The Gallery method


Gallery method as the brainstorming technique 

The Gallery method is the technique developed by the Battelle Institute and improved by Van Gundy, 1981 and others.
In this method the participants move past the ideas (as in an art gallery) rather than the ideas moving past the participants. Several flip chart sheets are posted around the room and participants circulate and record their ideas.  As participants move around the room and read the ideas of others, they often get other, related ideas that they add to the list. The distinctive feature of the Gallery Method is that group members are permitted to move about during the break period (incubation period).
Also cards or sheets of paper can be used to record the ideas; they then are pooled in order to be exchanged and examined by others. This results in additional related or “build-on” ideas.

Procedure Steps

1. Position flip chart paper round the room, with the problem statement displayed so everyone can see it (groups should be between 5-7 people). The statement should be discussed briefly for clarification.
2. The group members silently write down ideas on the sheets of paper (they can write directly onto the sheets, or on cards and stick these on the flip-charts). The writing should be large, clear and concise to enable other to read it easily.
3. After 20-30 minutes of writing, a break is taken and the participants are given 15 minutes to walk around the room viewing ideas on the other flip charts and making notes.
4. Participants return to their own work areas and continue generating their own ideas or make improvements on the ideas of others.
5. When the group appears to be running low on ideas again, repeat steps 3 and 4 or else close the idea-generating phase.
6. After the terminal round is completed, all ideas are pooled together, sorted, classified
7.  The group examines the ideas and selects those deserving further attention or implementation.

A disadvantages of this method that people’s movements may distract others, the no anonymity is offered for idea generation and there is a risk of competition between participants during the break and view.


3.1. Post it Note brainstorming

The full group is divided in groups of three to five (form at least three different small groups).
Each small group brainstorms and writes their ideas on Post It notes.  After a set time, the full group reconvenes and stick these on the flip-charts or wall. It notes are posted and grouped into categories, themes, or commonalities.  The best idea is pulled out of each category by the full group.

3.2. Display brainstorming

The full group is divided into small groups.  Each small group works at a flip chart and brainstorms.  After a set time, groups settle on their best idea and subsequently “display” it at their station.
The other groups then rotate from station to station and weigh the pros and cons of each displayed idea.  After spending time at each station, the full group reconvenes and settles on the best idea or ideas.

3.3.   Brainwalking

Brainwalking  technique is similar to brainwriting, but in this case, participants write their ideas on large sheets of paper covering the walls.
Each sheet of paper has a topic related to main problem, and participants can walk around and add comments on the sheets of paper.
This technique is highly suitable for kinesthetic and energetic  participants who don’t want to spend the whole class sitting down.


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