Team Estimation Exercise

Choose a numerical estimation problem, for example: What’s the highest number of points ever scored by a professional football team during a game? or How long would it take a soccer ball to fall from the top of the Empire State Building? Make sure you look up the correct answer.

Set up two separate groups (3 or more people each). The group members can be friends, family members, coworkers, etc. They should not be other students in this class. The two groups do not have to be in the same room or even work on this at the same time. You will use the same question for each group.

Group One will be the control group. Ask them your estimation question. Tell them they may not ask you questions, receive outside information, or look up the answer or any related information. Ask them to estimate the answer to your question and come to a consensus on the answer. Observe the process they use to reach an answer.

Group 2 will be the test group. Ask them your estimation question. Tell them they may not ask questions, receive outside information, or look up the answer or any related information. Instruct the test group to start by having each group member share with the group two pieces of information they know that they think might be helpful to estimating the answer. After each person has shared their two pieces of information with the group, they should estimate the answer to the question and come to a consensus on the answer. Observe the process they use to reach an answer.

See which group, the control group, or the test group, comes closest to the correct answer.

In this thread, tell us:

1. What estimation problem did you use?

2. How did they work? Did leaders emerge, and if so, who were they?

3. What kind of information did people in the test group share, and how did it help them?

4. Which group (control or test) came closest to the correct answer?

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