members and each member has a role in the group throughout the Makeathon.

One way that we have structured the group roles is to assign the titles Sheriff, Scribe and Mayor. If there are more people, the roles of Professor and Jester can also be assigned.

Each person in the group gets a role, and they should decide that role allocation amongst themselves. Nobody should be forced to do a role they don’t want to take, but everyone should be encouraged to select one. The roles do not dictate what the participant will be doing for the whole event or prevent them from doing other things, but they are additional extra responsibilities that keep the group operating as a team. You can remind people of their roles at certain points throughout the Makeathon.

After group formation, but before the prototyping begins, you can introduce the roles of Sheriff, Scribe, Mayor, Professor, and Jester to the groups. Explain each role and give examples of what each role entails.

The Sheriff is in charge of keeping time and making sure that everyone is staying on track. This includes keeping an eye on the clock during timed activities and ensuring that people aren't getting distracted by non-essential tasks.

The Scribe takes notes during brainstorming sessions and ensures that their notes are well-organised and detailed. These notes should capture all ideas and discussions that take place during the Makeathon.

The Mayor should take charge of leading presentations and making sure that the best ideas are being worked on. They should be assigning tasks to the other group members and monitoring things to ensure that the project is progressing.

The Professor should be in charge of researching the challenge and finding technical solutions to problems that arise during prototyping. They should be knowledgeable and able to provide technical guidance to the group.

The Jester is in charge of encouragement and motivation, keeping everyone's spirits up and generating creative ideas. They should aim to be the most creative (and funny) during brainstorming sessions, providing provocations and 'what if' scenarios.

Some quick tips to make the role assignment run smoothly:

  1. Provide each participant with a clear understanding of their responsibilities within their assigned role. Ensure they understand that their role is essential to the success of the group.

  2. Allow participants to express their interest in a specific role and assign them accordingly. Try to ensure that each person is assigned a role that matches their interests and strengths.

  3. Encourage participants to work collaboratively and help each other out when needed. Everyone should feel comfortable asking for help or guidance from other group members, regardless of their assigned role.

  4. Finally, ensure that everyone understands the importance of their particular role in the success of the Makeathon. You can even give them a name badge, a sticker or even a hat to remind them of their role within the group. Encourage them to work together to create the best possible outcome.

By following these guidelines, you can help ensure that the Makeathon runs smoothly and that each participant is able to contribute to the group's success.

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