Gallery walks

Think about what you do when you visit an art gallery or museum; you observe and consider the effect or the effectiveness of the artwork. The same principles apply when using a gallery walk as part of a critique process.

What is a gallery walk and why would I use it?

Work is displayed – it might be student plans, designs, models or products and peers are given the opportunity to view the work and reflect on it. The gallery walk provides an opportunity to get feedback from peers on particular aspects or stages of the project which is then used to improve and refine the student work.

The main features of the gallery walk are:

  • Feedback is focused on a particular aspect of the project/product or plan and jointly constructed success criteria is available on which to base the feedback.
  • Protocols are developed to guide the feedback. For example, feedback needs to be kind, specific and helpful. (Ron Berger)
  • Post-It notes or a designated space on the plan is used to write feedback, allowing for silent reflection.
  • Opportunities are provided for the ‘owners’ of the work displayed to look over the feedback and clarify any questions.
  • Opportunities are provided to use the feedback to change the work.

When would I use a gallery walk?

A crucial aspect of the Gallery Walk process is the opportunity to act on the feedback given so it is best by students during the project-based learning (PBL) process, rather than at the end. This allows time to put the feedback into action and makes the process meaningful.

How do I use a gallery walk?

  1. Have work displayed clearly around the room. For example: posters on the walls, models or other examples on tables, print outs of any computer-based work. Ensure there is sufficient space between and around each piece of work to allow for ease of movement and close inspection of the work.
  2. Explain the purpose of the Gallery Walk, particularly the criteria for feedback, and revisit the protocols for giving feedback.
  3. Provide all the resources required – Post-it notes, pens and set a time limit for the first round of the gallery walk.
  4. Allow time for participants to view each piece of work and give feedback in writing on the piece of work.
  5. Allow time for the owners of the work to look over the comments and reflect on the feedback.

This blog and recorded webinar from the Buck Institute for Education (BIE) explains the process of Gallery Walks.

Link to BIE Webinar – Using Gallery Walks for Revision and Reflection

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