Gallery Walk

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Contributor: Sarah Chesney, Flourish Learning Ltd,

Gallery Walk: Ideal for after lunch because participants move around the room. Reasonable adjustments have to be made if a participant cannot move with ease, in which case the flip chart paper is circulated from table to table whilst participants remain seated in groups.


Flip chart paper, pens, stopwatch


This works best with a group of about 20-25 participants.

Preparation: plan to divide your group into 4 or 5 smaller groups. Write a different scenario for each group. Each scenario has to be relevant to the topic you are covering during this part of the workshop.  I use this activity when the workshop is focussing on common, challenging situations a lecturer may encounter with students. I print out each scenario on a piece of A4 paper.

Stick each different scenario on a blank piece of flip chart paper.

During the workshop, the flipchart papers with scenarios are placed at intervals around the room allowing for students to move without bumping into each other. Allocate each small group of participants a scenario and ask them to discuss how to respond to the scenario, agree a response and write this on the flip chart paper. Remind the participants that this is an opportunity for all members of the group to contribute and they must let each member of the group speak. After three minutes tell the groups to move clockwise round the room to the next scenario and repeat the activity, but this time they can decide to agree/disagree with what has been previously written or elaborate on a previous response. Again, after three minutes tell the group to move clockwise round the room to the next scenario. Carry on until the groups arrive back at their original scenarios.

Once back at the original scenario they have to decide which response(s) constitute best practice, and identify any responses that should be rejected completely (this is a chance to highlight and discuss the drawbacks of responses like ‘lock the door’ to keep late comers out). Each group feeds back to the whole group.

The benefits of this gallery walk are that some attitudes to students and teaching in HE can be gently challenged and questioned. It is also useful for the participants to share experiences and I encourage them to think back to when they were undergraduates. When groups are devising their responses to the scenarios you get the sense that sometimes participants are testing out ideas. The smaller group setting allows quieter participants an opportunity to contribute without speaking in front of the whole group.

 Special Notes:

Once the groups have returned to their original scenario, it’s worth taking a moment to wander round the room and read the responses before the groups feedback. With the topic ‘challenging situations’ there is the potential for some quite radical responses which may need addressing!

Acknowledgements: This is adapted from Carlton College, Science Education Resource Center Starting Point:

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