The concept of a gallery walk is modeled on the format used in job fairs or at conference poster-presentations. Presenters set up a poster and prepare a short speech about their poster, as well as talking points for a Q&A and discussion section. Instead of one “large” presentation toward the end of the semester, a typical language class can schedule Gallery walks beginning at the end of September, with students signing up for the day they would like to present. 

Logistics and Setup

For a recorded poster walk, the optimal space would be an area like the 3rd floor of the Thayer building, or the collaboration rooms in the MLB ISS Media Center. These are ideal because each presenter must have a quiet space to share their poster-presentation then answer questions for each of their audience groups.

Students sign up for a presentation slot, once throughout the semester. Students then prepare an informational poster and a 5-7 minute presentation based on their poster. They are expected to “present” for 4-7 minutes, and answer questions and direct a conversation for another 3-6 minutes, for a total of ten minutes.

The presentation spaces must be reserved. A number of video recorders, and corresponding tripods, must also be reserved through ISS, and picked up in advance.

Presentation day for students
The 3 - 6 students who are presenting arrive during “Michigan Time” to see their space and set up their posters. The other students arrive “on time” and are organized into groups of 3-5 by the instructor.
Each student group starts in one of the presenter’s spaces, listens to the presentation, asks questions, and after ten minutes rotates to another presentation.

Presentation day for the instructor
The Instructor must reserve the spaces well in advance, and reserve the cameras and tripods, as well as pick them up before the day before the gallery walk.

The day of the gallery walk, the instructor must have the equipment, setup the cameras in the rooms (initially with LRC help), and start and stop the cameras. Benefits of the setupStudents get to reinforce their language use about a topic that they have chosen; presenters get to talk for much longer than if they were presenting to the whole class. Despite there being a camera in the room, students report feeling less pressure when presenting because they are, “Presenting to smaller groups.” Additionally, the repeated question and answer sessions allows both presenters and their audiences to make each consecutive QA session deeper, as they have the conversation outcomes from their previous groups to draw from.

Janaya Lasker-Ferretti in 2nd year Italian, both Italian 231 and 232.