"I Know" vs. "I Wonder" Lists on Zoom using Google Docs
After providing a prompt to the group, open a Google Doc and screenshare it. Then generate two lists: one of the things you know as a group, and one of things the group is wondering.
- Given a theme for which you are trying to generate ideas, prompt the group to share the things they “know” (i.e., “Things we’re certain of, that we are sure to be true”) and things they “wonder” (i.e., “Things we’re uncertain of, that we don’t know to be true”).
- Open a Google Doc and share your screen with the group. Optionally, share a link to the group so they can view the Doc themselves in the app.
- Ask participants to start sharing things, and type them up as you hear them. Check in with the group whether a share should go into the “I Know” or “I Wonder” list, and ensure your paraphrase captures their idea.
- Keep adding items that are unique (no repeats), and keep going until your group runs out of ideas, you run out of time, or you fill the Google Doc.
Have a Google Doc opened and ready for scribing that you can quickly switch to. Ideally, it will already have two columns started, one labeled “I Know…” and the other “I Wonder…”.
If you’re going to share the Doc with them for easier viewing, have a share-friendly view-only link ready to copy-paste in chat.
As a slightly more bumpered ideation activity, “I Know” vs. “I Wonder” lists thrive because they support creativity via constraint. Where “Share all the ideas you have related to X” might actually stifle ideation because of how open-ended it is (a paradox of choice), prompting participants to share what they “know” about X, contrasted with what they “wonder” about X, can help grease their mental gears.
You can, of course, keep listing things forever by adding new pages to your Google Doc (a virtue of virtual paper), but limiting yourself to one page as an artificial boundary can produce different outcomes. Setting time limits, or limiting the shares per participant are also options at your disposal.
Pro-Tip: when group members disagree about whether something shared is an “I Know” vs. an “I Wonder,” it is by definition an “I Wonder.”
If you're using apps other than Zoom and Google Docs, here are the specific things your software will need to be able to do:
Google Docs allows you to easily draft and edit text in real-time to share with your participants.