A Consensogram is a simple, quick, kinesthetic, engaging, and inquiry-based whole-group approach used to gather large quantities of student opinion and attitude data about an issue.
Using one large poster, or area of the whiteboard, students to respond to a question by placing a marker (a sticky note, a dot, a star, etc.) above the response that best fits them. By having all the students' responses in one place, it is possible to visually observe the range and draw conclusions from the data.
During a Consensogram activity people make decisions, move about, interact, and think and talk about data. The information generated by participants is essentially a whole-group assessment. The process ensures that data provides the basis for thoughtful discussion about a topic. If the same Consensogram is re-administered at a later time, any differences between the initial and final results are indicators of how attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge may have changed as a result of the set of intervening learning experiences.
Before You Begin
- Select one or more questions that focus on the key ideas or critical issues surrounding a topic that you want students to consider.
- Write down a range of responses:
- Yes, No
- I Strongly Disagree, I Disagree, Neutral, I Agree, I Strongly Agree
- I Never Do This, I Sometimes Do This, I Frequently Do This, I Always Do This
- Never, Once a Month, Once a Week, Once a Day, More than Once a Day
- Sugar, Plain, Wafflecone, In A Bowl
- See other examples
Stage One: Gathering the Data
- Avoid revealing how you will use this data later.
- Distribute the questionnaire and sticky notes or stickers.
- Check to be sure that everyone understands the task before beginning.
- Tell everyone to come forward and place their stickers in the column that best describes them.
Stage Two: Analyzing the Data
- Ask students to individually examine the data before beginning the whole-group analysis.
- Before reviewing the three discussion questions, state that the rules of the Consensogram require that possible explanations, opinions, or conclusions are not permissible at this stage.
- The only acceptable responses are those that describe what the data says rather than possible reasons for the results.
- Successful completion of this assessment strategy requires that you carefully adhere to this rule because it separates analysis of data from synthesis of data.
- Ask students for specific ideas about the meaning of the data. Be sure that students connect their remarks with specific chunks of data on the Consensogram chart.
- What important points stand out?
- What patterns or trends emerged in the data?
- What information is surprising or unexpected?
- The information you gather represents the combined beliefs and attitudes of the group.
- Record student responses on chart paper.
Stage Three: Generating Ideas
- At this stage, students offer possible explanations of the group’s data. What possible inferences, explanations, and conclusions can be drawn?
- Again, be sure that students connect their remarks with specific pieces of data on the charts.
- Record responses on chart paper.
Stage Four: Synthesis
- Complete some type of summary activity.
- If students maintain a notebook or portfolio, this is an ideal opportunity for a written reflection.
As students analyze the data individually, they may write their analysis. Later you may have them write and justify their conclusions.
If you only have one Consensogram in the room, students may have to come forward by row or seat to save on crowding.
You may also these see for more examples
Preparation time: 15 / Delivery time: 60
Love, N. (2002) "Using Data/Getting Results. Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon Publishers."