Report Writing Team Exercise

Optional exercise to facilitate consensus during the writing process.

MISTY Method for Consensus Report Building

We were privileged to have Dr. Misty Overman of Fort Worth Christian School lead a team through a writing activity as part of an accreditation visit. What follows is the description of a group report building activity.

Each of the team members was assigned to focus on a particular area of the school’s self-study report: Goal 1, Goal 2, etc., which of course corresponds to the format for how the team’s visit report is assembled. In the afternoon of day 2, each team member was asked to verbalize two-four main points about their section. Dr. Overman jotted each point down on a separate piece of paper in the upper right corner. The pieces of paper had been labeled with the team member’s section (they had been assigned one of the school’s strategic goals). She had an upper-case C and an upper-case R on each paper, one for commendations and one for recommendations, which split the page roughly in two parts. Dr. Overman prepared a fifth page called “General.” A template example is included on the following page.

The Timed Writing Activities

1. First, for two minutes, each person takes their own section and writes out more fully what they just verbalized, assigning it either to a commendation or to a recommendation.

2. At the end of the two minutes, they pass their paper to the left and take three minutes to underline or add to what the other person has written.

3. They again pass to the left, this time allocating two minutes to read and two minutes to respond/write more commendations or recommendations.

4. Pass again to the left and take three minutes to read and three minutes to contribute.

5. One final pass to the left and this time four minutes to read and four minutes to contribute.

The paper is finally shifted back to the original author who then types up the initial draft of the commendations and recommendations of their section.

A PDF of the above directions and a template example is available below.