Visual space

Students literally take a position relative to each other or in designated areas in the virtual or physical space. Students can use this teaching method to indicate their opinion or preference non-verbally. Making use of the space is also good for various icebreakers and energizers (see versions). You can use this teaching method for an endless number of topics. Use this teaching method if, for instance, you want to know how your students are feeling (tired, energetic), or if you want to know with which philosopher they feel they have a connection!

Activity goal
Activate prior knowledge |
Assess |
Get to know each other |
In class
Offline |
< 10 minutes
Group size

Mentimeter, Kahoot, Miro, Zoom

Step 1

Consider which questions you want to ask the students. You can find examples under Variations, tips & tricks. 

Step 2

Produce a slide with the layout of the space (eg a line with left ‘for’ and right ‘against’).

Step 3

Explain the choices the students can make, depending on the shape.   

Step 4

Students then consider where they want to stand. 

Step 5

After your starting signal, they move to the place they had decided on. 

Step 6

Afterwards, hold a discussion on the choices they made.

  • Variation 1

    The line

    • have students respond by standing on a line that has a scale of 1 to 10 (to measure their level of prior knowledge, opinion about a statement)
    • have students respond by standing on a line that has variable scales for such things as age, length, travel time, average alcohol consumption per week, how tired-energetic they are, etc. 

    Variation 2

    Divide the space into corners or sides for choices A, B, C, D, True/False, Agree/Disagree, etc. An example: You want to know the philosopher with which your students feel the most connection. Divide the virtual or physical space into 4 sections, with each section designating a philosopher and have the students choose.

    Variation 3

    Icebreaker: with which cartoon figure/activity/pronouncement do you identify the most? Sweet or savoury? Outdoors/indoors? Etc.

    Variation 4

    Other shapes can be used with comparable applications including: grid, circle, matrix. Or online using a map with the question, where were you born? Or, where do you want to go on holiday?


  • Please consider the tools and materials mentioned here as suggestions. In many cases it’s possible to use alternative tools. Please turn to the Learning & Innovation team of your faculty (EUR or EMC) first to see which online and offline tools are available and how to apply them. 

    This activity can be used online with e.g. Mentimeter, Kahoot, Miro or use the 'stamp' tool via de Annotate function in Zoom.