The B!G Idea
The B!G Idea
The B!G Idea

Check-in Guidelines

You are helping to support our students’ learning journeys by bridging the gap between industry and education. Let’s go!

These guidelines provide some advice, tips and things to think about to make sure both you and your student teams get the best out of B!G Mentoring.

Check-in Guidelines

Before you get started - some things to remember

  • This is an all-class programme, we have a diverse range of students on the programme including neurodiverse, and disadvantaged young people, as well as those with additional educational needs. This will be reflected in the variety of work that students submit. Success looks different for every B!G Idea student!
  • These are young people who are aged between 15-19 years old and for most this way of thinking and learning is completely new.
  • The ideas you receive could range from really high potential and fully-formed ideas to ones that are just one line or that you feel don’t quite fit with the challenge brief they have chosen. This is their interpretation of it, and the more unique points of view the better!
  • We would like you to meet the students where they are in their discovery, not where we think they should be. The advice that you are about to give is a B!G key to motivating these students, and to driving their ideas forward. Engagement with the process is a key metric of success for teams. Have fun with it and thank you for being a SUPERSTAR!
Before you get started - some things to remember

This activity window is open for around 2-3 weeks and is designed to take no more than 2-3 hours of your time in total. Please note some schools may submit ideas past the deadline, which means you may not receive all ideas at the same time. We will give you 2 weeks from the date you receive them to provide feedback.

Teams have chosen the challenge that they want to focus on, have learned about the role of empathy and personas in the creative process and are now in the research stage to discover more about the challenges their Hero faces and the opportunities to improve life for their Hero. This is a progress check-in, an opportunity for them to share their thoughts, opinions and findings and to hear your perspective on how they might move forward.

At this stage, focus on positive and constructive feedback, signposting to resources and that all-important encouragement. You are here to help them find the idea or solution they would like to develop and give them practical advice and steps to get them to their final projects! You could maybe share any helpful resources or tips you think could be beneficial as they develop their ideas and start to think about communicating and pitching their final projects (Project Poster, Proposal Poster and Pitch Video). Have fun with it and thank you for being a SUPERSTAR!

Reading the Student Ideas

Here are some questions to consider:

  • Do they know who they are solving the problem for? Do they mention their Hero and/or empathy map?
  • Have they offered any information on their Hero? Have they outlined the challenges their Hero faces in relation to the brief?
  • Have they defined the problem they are solving?
  • Does their idea touch on the key points in their student guidelines?
  • Do they have more than one idea? If so, how can you help them to focus on one idea, or go back to the research to start to shape one idea?
  • Do you have any resources or tips that will help them focus on the problem and the solution that best fits?
  • In their research were they open to curiosity and exploration or do you feel they are stuck on their first idea? Sometimes students can feel vulnerable about putting their ideas out there and so can fix on their first idea. This is typically a confidence issue and as a mentor you are really well placed to positively support them to embrace the process and to advise on how they can expand their thinking.
Reading the Student Ideas
Access each Team's idea from your dashboard

Providing Feedback

Here are some guidelines to help give students the best information/advice/support:

  • Start with the positive, recognise their achievements so far and be encouraging!
  • Keep any actionable advice very focused and manageable, nothing too complex or vague.
  • Use clear and concise language when describing the process and imparting your advice. Check out the B!G Idea glossary to see the language they are used to using and hearing during this process.
  • Refer them back to the challenge briefs, to their Hero/Heroes and to their empathy maps.
  • Challenge them to take a step further by investigating an area that would help develop their project. Do you have specific resources? Can you point them to something that will help develop their idea? Any useful website links you can share?
  • Be willing, when appropriate, to share your own work experiences.
  • Motivate them to keep up the good work with a word of encouragement.
  • Don’t stress about getting it perfect and have fun with it!
Providing Feedback
Use the comment box to leave your feedback

Example Template

We have kept a word count in place to keep it manageable for you and the students (there will be other mentors commenting on the projects).

Well done, I love how this idea is developing. You have clearly stated one of the barriers within the fashion industry to reducing their carbon footprint.

I think your research around shopping habits, social media and fast fashion has uncovered a real problem that needs to be tackled and something that more young people are starting to be aware of and address.

What other products or services in this space are out there and what are they offering? Who are they targeting? Will you target the same audience? 

Your product ideally needs to create something that is missing from anything out there, or do it better. 

How are you going to differentiate your product from others? What will it look like? Do you have examples you like? Or ones you don’t?

You have thought about your Hero in detail, which is great. Don’t worry about trying to solve all of their problems, now you need to focus on one or two key items, otherwise you can feel under way too much pressure. Narrowing your focus a little more at the start rather than starting out too big will help you get the basics right and you can build out from there if you’d like. 

What are the needs and wants for the audience you are focusing on? Can you gather some more information from friends and family? 

Think about the questions above and figure out what one thing will make your product different and more appealing than others out there. Always bring it back to that problem you are trying to solve – are you helping to solve it?

You could create a storyboard, to illustrate the problem your Hero is facing. This is just a visual story, like a comic, that you can create to get a better understanding of your Hero and their problem. You could do this together or work individually first so that everyone creates their own storyboard and then talks the group through it – that way you can take the best parts and make a final version.

Check out the video at the end of this article for a good example of a quick and easy storyboard design – instead of the whiteboard he uses you could just find a desk or space and use your paper, pens and post it notes to map it out. Be creative and have fun with it. Your job here is to just show their story in the best way you can – it really doesn’t have to be perfect!

Well done again, I’m really impressed with how you have developed your thinking and identified a real problem to solve. Climate change and reaching net zero is a big issue for us as a society and it’s so great to see some new fresh thinking from you on this topic! Best of luck and don’t forget to enjoy the next part too! I look forward to the next stage and seeing where you go with this. 

Thank you!

Lastly, thank you for contributing your expertise to support our students’ learning journey!

Thank you!
Adam, Borris Vocational School, Co. Carlow
2023 B!G Idea Students