Dot voting is widespread. Who knows how long it’s been around? I use dot voting regularly to democratize decision making, and its use has spread within our school. Amusingly, some at school now associate me with dot voting!
Visual facilitation techniques can help break up conventional meeting dynamics. The typical committee operates in whole group discussion most of the time. Roles become ingrained, and some participants have more influence in discussions and decisions than others. One well-placed comment can redirect an entire discussion and potentially sway a decision. Those who hold contrary viewpoints do not always feel comfortable openly disagreeing and causing conflict.
Dot voting is deceptively simple. Since participants receive equal numbers of dots, they have equal influence on the decision. If you distribute a limited number of dots, then people must make choices and indicate priorities. Dots are anonymous, so a person can normally vote their conscience without worrying about what others may think, as long as no one else is watching over their shoulder! The resulting voting patterns can be extremely revealing about the distribution of opinion within a group.
Here are some examples from the past year.
Determining Department Head Goals For the Year
Favorite Ideas From Summer Faculty Reads
Dots With Our School Mascot, the Puma!
Poster Session Favorite Ideas
Identifying Student Supports Using Mini Dots
from a colleague’s meeting
See Gamestorming for more meeting facilitation games.
I would like to thank our main office staff for stocking an entire plastic bin of sticky dots.