Writing(s) on the wall

Have students respond to a case, question or statement one at a time. After the initial responses, students are also given the time to comment on other students’ responses. This stimulates them to consider the subject matter carefully and to take part in the discussion. Answering the question then becomes a group process and prevents you as lecturer having to conduct the discussion.

Activity goal
Activate prior knowledge |
Assess |
Brainstorm |
Exchange knowledge |
Recap / Summarize
In class
Offline |
< 30 minutes |
< 60 minutes
Group size

Zoom, Teams, Miro

Step 1

Formulate various questions/statements/cases and write these on separate flip chart sheets (1 per sheet). If you can’t think of any, look at the additional information below. Distribute the sheets around the room.

Step 2

Give each student a marker and ask them to walk around the room to read the sheets.

Step 3

Explain to the students that they can respond to both the question/statement/case and to the responses of others. Make sure that everyone writes the responses to the original question in the same colour. Everyone’s comments on the responses should be given a different colour.

Step 4

Walk around while the students are writing to examine the responses. As soon as the students stop writing, indicate that the time is up. Ask all the students to take their seats again.

Step 5

Together with the group, select the most appropriate or achievable answers/ideas. Give additional information if students head off in the wrong direction or if it is clear that they have gaps in their knowledge.

  • Variation 1

    You can also use this teaching method online or in a hybrid form. Use collaboration tools for this, such as Miro. For hybrid groups, you can prepare the flip charts both online and offline. Have the online students answer the same questions as the offline students. Once all questions have been answered, add a step in which students combine the offline and online responses onto flip charts. Use these new flip charts to continue to the final step.


    There are hundreds of thought-provoking statements online, so if you can’t call any to mind, search on ‘provocative debate topics’ and you’ll end up here for example.

  • 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.