How to set up a ‘gallery walk’ where groups share and collect ideas to help develop a final draft of work

Do you need groups of students to present a draft of their work with other students in a relaxed way? Do you want students to collaborate across groups to share solutions/ideas that they could incorporate into their own work?

Use this lesson recipe to lead a ‘gallery walk’ in Collaborate in which students 1) work in a break out room to develop a solution to a problem 2) move from one break out room to another to see how other students tackled the problem 3) reconvene with their original group members to share insights gathered during the ‘gallery walk’ 4) consider possible changes to their draft in the light of insights collected.

Visit the hyperlinks in the recipe for specific guidance.

Before the session

  1. Schedule the meeting and let participants know the session name and time, so they can access it in the appropriate Blackboard module.
  2. Download the introduction to Collaborate features animation gif to share at the start of the session (not compulsory but a nice touch).
  3. Decide if you need to run a light-hearted ‘features diagnostic’ e.g.
  4. Prepare a PowerPoint saved in OneDrive or in SharePoint that includes:
  • a question or a problem for your students that has many potential responses.
  • 1 slide for each break out group. Label each slide ‘Group 1’, ‘Group 2’, etc.
  • instructions: 1) develop a possible solution to the problem 2) add your solution to the slide with your group number 3) decide who will ‘present’ to other groups.

5. Get the link to the online version of your PowerPoint slide (step 4) to share during the session.

At the start of the session

  1. Open the scheduled meeting.
  2. Share animation gif so students are reminded of functionalities they can use (Share > Share Files > Upload the gif file, select it and choose Share Now). Pro tip: The animation will then play on a loop to users.  The animation stops either when you share something else (e.g. a PowerPoint) or when you stop sharing the file.
  3. Interact with students either by using the chat pane or by using your microphone.
  4. Run a features diagnostic/intro if necessary (see above for ideas).

During the session

Preparing to take part in the gallery walk

  1. Tell students the process for the session. Say that you’ll put them into breakout rooms to develop and then share a solution to a problem. Explain that each group will also need to decide which group member will stay in the break out room to present the group’s solution to students from other groups during the gallery walk.
  2. Show everyone the problem that needs to be discussed e.g. by sharing your PowerPoint, and clarify the task i.e. work with group members to 1) develop a solution to the problem and record the solution on PowerPoint slide corresponding to their group’s breakout room number 2) decide who will ‘present’ the problem and who will go to other groups’ break out rooms.
  3. Designate a specific time when all groups need to come back to the Main Room to receive follow on instructions. You’ll be using the ‘Allow attendees to move between rooms’ function in the break out rooms for this session so your students will need to move back to the Main Room at the designated time.
  4. Add the shareable link to the online version of your PowerPoint slide into the chat. Remind students that they will add their ideas to the slide that corresponds to their breakout group number.
  5. Assign students to break out rooms and this is the important bit select ‘Allow attendees to switch groups‘ before pressing ‘start’.
  6. Monitor the main room or move between rooms to listen in/support. Pro Tip: If there is no-one in the main room and you have chosen to record the session, the recording will stop (not pause) while students and moderators are going about their business in the break out rooms. Restart the recording in the main room once everyone is back in or arrange for someone to stay in the main room.
  7. Send a message in the chat for all students to come back to the main room. DO NOT USE THE ‘CLOSE ROOMS’ BUTTON.

Starting the gallery walk

  1. With all students now back in the Main Room, give the next instruction in the process. Explain that presenters will go back to their original rooms to present their solution, cope with questions from visiting students, and/or elicit feedback. Clarify that all students who are not presenting will go to an adjacent break out room e.g. Group 1 students will go to Group 2’s break out room, Group 2 students will go to Group 3’s break out, … and the last group will go to Group 1’s break out room. The aim for the visiting students is to collect ideas and insights that might be useful for their own solution.
  2. Establish a timeframe for a) how long each student has to present to visiting students and deal with their questions before they move onto the next group (visiting 2 – 3 other groups should suffice), b) the specific time when visiting students should return to their original group to share ideas/insights and make improvements to their solution, c) the time when everyone should move back to the Main Room for a final presentation and a debrief.
  3. Get all students to move to their designated rooms. Wait in the Main room or go to different break out rooms to listen in.
  4. At the specified time, send a reminder in the chat of the Main Room for all students to return to the Main Room for a final presentation/debrief.

Running a debrief in Main Room

  1. With all students back in the Main Room, run a debrief session e.g.

Top tips

  • Try out Collaborate and familiarise yourself with how to resolve issues that students might encounter.
  • Turn off notifications you don’t want to see/hear via Settings in the Collaborate panel.
  • Stop the recording if you started recording. If you make other colleagues or students moderators, they can stop the recording, too.
  • If you recorded the session, remember that it can take some time for the video to process and therefore it might not show immediately.
  • Tell students they can stay in the meeting if they wish. You don’t need to be present for the meeting to continue and by leaving the meeting open you provide additional opportunities to for students to interact.