#community #real-time #just-for-fun #conversation-starters #online #on-campus

Time: 5-10 minutes

Check-in helps people into a frame of mind and reminds every one of their commitment and ensures that people are truly present. Verbal sharing, especially a brief story, weaves the interpersonal net. Check-in usually starts with a volunteer, and proceeds around the circle. If an individual is not ready to speak, the turn is passed, and another opportunity is offered after others have spoken. An online check-in can be done by using the chat or a student-response-system (SRS), such as Mentimeter.

Crafting the check-in question is important. You want to think about:
• How much time do you have for the check-in?
• Think about how BIG your question is – does it invite a longer, heart-felt story from each person, or only a sentence or two?
• How can the check-in connect and support the rest of the agenda and the overall purpose of the gathering?
• What kind of tone do you want to create through the check-in? Playful? Serious? Connecting? Learning something new about each other?
• Is this a group that is very familiar with check-ins? Maybe it is time to mix things up!
• A check-in question such as “Tell us the story of how you originally got interested in….” will open the story space and would likely be a longer check-in. A check-in question like “Say a few words on how you are feeling today” could be a shorter check-in.

Examples of check-in questions:
• What’s one new and interesting thing you’ve been thinking about lately?
• What kind of a day have you had so far today?
• What is your personal weather status (cloudy, foggy, sunny breaks etc)?
• What are you noticing in your environment that relates to this project?
• What’s one thing you hope to get accomplished at today’s meeting?
• What is one interest of yours that others in this group might not know about?
• Share a one or two-word intention you hold for today’s session.
• What is something you came across recently that inspired you?
• Who was the last artist you searched for on your music streaming service of choice?
• What are your parents’ best qualities?
• Put these morning routine items in order: breakfast, coffee/tea, open up your laptop.
• What was something that always frightened you as a child?