A Bar Camp is an open "non-conference" that takes the form of participatory workshops-events where the content is provided by the participants who must all, in one capacity or another, bring something to the Barcamp, the objective is above all to share ideas.

Presentations by learners of several topics around a central theme to small groups of learners.


Group size : Group (10-15 persons), Classroom (20-30 persons)

Modality : Presential

Duration of the teaching method : In a session

Special equipment : Space and sometimes projectors or boards or flip charts

Type of knowledge developed : Knowledge, Know-how

Target Audience : Students, Professionals in training

Course Type : Tutorials (TD)

Preparation time :½ organization day

Author and persons who made changes : Elsa Ballini

Why am I using this technique?

For my learners...

This approach enables teachers/trainers to involve learners in the course of training and to break away from the classic pattern of teacher/trainer transmission to learners.

During this activity, practitioners develop oral presentation skills but in a less stressful setting since they only face a small number of their peers. They must take responsibility and be proactive.

At the end of the sessions, the learners will have acquired a "knowledge catalogue" related to the theme addressed.

For me, teacher or trainer...

This activity requires an investment by the teacher/trainer to explain the process and the issues at stake. Once its methodology is in place, it can reuse the form and certain documents from one year to the next without requiring as much time.

This approach makes it possible to leave the traditional patterns of transmission, in particular in terms of knowledge, which is stimulating for a teacher/trainer in search of evolution or novelty as for his pedagogical approach.

Framework and steps / Instructions

The framework

This type of method is interesting for "catalogue" courses. It is also ideal if the goal is to make oral presentations to students but it would take too long to go through them one by one.

The preparation

We need to prepare topics.

These subjects must be mastered by the learners so that they can present them without preparatory work. The number of different subjects is equal to the minimum number of rotations during the BarCamp. Subjects can be assigned to a single learner or to several learners. If there are several, the teacher/trainer can choose whether they make the presentation together or separately.

A road map should be prepared that allows each learner to attend the presentations on each topic and make their own. This may involve times when learners do not attend a presentation.

You need one booth/table per topic. Different types of support may be necessary (video projector, board, flip chart...) depending on the presentation mode chosen by the teacher/trainer.

It is important to provide sufficient space according to the number of participants to ensure smooth movement and avoid excessive noise pollution.

The process

  1. Preparation of the work upstream by the trainer: choice of having the learners work individually or in groups, preparation of the subjects, reflection on the organisation of the activity in time and space (preparation of the roadmap).
  2. Introduce the activity to the learners (15 minutes): Explain the concept of the BarCamp and relate it to the proposed activity. Explanation of the teacher/trainer's expectations of the learners. Assignment of subjects to each group or individual (imposed or optional subjects). If learners choose their topic, allow extra time or ensure that their choice is made before the session begins.
  3. BarCamp : Distribution of a roadmap to each group/individual. He then sits at his first table and introduces his topic to a group of 4-5 people or attends the presentation of another. This is followed by a question-and-answer period. The duration of these two moments must be fixed, the whole presentation/questions should not exceed about fifteen minutes. At the end of this time, everyone goes to a new table according to their roadmap and another session of presentations is launched.


Organisation of a time with all participants (teacher(s)/trainer(s) and learners) to discuss how the BarCamp went.


The choice of topics to be developed in the theme can be linked to an experience common to the learners (example of professional internship for students) or an event related to the training (forum, exhibition...).

The BarCamp can be preceded by upstream sessions that allow students to work on their subject. The selected subjects can then ask for a bibliographic work upstream or a production work on behalf of the learners. (see connected plugs).

Self-evaluation of the participants, via a grid of criteria established by the teacher/trainer. Focus the evaluation on the form of the presentation by dividing the rating criteria among the different listeners (one on the gestures, another on the way of speaking...). However, they must justify their grade. Be careful how this evaluation is implemented so as not to have a counter-productive effect. It must be a small percentage of the final mark and its pedagogical interest must be highlighted.

Points of vigilance

Provide sufficient space (see several rooms) so that movement is fluid and there is no noise between different presentations.

Ensure that the assigned times for each phase are respected so that the activity is carried out effectively.

Activity not adapted to the transmission of fundamental knowledge.

It is necessary to communicate to students the importance of their involvement during the activity. There must be a reciprocal effort on the part of the teacher/trainer and the learners.

What if it doesn't work?

Some students do not participate in the BarCamp, for shyness for example, or for other reasons related to lack of motivation...

It is therefore necessary to find a way to maintain motivation during the BarCamp.

For example, note the dynamics of the group orally, plan an exam later on this BarCamp, value the best presentation,...

Useful links

Other resources https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BarCamp

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