Gallery walk is one of the Active Learning method where students in groups are encouraged to build on knowledge about a topic or a concept. This is a collaborative method where the students in the group interact and share knowledge in the process.
- The students are divided into small groups of 4-5 members by the teacher.
- The teacher posts different open-ended questions in the form of texts or images related to a particular context/ topic, one each in a chart paper and is fixed on the classroom walls, as in an Art Gallery. The questions are thus placed at different stations in the classroom. The questions can be framed in such a manner as to challenge the critical thinking of the students and each question is placed in such a manner as to leave sufficient space between them.
- Each student group is assigned to one question in the beginning of the activity and the students in the group can discuss and write their thoughts or facts or the solution to the question. After a fixed period of time, say, 5-10 minutes, the group moves to the next question. They can criticize the reflections of the previous group who answered that question or they can provide their own thoughts. The students write their thoughts below the thoughts provided by the previous group who answered that question. This continues till the last question.
- The teacher can meanwhile observe the student participation in the activity and also give inputs to the students. He/ She can move around the class interacting with different students groups. This activity can also be used by the teacher for formative assessment of the students.
- When after walking in the classroom contributing to the solution of all the questions, the groups return to the first question they faced. They will be able to view and synthesize the comments of all the groups and this activity ends when each group gives an oral presentation. The entire class can participate in the discussion and any misconceptions can be removed.
- Since the students interacts and synthesize the concepts, the learning takes place more effectively than in a typical classroom environment. Higher order thinking skills are involved.
- Students are encouraged to move around without having to sit in one place for a long time, thus removing boredom which otherwise makes learning uninteresting.
- The students get to know about different perspectives of the same topic, thus improving the learning opportunities.
- The students are encouraged to use the apt language and terminologies of the subject, thus improving their knowledge on the discipline.
- The public-speaking skills are improved, particularly of reserved students who otherwise do not get a chance to speak to an audience.
- This technique develops team-building and listening skills among students.
- The activity can be extended by asking the students to work on an assignment based on the knowledge constructed during the activity and evaluating the work.
- This activity can be used to understand the previous knowledge of the students.
- There is a chance that a few students in the group do not actively participate in the knowledge construction. This can be addressed up to a certain extend by assigning specific role to students in each group and then asking them to rotate the roles when they reach the next station. The teacher can also ask some evaluative questions to the students during the activity in order to bring them back to the activity.
- Some students may prefer to learn individually and hence may not participate in discussions. For this type of learners, the teacher can mention the benefits of team work and how it can be helpful for them in the future.
- The evaluation may not be just. This issue can be addressed by the teachers by providing students with an evaluation rubric in advance.